Panama: Fall at El Valle's Canopy Lodge Extension: Oct 19—24, 2013

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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 (152 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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Spotted Antbird

Spotted Antbird— Photo: Kevin Zimmer

When Raul 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 Raul’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 Anton, 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 three 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 balcony of every room play host to a parade of colorful and exciting species such as Rufous Motmot; Red-crowned Woodpecker; Flame-rumped, Crimson-backed, Dusky-faced, Blue-gray, and Palm tanagers; Buff-throated Saltator; and Orange-billed and Black-striped sparrows, to name a few. The surrounding gardens have been specifically planted to attract hummingbirds and, in addition to such regulars as Stripe-throated and Green hermits, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Garden Emerald, and Snowy-bellied and Rufous-tailed hummingbirds, several uncommon and localized species such as Rufous-crested Coquette, Long-billed Starthroat, and Green Thorntail are also possible. Other regularly occurring birds around the lodge include Black-chested Jay, White Hawk, White-thighed Swallow (uncommon and very sporadic), and Bay Wren. Forests adjacent to the lodge may yield Tody Motmot, Black-faced Antthrush, and Dull-mantled Antbird.

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

Many additional spectacular species might be seen in a variety of nearby habitats. The long list includes the likes of Pearl Kite; the incomparable Snowcap; Emerald (Blue-throated) Toucanet; Orange-bellied Trogon; four species of motmots; Spotted Woodcreeper; Black-crowned Antpitta; White-ruffed Manakin; Emerald, Silver-throated, Black-and-yellow, and Bay-headed tanagers; and Rosy Thrush-Tanager. 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.

Our PANAMA DVD features a mesmerizing tour of the Canopy Tower and the Canopy Lodge (see video above). Beautiful footage of some of Panama’s most electrifying birds and commentary by Victor Emanuel highlight this 15-minute presentation. Please contact the VENT office to receive your free copy.

View our El Valle’s Canopy Lodge photo galleries:

El Valle’s Canopy Lodge 2006 

Fall at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge Extension 2010

Fall at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge 2011

Fall at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge Extension 2012

Fall at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge 2012

Fall at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge 2013