Panama: Realm of the Harpy Eagle

Panama: Realm of the Harpy Eagle

  • Next tour dates April 14-20, 2024
  • Duration 7 days
  • Lodging 2-3 stars
  • Difficulty Moderate
  • Group size Max. 8 people
  • Price USD $1,795 per person*

Overview

The area of Darien, Panama is one of the most biodiverse areas of the country. Pristine forest, roaring waterfalls, forest streams, and thriving ecosystems are just some of the features that make Darien such a special place for humans and wildlife alike. The indigenous Embera-Wounaan have made Darien their home for centuries, living alongside jaguars, night monkeys, tapirs, giant anteaters, and of course, the majestic Harpy Eagle.

During our Harpy Eagle tour, as we venture into this wild landscape, we will come prepared for an adventure. Riding in dug-out canoes, hiking muddy forest trails, and crossing rivers will all be part of our experience on this trip. The intrepid will be rewarded with amazing views, colorful birds, and memories to last a lifetime.

*Please note, even though this tour is designed to visit active Harpy Eagle nests, this is a wild species and we can never guarantee sightings of these birds, even at a known active nest site. For the well-being of these and all birds, we do not visit nests during the incubation period and recently after hatching, as this can create undue disturbance at a critical nesting stage. Please help us to preserve, protect, and support the birds and wildlife we are all passionate about!

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL

To kick off our Harpy Eagle tour, you will make a short transfer from Tocumen International Airport (PTY), in Panama City to your hotel. There will be time to check in and relax before a short orientation and our first dinner together.

DAY 2: NUSAGANDI

After an early breakfast, we will leave our hotel and begin our journey towards Darien, one of the most biodiverse areas of Panama. Our first stop will be in the area of Nusagandi, a protected area of the Guna Yala indigenous people. This forest in the continental divide shields several important birds such as the rare Sapayoa and Spiny-faced Antshrike, as well as the Slate-throated GnatcatcherBlack-crowned Antpitta, and Black-and-yellow Tanager.

Harpy Eagle Panama Birding Whitehawk

PAIR OF HARPY EAGLES IN PANAMA

DAY 3: SAN FRANCISCO FOREST RESERVE

Today we will drive to the San Francisco Forest Reserve, a protected lowland forest and watershed. This is a great spot to search the skies for soaring raptors. With the addition of riparian habitats and agricultural fields, a diverse collection of birds can be found here, such as the endemic Yellow-green TyrannuletOrange-crowned OrioleGreat JacamarWhite-fronted NunbirdBlue Ground Dove, and Spot-crowned Barbet, to mention a few. In the afternoon, we will continue east, heading to Meteti.

DAY 4: HARPY EAGLE NEST

This morning we will enter into the realm of the Harpy Eagle. We will get an early start and today’s journey will include driving approximately one hour, riding in a dug-out canoe across the Chucunaque River, then hike to the Harpy Eagle nest. Please keep in mind that even though the nest will be active, we cannot guarantee that the eagles will be in sight. During our hike, several other birds can be observed including Gray-cheeked NunletYellow-breasted FlycatcherBlack Oropendola, and White-headed Wren, among others. After our time at the nest, we will return to our hotel, birding in strategic spots along the way, as time allows.

Sapayoa Panama

SAPAYOA

DAY 5: NUEVO VIGIA

Darien is the land of several indigenous communities. The Embera people are among them. Today, we will visit one of their villages, Nuevo Vigia. This community is surrounded by excellent bird habitat. Along the shaded trails, we will look for Red-billed ScythebillAgami HeronBare-crowned AntbirdOIivaceous Piculet, and Little Cuckoo. Also, in the open areas, we hope to see the very range-restricted Dusky-backed JacamarBarred Puffbird, and Spectacled Parrotlet.

DAY 6: DARIEN TO PANAMA CITY

Before making our way back to Panama, we will explore another area around Meteti to get a few more of the Darien specialties. We will hope to find Golden-green WoodpeckerChestnut-fronted MacawBlue Cotinga, and Double-banded Graytail.

DAY 7: DEPARTURE

After breakfast, transfer to the Tocumen International Airport for your flight home.

Our Harpy Eagle tour concludes in Panama City.

Species

BIRDS

  • Capped Heron
  • Cocoi Heron
  • Pearl Kite
  • Black-collared Hawk
  • Crested Eagle
  • Harpy Eagle
  • Black Hawk-eagle
  • Ornate Hawk-eagle
  • Black-and-white Hawk-eagle
  • Red-throated Caracara
  • Black-tailed Trogon
  • Chestnut-fronted Macaw
  • Spectacled Parrotlet
  • Little Cuckoo
  • Green-and-rufous Kingfisher
  • Great Jacamar
  • Dusky-backed Jacamar
  • Barred Puffbird
  • Spot-crowned Barbet
  • OIivaceous Piculet
  • Red-rumped Woodpecker
  • Golden-green Woodpecker
  • Sapayoa
  • Double-banded Graytail
  • Black-striped Woodcreeper
  • Spine-faced Antshrike
  • Jet Antbird
  • Bare-crowned Antbird
  • Black-crowned Antpitta
  • White-fronted Nunbird
  • Gray-cheeked Nunlet
  • Yellow-breasted Flycatcher
  • One-colored Becard
  • Blue Cotinga
  • Golden-headed Manakin
  • Golden-collared Manakin
  • Slate-throated Gnatcatcher
  • Black-and-yellow Tanager
  • Sulphur-rumped Tanager
  • Large-billed Seed-Finch
  • Orange-crowned Oriole
  • Black Oropendola
  • Tawny-capped Euphonia

TOUR BASICS

Guide: Edwin Campbell
Single Supplement: US$275
Lodging: Basic, comfortable and clean hotels.
Food: Local Panamanian 
Weather: Hot and humid temperatures year round. Some rain can be expected, even in dry season. A jacket or sweater is recommended for evenings.
Difficulty: Medium. We will be walking on trails that may be muddy or uneven, though mostly flat. Some days will require a few hours driving on bumpy roads. Must be able to walk at least 3 kilometers. Must be able to get in and out of boats. Harpy Eagle excursion may require entry on horseback.

*For more information on what is included/not included, as well as our booking and cancellation policies, please review our Terms & Conditions.

* Pricing is based on 6 participants. With smaller groups, an additional fee will be charged.


LEARN MORE

Upcoming tour dates:
April 14-20, 2024
June 23-29, 2024
December 15-21, 2024

Past Trip Reports:
February 2024 eBird Trip Report

From our blog: 
What do Harpy Eagles eat?
Finding a Harpy Eagle: An Adventurous Excursion
Size of Harpy Eagle and Natural History of a Top Predator in the Rainforest