Panama Rainforest Information

Panama Rainforest Guide

While a visit to every rainforest in the world would require a travel itinerary spanning quite some time, Panama guarantees you an amazing wildlife experience only an hour’s drive from its major cities. Panama, unlike any other Central American country, has a forest cover on 58% of its land. Its magnificent and diverse landscape acts as the perfect host for a combination of evergreen forests, mangrove forests, and seasonal swamp forests within the rainforest itself.  In addition, the location of Panama on the isthmus connecting North and South America offers a one-of-a-kind combination of flora and fauna from both continents.

The Panama rainforest, or as referred to by ecologists, The Isthmus Atlantic Moist Forest, is one of the most fragile biospheres in the world, and one to which the genetic lineage of many American species can be traced.  It continues to be one of the most studied biosphere reserves in the world and is home to some of the rarest flora and fauna anywhere. The most convenient access to the majestic Panama rainforest is through any of the country’s 14 national parks, with every park displaying a unique characteristic of the rainforest. Read on to learn about two of Panama’s largest national parks, which in addition to attracting ecologists and wildlife photographers from world over, are also popular tourist spots in Panama.

Soberanía National Park

Located on the banks of Panama Canal, Soberanía National Park is just 25 km from Panama City. It is the closest gateway to the Panama rainforest and is spread over 55,000 acres across the Panama and Colon districts. The varied landscape is further enhanced by the Chagres River, which passes through the park. The park is one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Central America. The list of birds found in the sanctuary includes woodpeckers, tanagers, mot-mots, toucans, trogons, flycatchers, ant-birds, and more. In addition to the birds, the park is also renowned for a variety of mammals that include mantled howler monkeys, white faced capuchin monkeys, Geoffroy’s tamarins, coatis, agoutis, green iguanas, two-toed sloths, and three-toed sloths.

Darién National Park

In addition to being country’s most extensive national park, Darién National Park is also a UNESCO world heritage site in Panama.  It forms an important part of the Panama rainforest and is located at a distance of 325 km from Panama City. The closest town to the rainforest is El Real, and they are connected via air and road. The park is home to exotic varieties of both flora and fauna. Macaws, parrots, and tapirs are some of the species that can be easily spotted in this park. The park is also renowned for a unique variety of epiphyte flora.

Before travelling to the Panama rainforest, it is extremely important to chart out your itinerary and obtain the requisite permissions. Most quality hospitality providers in Panama can complete the ground work for you even before you start your vacation. Make sure that you partner with a quality hotel or resort in Panama.