Panama's Canopy Tower: Birds & Butterflies: Aug 16—23, 2014

Register for WaitlistTour Details

Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Panama City
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Itinerary: PDF (118.9 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Michael O'Brien

Michael O'Brien is a freelance artist, author, and environmental consultant living in Cape M...

Local Leader

More Information

Banded Orange Heliconian

Banded Orange Heliconian— Photo: Michael O’Brien

Exciting rainforest birding and butterflying around the one-of-a-kind Canopy Tower ecolodge with visits to famous Pipeline Road and the Panama Canal.

As one of the premier natural history destinations in the Neotropics, Central Panama offers a superior combination of tropical forest habitats, fine accommodations and cuisine, the historic Panama Canal, and superb birding. Whether you are an experienced traveler or visiting the Tropics for the first time, you will find this tour an absolute delight. Unlike our other Canopy Tower tours, the scope of this trip extends beyond birding to emphasize observation and identification of the region’s diversity of butterflies.

Our base for exploration is the exciting Canopy Tower, one of the most unique and enjoyable ecotourism lodges anywhere. Perched above Soberania National Park, the tower offers great birding literally right out your window, with chances for viewing such eye-catchers as Black-mandibled Toucan, Blue Cotinga, and Green Shrike-Vireo, as well as many other colorful tropical birds.

VIDEO: Panama with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, Part I, Panama Canopy Tower, by Dick Walton

A number of other nearby birding areas range from wetlands with Rufescent Tiger-Heron, White-throated Crake, and a profusion of orioles, tanagers, and hummingbirds, to famous Pipeline Road with its suite of deeper forest species including trogons, motmots, parrots, flycatchers, and antbirds.

Mornings and afternoons center on birding while the midday hours are best for butterflying. Central Panama is home to hundreds of tropical butterflies and we will have no problem entertaining ourselves as we observe a rich collection of swallowtails, hairstreaks, metalmarks, heliconians, sisters, leafwings, satyrs, owl-butterflies, and the spectacular morphos. Although butterflying in Central America is still in its infancy, the publication of several new field guides has made the challenging task of Neotropical butterfly identification a little easier.   

Our time in the field may also produce an excellent list of tropical mammals with sloths, howler and capuchin monkeys, Geoffroy’s tamarin, capybara, kinkajou, and lesser anteater among the possibilities.

Good accommodations and cuisine; all nights at one location; easy walking; warm and humid climate with early afternoon thunderstorms expected.

View our Panama’s Canopy Tower photo galleries:

Panama’s Canopy Tower 2001

Panama’s Canopy Tower 2006

Panama’s Canopy Tower 2008