the magical road
Why Achiote? Because it has been proclaimed
one of the leading Christmas Count consecutive winner many times from past
years. Why magical road? Because any sought-after species can materialize in
front of you on the road...at any moment!
On the Caribbean side of Panama, in the Province of Colon, at approximately
11 km from the Gatun Dam (Panama Canal), and at the west side of the San
Lorenzo National Park.
At 2.5 hours from Panama City, you have to cross the Panama Canal Gatun
Locks, with an average waiting time of 30 minutes ( at the lock). We
recommend you to drive to Achiote the afternoon before and to bird all the
way. You lay over into some comfortable rustic down to basics clean quarters
(barrack type with bunk-beds), gender divided with private showers and
bathrooms.. no luxury! Food service (â€œrestauranteâ€) 80 meters walk from
the installations. Everything run by a local eco-tourism group called Los
Rapaces. Again, do not expect luxury.
– Easy... to Moderate... to Hard
Easy to moderate walking is required.
– Easy... to â– Moderate... to Hard
WHAT TO EXPECT
With an early morning start expect to see by noon 60 to 80 species. And by
the end of the day a final count of 97+ is common.
Birding is done primarily along the Achiote Road either on foot along the
road or by slowly driving on the way during the first hours. As the
temperature begins too hot, we enter into traditional birding trails to look
for specialties like the White-headed Wren, the Long-tailed Tyrant or the
Montezuma Oropendola. Also streams will be checked for kingfishers,
waterthrushes and more. Expect to walk on muddy areas especially during
rainy season (March to December).
There is traffic along the road. Awareness is advice all the time.
The climate On the Caribbean side of Panama, in the Province of Colon
/Canal Zone is usually warm, with mornings in the 70s and afternoons in the
80s. Conditions at midday can be humid and very warm, with temperatures
reaching into the lower 90s. Rainstorms may occur at any time of year, but
are more likely during the rainy season, which runs from the summer months
into early December. Generally, the weather in Central Panama is mild and
pleasant, with our activities corresponding to the cooler parts of the day
and heightened bird activity.
BIRDING ALL DAY (6:00am till 3:00pm price is per
Achiote Road... from Panama City or Gamboa.
Achiote Road... from other destination
In Achiote village you will find comfortable rustic down to basics clean
quarters gender divided - barrack type with bunk-beds - with private showers
and bathrooms. The premises were built by an NGO and is run by a well
organized ecotourism group called Los Rapaces, formed by local people with
birders in mind. Amazingly, the community has learn from their past
experiences and the profitability gained from tourism and local birding
guides have flourished in the region. The lack of good English is not a
Food service (â€œrestauranteâ€) is close to installations and is attended
by the ecotourism group Los Rapaces. For reservations click here, will be
glad to help you at no extra cost.
Note: All the expenditures will stay in the community. Used birding gear
(binoculars) and books (panama birding guides or similar) can be sent as
donation to the local school. They will be distributed among the kids by
There is a restaurant run by an ecotourism local group called Los Rapaces
(The Raptors). It is open to the public every day. It is clean and the food
is fresh. The day menu can be the usual salad (lettuce and tomato) rice &
beans, chicken, meat or pork and sweet plantain, or what clients order the
most which is â€œtodays soup with riceâ€.. is yummy!. Reservations for
breakfast and dinner is advisable. BYO water (bring your own) or drink cook
from can or bottle.
Light clothing is recommended: cotton shirts or t-shirts - earth colors
preferable- long and short pants, poncho, hiking shoes, hat, insect
repellent and sun block. Dress for tropical hot humid weather and be ready
Binoculars, scope (optional), field guide, notebook and camera (optional ).
GUIDE BOOK RECOMMENDED
These two books are an example of hard work put into, and for the benefit,
of conserving PanamaÂ´s birds:
â€œThe Birds of Panama, a field guide by George R Angehr and Robert Dean Can
be described as the â€œbibleâ€ forPanama and some Costa Rica birds. The
latest edition (1989).This excellent field guide is highly recommended as
your primary reference book on the birds.
â€œAn Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds of Panamaâ€ by Ernesto Ponce and
Giselle Muschett, 2006, 1st Edition. It can be described as â€œa descriptive
fieldwork toolâ€ for fast information .
BIRDS TO LOOK FOR
This is a list of birds - by memory - seen along the Achiote Road and
surrounding areas on different tours, and some additions from friends, guess
and people who have collaborated sharing with us their sightings.
The list is continuously on the move. Feel free to send your findings and
comments to email@example.com Check here for the complete list of
Central Panama Birds.
Agami Heron (very rare),Hook-billed Kite,White-throated Crake,Wattled
Jacana,Spot-crowned Barbet,Bare-crowned Antbird,Moustached
Antwren,Stripe-breasted Wren,White Hawk,Plumbeous Hawk,American
Kestrel,Aplomado Falcon,Gray Hawk,Double-toothed Kite,Pale-vented
Pigeon,Ruddy Gground-Dove,Blue Ground- Dove,Striped Cuckoo,Squirrel
Cuckoo,Spectacled Owl,Rufous-breasted Hermit,Slaty-tailed Trogon,Violaceous
Trogon,American Pigmy-Kingfisher,Green Kingfisher,Spot-crowned
Barbet,Keel-billed Toucan,Collared Aracari,Black-chested Jay,Cinnamon
Cocoa Woodcreeper,Barred Antshrike,Great Antshrike,Chestnut-backed
Antbird,White-necked Puffbird,Black-breasted Puffbird,Pied
Puffbird,Fork-tailed Flycatcher,Boat-billed Flycatcher,Piratic
Flycatcher,Greenish Elaenia,Black-headed Tody Flycatcher,Long-tailed
Tyrant,Brownish Twistwing,Paltry Tyrannulet,Southern
Beardless-Tyrannulet,White-winged Becard,Cinereous Becard,Cinnamon
Becard,Masked Tityra,Blue Cotinga,Purple-throated Fruitcrow,Golden-collared
Manakin,Bay Wren,Black-bellied Wren,Stripe-breasted Wren,White-headed
Wren,Scrub Greenlet,Northern Waterthrush,Orchard Oriole,Thick-billed
Euphonia,Flame-rumped Tanager,Gray-headed Tanager,Dusky-faced
Tanager,Streaked Saltator,Buff-throated Saltator,Lesser
Seed-Finch,Yellow-bellied Seedeater,Slate-colored Seedfinch,Yellow-faced
Grassquit,Yellow-tailed Oriole,Yellow-rumped Cacique,Crested
Oropendola,Montezuma Oropendola,Red-breasted Blackbird.
is our trade mark. If your business, working or family responsibilities
donâ€™t allow a 4 Day birding trip, we can work
together on a Custom Itinerary that will fit your necessities and cover your
firstname.lastname@example.org phone (507)6728-3501
Send for the complete
Central Panama birds.