Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Resplendent Quetzal in flight

Animals of the Canopy



10 Days

Prices Start from

£2,530pp (ex. flights)

In a remarkable journey through the forests and wetlands of Gamboa and the volcanic crater of El Valle de Anton, scout for a plethora of birds and curious mammal species from the vantage points of high canopy towers and open-top off-road vehicles.

Navigate lush lowland rainforests and marshy wetlands in the company of expert naturalist guides who are experienced in reading animal behaviour and following bird patterns, bringing you close to some of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles in a place that binds North and South America.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Lake Gatun, Panama Canal 1

The Panama Canal

Explore the Pacific and Caribbean coasts as well as the iconic Panama Canal.

Jaguar at night in spotlight, Caiman Echolodge 2

Moonlit Night Drives

Drive under cover of darkness to spot nocturnal forest animals, perhaps even an elusive jaguar.

Hummingbird in Rockland Estate 3

Scout for Wildlife

Search for all sorts of fascinating creatures, from hummingbirds to rarely-spotted silky anteaters.

Coatimundi, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica 4

Barro Colorado Island

Sail to a research island overseen by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Why we like it

Imagine yourself driving down a dirt road under moonlight in wait of Panamanian night monkeys or Rothschild’s porcupines appearing from the dark forest, showcasing their yellow-tipped spines and glinting eyes, or looking out for the silhouette of the elusive dog-faced bat – these truly memorable and thrilling moments are part and parcel of an animals of the canopy adventure.

Operating on a group basis in the company of an expert naturalist guide, this itinerary presents a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects without the pressure of determining a daily route. Sprinkled with the opportunity to spot jaguarundi, ocelots and jaguars and a ferry crossing to a research island in the middle of the Panama Canal, this trip encapsulates an eclectic mix of Panama’s most coveted wilderness hot spots that makes it ideally suited to wildlife-loving wayfarers.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Panama on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1

    Panama City - Gamboa

  • Days 2-7


  • Day 8

    Gamboa - El Valle de Anton

  • Day 9

    El Valle de Anton

  • Day 10

    El Valle de Anton - Panama City

Day 1

Panama City - Gamboa

Days 2-7


Coatimundi, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Sail to a research island overseen by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and hike its trails.

Day 8

Gamboa - El Valle de Anton

Day 9

El Valle de Anton

El Valle de Anton, Panama

Journey to the golden frogs and bright flowers of El Valle de Anton.

Day 10

El Valle de Anton - Panama City

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

US Radar Station: Dawn Birding & Night Drives

With a rich biodiversity rivalling neighbouring Costa Rica, the forests of Panama are home to a vast array of weird and wonderful creatures. Stay at an extraordinary former US Radar Station and scan the treetops from high observation platforms before even having eaten breakfast. Embark on early morning walks, stopping to identify wildflowers and butterflies with eyes ever watchful for rarely-spotted silky anteaters and resplendent quetzals. Congregate around the known birding spot of Ammo Dump Pond to look for lesser capybaras, and perhaps route to the main water source of the Panama Canal to scout for neotropical river otters and wattled jacanas. During night drives, wait patiently for the nocturnal creatures of the forest that include Central American woolly opossums and rare Rothschild’s porcupines.

El Valle de Anton, Panama
El Valle de Anton, Panama

Summit Cerro Gaital

Journey to the golden frogs and bright flowers of El Valle de Anton, the traditional highland town surrounded by virgin forests teeming with exotic birdlife. Simply driving into the valley, formed by the crater of an extinct volcano, is a breath-taking journey flanked by majestic mountains swathed in blues and greens. Staying in an upmarket lodge, embark on cloud forest explorations and birding expeditions. Surrounded by hovering hummingbirds, twittering tanagers and rare rufous-vented ground cuckoo, perhaps undertake a hike to the summit of Cerro Gaital to admire views of the impressive caldera and distant Pacific Ocean.


One of the “World's Last Great Places”

Sail to the 1,500-hectare Barro Colorado Island, overseen by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and doubles as home to swarms of researchers. Dotted in the middle of the Panama Canal and accessible only with prior authorisation from the scientists, this is an in-demand place where field stations and modern laboratories are offset by a tropical forest ecosystem. Featuring on National Geographic’s World’s Last Great Places, the island is home to vast numbers of mammals that include agoutis, tamanduas, white-nosed coatis and brown-headed spider monkeys. In the company of an expert naturalist guide, hike on dedicated island trails, stop for a spot of cafeteria-style lunch and visit the research museum.

Gatun Lake, Panama
Gatun Lake, Panama

Boat on the Panama Canal

Take a spectacular boat trip on the Panama Canal, much of which is an artificial lake, cruising past huge cargo ships and ocean liners before exploring the lake’s hidden coves and pretty inlets. Detour to one of the islands that once housed a primate research centre to scout the treetops for spider monkeys and white-faced capuchins. In the murky waters surrounding the boat, watch for the appearance of American crocodiles, spectacled caimans, basilisk lizards and black river turtles – with real luck, you may even spot an extremely rare manatee. Also visit the Panama Rainforest Discovery Centre, an impressive ecotourism facility made from recycled materials and boasting a thirty-metre observation tower – from this unique vantage point, it is possible to spot collared peccaries and white-tailed deer.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Canopy Lodge £££££

  • Panama
  • Wilderness

Canopy Lodge is a hotel in the verdant foothills of El Valle. Accommodation is next to a stream in the cloud forest canopy right in the centre of the protected area of Cerro Gaital Natural Monument.

View Property

Start planning your trip

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.


I have always wanted to see the Panama Canal, but John’s suggestion of sailing in the Guna Yala was a fantastic addition that we had not considered prior to speaking with him.

Destination: Panama
Travel Expert: John

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £2,530 Per person

When to travel

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

More about Steppes


Get in touch

  • By sending your enquiry you are stating that you agree to our T&C

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.