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Keel-billed Toucan from the observation deck at Canopy Tower.PANAMA
CANOPY TOWER
20th Anniversary Special!
August 1 - 8, 2019

Trip Cost and Travel Planning>     Registration Form>
Contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to reserve your space!

In 2019, Panama's award winning Canopy Tower will celebrate its 20th year! The Canopy Family has extended a very special invitation to Sunrise Birding to help celebrate this momentous occasion. 

This special tour features 7 nights at the unique Canopy Tower situated in the heart of Soberanía National Park and the leadership of top guide, Carlos Bethancourt.  The Canopy Family has offered their very best pricing for this celebration for our group, just $1995 per person!


If you've always wanted to visit Panama's Canopy Tower,
don't miss this chance!

 

The Canopy Tower features rooms and an observation deck just above the canopy of the rainforest putting you at eye-level with toucans, tanagers, honeycreepers, hawks, and other colorful tropical birds.  If offers amazing views of Two- and Three-toed sloths, Geoffroy’s Tamarins, Mantled Howler Monkeys and so much more.  From the Canopy Tower we will visit legendary Pipeline Road, arguably the best birding location in Mesoamerica.  Other excursions will visit a variety of habitats offering many species.  And, it true Canopy family fashion, you'll have exclusive access to some of the best birding Panama has to offer!

Join us to experience Panama's famous Canopy Tower and celebrate 20 years of providing some of the best birding in
Central America!




Three-toed Sloths are a common sight from the top of Canopy Tower.ITINERARY

Day 1 - Arrival, Orientation and Canopy Tower
Observation Deck

Plan on arriving in Panama City, Panama (Airport code: PTY) in the afternoon.   When our group has gathered, our driver who will transfer us to the Canopy Tower, located at the top of Semaphore Hill in the rainforest of Soberanía National Park.  A member of our staff will greet our group as we arrive at the Tower, and provide an orientation on the lodge and its facilities.  

As your luggage is being ferried to your room, you may visit the dining/bar area and enjoy a refreshing drink and once we are settled in we will spend some time on the Observation Deck. The view from the platform provides some incredible Panama birding opportunities! Here, you get a unique eye-level perspective of the rainforest canopy. Many birds in the rainforest, including toucans, parrots, tanagers of various types, hawks, and dozens of others, as well as 2 species of sloths, monkeys and other mammals are commonly seen. From this vantage point you can also see ships transiting the Panama Canal, the majestic Centennial Bridge and miles of rainforest!  You may also want to watch the hummingbird feeders at the base of the Tower for Long-billed Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, Violet-bellied and Blue-chested hummingbirds and White-vented Plumeleteer.  After all this Panama birding, dinner will be served at the CANOPY TOWER.

Day 2
AM: Canopy Tower and Semaphore Hill Road

Green Shrike Vireo. Your guides will be waiting for you at the Observation Deck for early morning Panama birding. While you look for birds you can enjoy hot coffee, tea and orange juice.  Some of the bird species that we are likely to see from the observation deck are Green and Red-legged Honeycreepers, Green Shrike-Vireo, Blue Cotinga, Scaled Pigeon, Mealy and Red-lored Parrots, Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Araçari, flycatchers of various kinds and raptors, including King Vulture and Ornate Hawk-Eagle!  

After breakfast, at mid-morning, we’ll start exploring Soberanía National Park by taking a pleasant walk down Semaphore Hill Road.  This winding, shady paved road, festooned on the shoulders by wildflowers of many types, is a little more than a mile long and crosses a large creek about half-way down. There are some incredible Panama birding opportunities here, including birds from the forest interior as well as edge-dwellers. Olivaceous Flatbill, Plain Xenops, Lesser Greenlet, Black-breasted and White-whiskered Puffbirds, Fasciated and Black-crowned (formerly Western Slaty) Antshrikes, Slate-colored Grosbeak, Bay-headed and White-shouldered Tanagers, Black-throated Trogon, Broad-billed and Rufous Motmots and Great Jacamar may be found.  Great Tinamou is often heard, but harder to find.  This road is also great for raptors—White, Tiny and Great Black Hawks have been seen, and during migration it's easy to Rufescent Tiger-Heronsee more than 10 species of warblers and other songbirds in one morning.  Your morning bird list will be impressive, as we catch a ride back just in time to enjoy a delicious lunch at the CANOPY TOWER.


