Our People
  • Amy 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.

  • Chris Packham 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.

Resplendent Quetzal in flight

Animals of the Canopy

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

10 Days

Prices Start from

£2,200 ex. flights

In a remarkable journey through the forests and wetlands of Gamboa and the volcanic crater of Anton Valley, 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.

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.

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 jaguarandi, 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.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1
    Panama City - Gamboa
  • Days 2-7
    Gamboa
  • Day 8
    Gamboa - El Valle de Anton
  • Day 9
    El Valle de Anton
  • Day 10
    El Valle de Anton - Panama City
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.

Hummingbird
Hummingbird

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.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your 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

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Or send us a quick email below and start your next journey.

Call us

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
Price
From £2,200 Per person

When to travel

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes

Get in touch

  • This page is attached to this enquiry

  • 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.