A truly wild and nature-dense region and haven for adventurers, birders and nature lovers. The rainforest in the Darien National Park is so dense that it's the only place where the Panamerican highway (running Alaska to Argentina), does not penetrate.
The Darien is also home to more sportfishing records than anywhere in the world and to the Harpy Eagle, the world's largest predator bird, once in danger of extinction and now on its way back thanks to Panamanian conservationists and the Pelegrine Foundation.
How To Get There
The only way to get to the places of interest is by plane or boat. Since the region is both remote and there are no roads to the attractions, the only way to explore the Darien is with a tour operator or to stay at Tropic Star Lodge. In both cases, you will fly into the Darien.
Where To Stay
The Tropic Star Lodge has world-class sportfishing and in the off season is an upscale nature lodge. Ancon Expeditions has it's own two Darien nature lodges used exclusively for their tour guests.
What To Do
Ancon Expeditions- Darien Specialists
Ancon Expeditions offers four Darien birding tours with top birding and nature guides: Realm of the Harpy Eagle, Coastal Darien Adventure, Darien Extravaganza and the Ultimate Darien Experience. Its tours have received numerous write-ups in such magazines as National Geographic Adventure and is praised by Lonely Planet.
These are two of the world's top birding spots in one of the most remote and beautiful places in Panama. They have extensive trails through jungle and cloud forest mountains and the ruins of a mining camp.
The best place to spend the night in an Emberra indian village.
The Most Sport Fishing World Records
Considered by many as the top deep-sea fishing spot in the world with more than 250 IGFS world records, the bay has stunning rainforests and colorful villages.
Renowned author Zane Grey, searching for Black Marlin in the late 1920's, first discovered the great reef in Piñas Bay off the Pacific Coast of Panama that supports aquatic life beyond imagination. In 1961, a Texas oil baron built his dream home on the mountain overlooking Piñas Bay, which is now the main building of the Tropic Star Lodge.
Tropic Star Lodge
The Tropic Star Lodge on Piñas Bay is the only hotel in the Darien. A luxury hotel is rated as the best fishing lodge in the world by the Robb Report. The lodge is the staging area for world-class sport fishing and doubles as an upscale ecolodge in the off season.
A paradise sliced from the side of a mountain, it stands surrounded by dense jungle rich in wildlife, tropical flora and a secluded beach. High adventure and luxury meet as the lodge is world famous for its personalized attention, comfort and good food.
Lonely Planet Panama calls it "one of Panama's top nature retreats." The lodge offers one of the most remote locations in the world, in a pristine jungle environment, river kayaking, nature trails, visits to remote Indian villages and birding. Then you come home to comfort and pampering by the Tropic Star staff.
Indian Culture Immersion Experiences
Panama Exotic Adventures, founded by Frenchman Michel Puech with 30 years of experience, along with Frank Camellini, offers personalized jungle adventure treks and Indian culture immersion adventures. The extraordinary bonds the team has developed with the Darien's Emberá and Wounaan indigenous people make for privileged moments for their guests in the most remote places and the discovery of unique fauna and flora. All trips are expertly planned in logistics and safety. Exotics Adventures has been recognized through numerous articles in the European press and coverage on the National Geographic Channel.
Hardcore adventurers can arrange a cross-isthmus trek, duplicating what Spanish conquistadores and many a 49'er on his way to the Gold Rush in California experienced. Soft adventure trips are also available for which there are some comfortable field stations.
Birders can count on seeing any number of rare tropical birds without too much sweat. As Lonely Planet writes, "There are places in the park where you can sit back and watch four species of macaw fly by with outstanding frequency."
Movie Star Sean Connery with environmentalist and Mayor of Panama City Juan Carlos Navarro , birding on the Piedra Candela trail in Punta Patiño. Darien National Park, March 2003.
Ancon Expeditions has even located a few Harpie Eagle nests and so there is a first time ever opportunity to view the chicks and doting parents of this rare, magnificent bird.
Birding, Nature Tours and Adventure Treks in the Darien
Ancon Expeditions arranges birding and nature tours for those interested in both soft adventure and something more daring like a cross Isthmus trek.