PM: Ammo Dump Ponds and Environs (15 min. from Canopy Tower)
The Ammo Dump Ponds are located just past Gamboa on the way to Pipeline Road.  It is the best place to see the elusive White-throated Crake, as well as a host of other waterbirds.  Least Grebes and Purple Gallinules are common, and Rufescent Tiger-Heron and American Pygmy-Kingfisher are also resident.  Here, we often find Greater Ani, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Whooping Motmot (recent split from Blue-crowned), Yellow-tailed Oriole, Southern Lapwing, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Tropical Kingbird, Scrub Greenlet, Lesser Kiskadee, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck and Panama, Social and Rusty-margined Flycatchers and even an Olivaceous Piculet! Birding is excellent here, and you'll definitely add to your impressive list of birds! Dinner at CANOPY TOWER.

 

Day 3
AM: Pipeline Road Entrance (20 min. from Canopy Tower)

Rosy Thrush-TanagerAfter breakfast you board the Birdmobile or the Rainfomobile, both open-air vehicles, that take you to Pipeline Road, the best place in Central Panama to find forest birds, and one of the premier birding spots in the world! This morning we concentrate our efforts at the beginning of Pipeline, where we will look for Greater Ani, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Masked Tityra, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Plain Wren, Streaked Flycatcher, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Squirrel Cuckoo, Gray-headed Chachalaca, Southern Bentbill, Forest Elaenia, Panama Flycatcher, Blue Ground-Dove and Little Tinamou.  Other birds recorded here are Black-bellied and Buff-breasted Wrens, Golden-collared Manakin, White-necked Puffbird, Gartered, Slaty-tailed, Black-throated, White-tailed and Black-tailed Trogons, Purple-crowned Fairy, Yellow Tyrannulet, White-bellied and Dusky antbirds, Fasciated and Black-crowned antshrikes.  Lunch at CANOPY TOWER.


Blue CotingaPM: Summit Gardens/Harpy Exhibit (10 min. from Canopy Tower)
Summit Gardens is a center for recreation, education and conservation, dedicated to reflect and enhance Panama’s tropical and cultural diversity.  The botanical gardens are great for forest-edge species, including a colony of Chestnut-headed Oropendolas, Yellow-margined Flycatcher, Laughing Falcon, Gray-lined, Crane and Great Black Hawks, Collared Forest-Falcon, Tropical Pewee, Masked Tityra, Golden-fronted and Scrub Greenlets, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Giant, Shiny and Bronzed Cowbirds and Blue Cotinga.  This park is the best place to find Streak-headed Woodcreeper, a difficult species to get elsewhere. The Harpy Eagle is Panama's national bird, and this park has an exhibit, including a life-size nest and interpretive panels, tracing the importance of the Harpy in Panamanian history and culture dating back to Pre-Columbian times.  Dinner at CANOPY TOWER.

 

Day 4
AM: Plantation Trail (5 min. from Canopy Tower)

After breakfast, we take a short ride to the bottom of Semaphore Hill to Plantation Trail, one of our premier birding areas.  This easy trail passes through mature rainforest and follows a small creek (Rio Chico Masambi) and is a reliable place to find Golden-crowned Spadebills.  Oftentimes at the parking area near the entrance, we find Black-chested Jays.  Other birds to look for along the trail include Ocellated, Bicolored, Chestnut-backed, White-bellied and Spotted Antbirds; Broad-billed and Whooping Motmots, trogons, White-whiskered Puffbird, hummers (Blue-chested, White-necked Jacobin and others); Plain Brown, Northern Barred and Cocoa Woodcreepers; Cinnamon, Crimson-crested and Black-cheeked Woodpeckers; White-breasted Wood-Wren, Song Wren, Dot-winged, Checker-throated and White-flanked Antwrens; Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Bright-rumped Attila, Gray-headed Tanager, Long-billed Gnatwren, Black-crowned and Fasciated Antshrikes, Red-capped and Blue-crowned Manakins, Great Tinamou, Ruddy-tailed, Royal and Yellow-margined flycatchers, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Scaly-throated Leaftosser and occasionally, a Great Jacamar or the endemic Yellow-green Tyrannulet!  Lunch at CANOPY TOWER.


PM: Chagres River/Gamboa Feeders (15 min. from Canopy Tower)
Crimson-backed TanagerAfter lunch, we take a short drive to Chagres River and the accompanying fields and forest. First, we must stop at the Canopy Bed and Breakfast in the picturesque village of Gamboa, to look at the bird feeders!  With a beautiful backdrop of Cerro Pelado, the backyard at the Canopy B&B is teeming with bird life.  At the fruit feeders, we are likely to see Red-legged, Shining and Green Honeycreepers, Lemon-rumped, Crimson-backed and Blue-gray Tanagers, Thick-billed Euphonia, Yellow-bellied and Variable Seedeaters, Whooping Motmot and Gray-headed Chachalaca, with Central American Agoutis lurking about under the feeders.

