Panama: Fall at El Valle's Canopy Lodge: Oct 13—20, 2018

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Price: $2,795
Departs: Panama City
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Previous Itinerary (2017): PDF (115.8 KB)

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Barry Zimmer

Barry Zimmer has been birding since the age of eight. His main areas of expertise lie in Nor...


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Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Thick-billed Euphonia

Thick-billed Euphonia— Photo: Barry Zimmer

A gorgeous lodge amid private surroundings offers spectacular birding for one of the most enchanting tropical travel experiences available.

When Raúl Arias de Para opened the Canopy Tower in 1999, it marked the culmination of years of dedication to an idea of building a world-class ecolodge in his native Panama. His story is well-documented and the results have been spectacular. The Canopy Tower has garnered international attention for its remarkable design, close proximity to an astonishing array of wildlife, and attention to high quality service. The story does not end here, however. To use Raúl’s words, “The day after I opened the Canopy Tower on January 2, 1999, I started thinking of building another lodge. After five years of searching for a site, I finally found it.”

The fabulous Canopy Lodge is a completion of that dream. Situated approximately 60 miles west of Panama City in the picturesque El Valle de Antón, this lodge has it all. Nestled in the crater of an extinct volcano and surrounded by jagged ridges and hills, the lodge offers great birding and luxury accommodations. The forested peaks of Cerro Gaital Natural Monument loom over the valley and impart a deep sense of tranquility. The lodge grounds are teeming with birds. Feeders visible from the dining area play host to a parade of colorful and exciting species such as Rufous Motmot; Collared Aracari; Red-crowned Woodpecker; Flame-rumped, Crimson-backed, Dusky-faced (irregular), White-lined, Blue-gray, and Palm tanagers; Red-legged Honeycreeper; Buff-throated and Streaked saltators; Orange-billed and Black-striped sparrows; and Chestnut-headed Oropendola to name a few.

VIDEO: Panama with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, Part II, Panama Canopy Lodge, by Dick Walton

The surrounding gardens have been specifically planted to attract hummingbirds and, in addition to such regulars as Stripe-throated and Green hermits, White-vented Plumeleteer, Garden Emerald, and Snowy-bellied and Rufous-tailed hummingbirds, several uncommon to rare and localized species such as Rufous-crested Coquette, Violet-headed Hummingbird, and Green Thorntail are also possible. Other regular birds around the lodge include Black-chested Jay, White Hawk, and Bay Wren. Forests adjacent to the lodge may yield Tody Motmot, Black-faced Antthrush, and Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush.

Many additional spectacular species might be seen in a variety of nearby habitats. The long list includes the likes of Aplomado Falcon; Spectacled and Mottled owls; the incomparable Snowcap; the endemic Veraguan Mango; Emerald (Blue-throated) Toucanet; Orange-bellied Trogon; Spotted Woodcreeper; Dull-mantled Antbird; Black-crowned Antpitta; Ochraceous Wren; Emerald, Silver-throated, Tawny-crested, Black-and-yellow, and Bay-headed tanagers; Rosy Thrush-Tanager; and Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch. This part of Panama is visually and sensually different from that of the Canal Zone. A visit to the Canopy Lodge, sister to the famous Canopy Tower, offers a lovely contrast to that region and a nice variety of bird species not found in that area.

Finally, the rare and elusive Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo has been spotted on many of VENT’s tours to the Canopy Lodge; we think the El Valle area is, arguably, one of the best places in the world to see this special bird.

Wonderful accommodations and cuisine; beautiful surroundings; easy to moderate walking on good roads and trails; travel by comfortable bus; one or two days in 4×4 vehicles; climate cool and breezy with some overcast and rain expected in highlands, warm and dry in lowlands.

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Fall at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge 2012

Fall at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge 2013

Fall at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge 2014

Fall at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge 2015