Birding Gamboa and Pipeline Road Tours

Birding Gamboa and Pipeline Road Tours

The 8-day Gamboa and Pipeline Road Tour

Has it been a couple of years since you traveled?  Many people are still hesitant to travel outside the country.  Our 8-day Gamboa trip is perfect if you just need to get your feet wet to remember how much fun it is to travel.  The Gamboa tour stays close to Panama City and the Panama Canal, which are both highly developed and modern areas, but also located at the edge of Soberanía National Park, which contains 55,000 acres of pristine forest full of wildlife and birds (525 different species of birds). Panama is a country which you will want to visit more than once.  In Gamboa, we stay at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.  After you see the Gamboa area, you will want to return to see the Darien Wilderness and the Chiriquí Cloud Forest. 

We usually see about 245 - 280 different bird species on the 8-day Gamboa tour

Gamboa Printable Bird List
(This is a checklist of the birds that we have seen in Gamboa and the Canal area)

Animals we have seen: Four species of monkeys (Golden-mantled Howler, Geoffroy's Tamarin, Panamanian Night Monkey, Spider Monkey), Anteaters (Northern Tamandua and Giant Anteater), both 2-toed and 3-toad sloths, Coati, Crab-eating Raccoon, Agouti, Panama slender opossum, Rufous soft-furred spiny-rat, Red-tailed squirrel, Variegated squirrel, and Capybara. Many of the mammals will have babies.  We saw many reptiles and amphibians including the Spectacled Caiman and the American Crocodile.
 
If you would like to see photos from a previous trip, please click here:  Ersten Imaoka's Photo Album 
 
  • February 16 - 23, 2023
  • Group Size:  7 travelers, plus guides
  • Trip Length: 8 days
  • October 28 - November 4, 2023 (peak raptor migration)**
  • Group Size:  7 travelers, plus guides
  • Trip Length: 8 days
  • ** The raptor migration tour has a slightly different itinerary than what is posted below, please contact for details. 
  • January 12 - 19, 2024
  • Group Size:  7 travelers, plus guides
  • Trip Length: 8 days
  • Gamboa 8-day Tour Rate:  $3,650 per person (double occupancy and $800 extra for single occupancy) 
  • Rates include: Domestic transfers, lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner, scheduled group tours, park entrance fees and basic travel insurance.
  • Not included: International airfare, customs & immigration fees and visas, alcohol, trip cancellation insurance, Covid testing.
  • Adventure level:  Easy for Gamboa, please check the “Welcome” page for definition

Private Trips: We are increasingly taking people on private trips. If a group trip does not interest you, please contact about a private tour and dates you prefer. 

Special offer:  Included with your trip (one per room) is a copy of the field guide “The Birds of Panama” by George Angehr and Robert Dean.  You will receive this when you reserve your trip so you will have time to study and know the beautiful birds of Panama.

Basic Itinerary

Day 1:  Arrival in Panama City
Most flights from the United States arrive late in the evening. We will meet you at the Tocumen International Airport (PTY) with a shuttle to a hotel in downtown Panama City where we will spend 3-nights.  

Day 2:  Panama City, and Ancon Hill
Morning birding at Ancon Hill for hawk watch and afternoon birding from the top floor of our hotel for raptor migration.  This downtown hotel has a top floor open deck and infinity pool on the 15th floor.  The raptors migrate over Panama City due the thermals that the city creates. The migration over the city an amazing site to see. Close to the hotel is a small city park, which is great for birding. 

Day 3:  Panama City and Cerro Azul
Early morning departure for a day of birding at Cerro Azul.  This area is great for high altitude birds such as Emerald Tanager, Speckled Tanager, and Striped-cheeked Woodpecker.

Day 4:  Gamboa
Early morning departure for a full day of day of birding starting at the Panama City Metropolitan Park and ending in the village of Gamboa located along the Chagres River near the Panama Canal. A few notable birds for the day:  Keel-billed Toucan, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Red-lored Parrot, Black-bellied Wren, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Barred Antshrike, White-bellied and Dusky antbirds, many flycatchers and tyrannulets, Lance-tailed Manakin, migratory warblers, Spectacled Owl, Yellow-backed Oriole, Bat Falcon, Double-toothed Kite, Snow-bellied Hummingbird, Green-shrike Vireo, White-bellied Antbird and Whooping Motmot (recent split from Blue-crowned). Overnight in Gamboa at the Rainforest Resort, where we will spend 3-nights.

Day 5: Pipeline Road
We will spend the day birding the Pipeline Road area:  During WWII, a petroleum pipeline and its service road were built across the isthmus of Panama as an emergency back-up for getting across Panama in case the canal was blocked. The pipeline was never used, but the single-lane, gravel-and-dirt road persists and allows entry through the center of the incredible Soberanía National Park. According to George Angehr, “Pipeline Road is one of the best places to see tropical forest birds in the Americas, with a species list exceeding 400.” Along the Pipeline Road is the Discovery Center Tower and Hummingbird feeder areas; both locations are excellent for birds and photography.  Birds:  Great Tinamú, Pied Puffbird, Blue Cotinga, White-necked Jacobin, Blue-chested Hummingbird and Rufous Motmot, to name a few. Overnight in Gamboa at the Rainforest Resort.

Day 6:  Gamboa
A full day of birding in the Gamboa area. 

Day 7:  Panama City
Numerous birding stops our way back to Panama City where we will stay along the Panama Canal and the Amador Causeway for 1-night. 

Day 8:  Fly Home 
Shuttle to the airport for your trip home.  Most flights back to the States leave early in the morning. If your flight leaves in the afternoon, there will be morning birding along the causeway.