Next, we're off to Chagres River, the main tributary for the Panama Canal. The birding along the river banks and the forest edges of Gamboa Resort can be spectacular! Here, we search for Amazon, Green and American Pygmy Kingfishers, as well as, Whooping Motmot and Cinnamon Woodpecker. We could also see Gray-Necked Wood-Rail, Cocoi, Green and Striated Herons, Wattled Jacana, Pied-billed Grebe, Anhinga, Royal and Sandwich Terns, Brown Pelican, Neotropic Cormorant, Tricolored and Little Blue Herons, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Mangrove Swallow, Black-chested Jay, Lesser Kiskadee, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cacique, Black-bellied and Buff-breasted Wrens, Fasciated and Barred Antshrikes, Cinnamon Becard, Slaty-tailed Trogon, White-bellied Antbird, and even Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon and Blue Cotinga at times! Dinner at CANOPY TOWER.
 
Day 5
World Famous Pipeline Road (20 min. from Canopy Tower) FULL DAY

Crimson-crested WoodpeckersToday we will search for the area’s super-rare specialties, the Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo and the Harpy Eagle, both recorded here. Eight species of wrens, 5 trogons, 4 puffbirds, 3 motmots, many tanagers and flycatchers, including the unusual Brownish Twistwing, Great Jacamar and Common Potoo, among others, are often found.  Also, the calls of Streak-chested Antpitta and Black-faced Antthrush will lure us in!  Army ant swarms are found occasionally, attended by a host of birds including, Bicolored, Ocellated and Spotted Antbirds.  Plus, we will hunt for Golden-collared, Red-capped and Blue-crowned Manakins, always high on a birder's list of favorites!  Raptors possible include 3 forest-falcons, Tiny and Semiplumbeous Hawks, Ornate and Black Hawk-eagles (soaring overhead), as well as Carmiol's and Sulphur-rumped Tanagers, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Black-crowned and Masked Tityras, Cinnamon and Crimson-crested Woodpeckers, Scarlet-rumped Cacique, Red-lored and Brown-hooded Parrots, Collard Araçari, Pheasant Cuckoo, Speckled Mourner, Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner, Black-mandibled and Keel-billed toucans, Black-striped, Northern Barred and Plain Brown
Woodcreepers!  As we cross several rivers, we search for Sunbittern and Green-and-rufous Kingfisher.  To maximize our time in the field, we enjoy a nice picnic lunch along Pipeline Road—but with scope and binoculars at the ready!  After lunch, we search for more species, including the elusive Wing-banded Antbird and Spot-crowned Antvireo, Moustached Antwren, Ruddy Quail-Dove and Marbled Wood-Quail!  Dinner at CANOPY TOWER.

Day 6
AM: Summit Ponds /Old Gamboa Road (10 min. from Canopy Tower)

Green-and-rufous Kingfisher. Old Gamboa Road and the associated ponds at Summit are great places to find Canal Zone birds of many types.  At Summit Ponds we will scan for Green, Striated, Capped and Boat-billed Herons as well as Green, Ringed, Amazon, Green-and-rufous (rare) and American Pygmy Kingfishers, which are all resident here!  Also we seek out Rusty-margined and Streaked Flycatchers, Mangrove Swallow, Bat Falcon, Cocoa Woodcreeper and Lineated and Crimson-crested Woodpeckers.  

Going straight past the two ponds you'll be on Old Gamboa Road, one of the birdiest spots around.  This road passes through a variety of habitats and has plenty of specialties, including Blue Ground-Dove, Great Antshrike, Jet Antbird, Black-tailed and Royal Flycatchers, Lance-tailed and Golden-collared Manakins and the delightful Rosy Thrush-Tanager!  We also will find species like White-bellied Antbird, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Yellow-backed Oriole, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Yellow-headed Caracara and more.  Also resident are Gray-headed Chachalaca, with Spectacled Owl a real possibility, too, as the guides know where they often roost.  Lunch at CANOPY TOWER.


