Wonderful wildlife, bird watching, culture and of course the Canal!
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Overall it was a fantastic trip with a nice mix of habitats and places and one we look back on with the fondest of memories. Our bird list was an amaz..
Overall it was a fantastic trip with a nice mix of habitats and places and one we look back on with the fondest of memories. Our bird list was an amazing 329 species together with a plethora of other interesting animals and plants, which was due in no small part to the excellent guides. Carlos Bethancourt at the two Canopy properties was outstanding, so much so that we christened him ‘El Brujo’ the magician! We are lucky enough to have travelled extensively around the world over many years and he is without doubt the best we have come across, not just for his expertise but also for his above and beyond caring of all of our party. Not far behind were Natalia and Ramon at Tranquillo Bay who were great fun to be with as well. The accommodation throughout was very good and the standard of food excellent.
John Ginnever - Dec 2019READ FULL REPORT
We both had a great holiday and thoroughly enjoyed our time in Panama. All the guides were very good. As all four members of the group were keen to se..
We both had a great holiday and thoroughly enjoyed our time in Panama. All the guides were very good. As all four members of the group were keen to see any wildlife (not just the birds), the guides demonstrated their great knowledge and enthusiasm by showing us lots of birds, mammals, frogs, lizards, butterflies and plants.
Accommodation and food were excellent in Canopy Tower, Canopy Lodge and Tranquilo Bay. All the staff in the lodges were very friendly, pleasant and accommodating. The facilities were very good.
All the transport logistics worked very well. When we enquired about each of us leaving a small bag of luggage with Canopy Lodge, before our flight to Bocas del Torro, the staff soon sorted this out for us and it worked very well, with us being reunited with our bags in Panama City at the end of the holiday.
Our plane from Panama City to Bocas del Torro was changed by the airline from a 14.30 flight time to 17.00, but we were told of the change early on and in the end it worked in our favour, as we had extra time at the lodge for an extra morning of birding and lunch at the Lodge. This meant we arrived at Tranquilo Bay in the dark, but it was a great experience to be on the boat at night and we managed to see the bioluminescent glow of the plankton in the sea. A real bonus!
Transport was also very good, probably made more so as there were only 4 of us in the group, so we had lots of room in the vehicles and good views.
Overall this was an excellent trip with lots of birds, mammals, frogs, lizards and butterflies. Thank you for putting the itinerary together. Kev & Jacki Solman – November 2018
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It’s been a really good holiday and we were both very happy with the itinerary. The group was good, the accommodation super, and the guiding excel..
It’s been a really good holiday and we were both very happy with the itinerary. The group was good, the accommodation super, and the guiding excellent. We saw over 300 species of birds, 18 mammals and lots of other wildlife. This sort of info is probably not much good to you so I’d better find some constructive criticism. This in no way implies that we were unhappy with the holiday but I’ll try to go through things in more detail.
Canopy Tower – the accommodation is basic and the rooms are not at all soundproof. We knew this before we went so it was no surprise. We learned to whisper in our rooms as you can hear everything people say next door. The single best thing was our guide, Carlos. He is quite simply the best guide we have ever had. Immensely enthusiastic and excellent at finding tricky birds. He had the telescope on them in a flash, made sure we had all seen the bird then grabbed our iPhones and took pictures down the scope. I tried doing this and was useless at it. He does it in not time at all. He has excellent English, a great sense of humour, and is sensitive to the feelings of the group, knowing when we’ve had enough. The holiday would not have been the same without him. The other guides were pleasant and seemed very good but they were not Carlos! The food was good and we loved the observation platform on the top. Excursions to neighbouring sites were all very good.
Canopy Lodge – Carlos was with us here but missed the last afternoon as he had to go back to Panama. The accommodation here of course is a lot posher and the room was huge. Food again was good. The photographers appreciated the bird tables which were regularly stocked with fruit and attracted lot of different species. Joy swam in the pool which was rather nice but I don’t think anybody else did. Trips to surrounding areas were good.
Tranquillo Bay – I think it could be made more obvious that this is not a “beach” resort and is totally fringed with mangroves, so swimming is just really off the jetty where the boats are moored. Perhaps not quite the lazy end of holiday that we’d expected, but having said that, it’s a super place and snorkelling over the coral reef was nice and could be done in the rain. Accommodation was lovely and there were lots of birds in the grounds. The two guides, Ramon and Natalia are two of the nicest people you could meet and really made us welcome. Good birding guides but not quite at Carlos’ level but there again we didn’t expect that. The owners are nice people and Jim’s wife Renee was really helpful printing off our boarding passes etc. I was rather pleased there was a moth light (and at Canopy Tower) as I trap moths at home. Food was good and was served direct on the plate rather than the buffet system at the other resorts. That was fine for us – we eat anything – but some of the others weren’t quite so happy. The photographers (two keen ones in the party) seemed a little disappointed that there weren’t more bird feeders and they had to hunt for the birds a bit. We felt the owners could have provided the guides with a telescope. Canopy Tower and Lodge are positively bristling with scopes. Two long day trips out were good, however it does rain a lot here and the boats have very limited shelter. They are not up to the job. On our trip to the Snyder Canal the first hour or so was great and we saw all sorts. It then bucketed down for several hours and we got very very wet. When we were ferried to the airport at Bocas on the last day it was raining and we ended up wearing our raincoats with the addition of black dustbin bags all over us. