Panama Bocas del Toro

Panama - Wildlife and Winter Sun

Feb 23, 2016

By Robert South, recently returned from Panama

We chose this trip for two reasons: winter warmth and diverse content including, but not overwhelmed by, wildlife. On neither count were we disappointed.

The Soberania N.P., despite being a wildlife hotspot, was actually pretty quiet tourist-wise with a plethora of forest birds that were easy to see and photograph. Oh, I should add that I am a bit of a photographer. Besides the plentiful wildlife, the amazing engineering feat of the Panama Canal was there to appreciate and a day trip to the Smithsonian Institute research centre on an island of Gatun Lake was highly informative.

The dry Pacific coast provided a total contrast with dry habitat and marshland birds.

Thence to the north west and the Bocas del Toro archipelago on the Caribbean side where we enjoyed not only wildlife but gentle kayaking, some good snorkelling, actually better than expected, on what seemed to be our own private reef, wonderful swimming on a remote islet of the Zapatilla chain, and an excellent visit to a cocoa plantation supplemented by great wildlife.

Yet more diversity was to come as we travelled up to the Talamanca mountains of the mainland to experience hummingbirds in profusion and the work of an historic coffee plantation with Vulcan Baru visible in the distance through the forest.

Finally we settled into an excellent colonial hotel in the old quarter of Panama City.

For those with any interest in natural history, the Museum of Biodiversity was amazing.

I hope you enjoy the images of the trip in the image gallery on

Oh, nearly forgot, all the above came with Kudu-style cuisine and accommodation.

Happy travelling wherever!