Cinnamon WoodpeckerPM: Chagres River N./Gamboa Grounds
(15 min. from Canopy Tower)

Here, along the banks and in the accompanying forest edges, Amazon, Green and American Pygmy Kingfishers, as well as, Whooping Motmot and Cinnamon Woodpecker, Cinnamon and White-winged becards, are resident.  We could also see species like Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Green and Striated Herons, Black-tailed Flycatcher, Wattled Jacana, White-throated Crake and Anhinga.  Good views of Rosy Thrush-Tanager have occurred here recently.  Embera Indian trails lead from the river, and we often see them fishing from their canoes.  In the river we search for Least Grebes, Muscovy and Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, and along their trails we often find Little Tinamou, Scarlet-rumped and Yellow-billed Caciques, Yellow-tailed Oriole and sometimes Blue Cotinga!
 
Day 7
AM: Rainforest Discovery Center (20 min. from Canopy Tower)

After breakfast we depart to the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, which is an ecotourism and environmental education facility created and administered by Fundación Avifauna Eugene Eisenmann.  It is located off Pipeline Road adjacent to Soberanía National Park.  The center contains several attractions, the best of which is a 100-foot-tall observation tower, with 4 rest platforms—each stopping at a different layer of the rainforest.  The view from the top is incredible!  Here, we scan for hawks like Double-toothed Kite and Semiplumbeous Hawk.  

Also, we explore the 1.1 kilometer circuit of well-maintained forest trails, one ending at a pond, which is excellent for birds!  Snail Kite, Wattled Jacana, Little Blue Heron and Sungrebe are often resident at the pond, and along the trails we look for White-necked Puffbird, motmots, trogons, manakins, antbirds, wrens, tanagers, flycatchers and many others. The covered Visitor Center has several hummingbird feeders (attracting species that may be photographed easily), bathrooms, lunch tables and a small gift shop with drinks and snacks, so you won't miss a second of Panama birding opportunity. Lunch at CANOPY TOWER.


PM: Miraflores Locks (optional)
This afternoon you have the option to relax on your own, catch up on some photography, or you may want to visit Miraflores Locks Museum.  In addition to seeing first-hand the operation of the Canal, with huge container ships negotiating the narrow locks, you may also explore the world-class museum there. Magnificent Frigatebirds are seen gliding overhead, so you won't miss out on any Panama birding opportunities!



Day 8 - Departures from Panama City or continue to Canopy Camp for another week of fantastic birding!
If time permits, after breakfast you may have one last look from the Observation Deck.  Then you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home, with awesome memories of birds, mammals, wildflowers, butterflies and everything else you experienced while birding at the Canopy Tower!


Please note that this itinerary may change without prior notice due to weather, alterations in habitat or other conditions. We'll do our best to take advantage of all of possible birding opportunities!


Leaders:  Carlos Bethancourt, Gina Nichol & Steve Bird.

Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker.PANAMA: CANOPY TOWER
20th Anniversary Special!
August 1 - 8, 2019
Registration Form>

TOUR PRICE
Main Tour:
$1995 per person from Panama City, Panama (Airport code: PTY).  Cost is for double occupancy and based on 8 passengers.  With less than 8, a supplement may apply. See the note below.

Single supplement: $0!   There is no single supplement for the single rooms at Canopy Tower.  They are small and share a bathroom. 

Deposit: US$500.00 per person. Tour deposits can be paid by check or credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise gina@sunrisebirding.com when you have made payment. 

Maximum Group Size:  12

Included in cost: Accommodation in /double twin rooms, all meals from dinner on Day 1through breakfast on Day 8, group airport transfers, ground transport throughout, natural fruit juices, sodas, wine at dinner time, all taxes, WIFI, entrance fees to National Parks as mentioned in the itinerary, and bilingual professional guides.

Not included:  International flight to and from Panama City, Panama (Airport code: PTY), Travel or other insurance, passport fees, departure tax, insurance, drinks (except those mentioned), laundry, tips, and items of a personal nature.  Please do not book your flights until we tell you that the tour is confirmed and provide timing details.

**Please note: The tour price is based on a minimum of 8 passengers.  If there are less than 8, a small group supplement may be charged. Also, Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators, estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange at the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

RESERVATIONS: To reserve your place on this tour, contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to hold your space! Then follow up with your completed registration form and deposit within two weeks to secure your place. Instructions are on the form. Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.    >Download and print the Registration Form. 

Final payment is due April 2, 2019. Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees). Please inquire.

Cancellations and Refunds: All cancellations must be made in writing. In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur. There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.

Insurance: Sunrise Birding, LLC recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 07-0025.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. 11.17 E7N

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at gina@sunrisebirding.com 
Phone: 203.453.6724

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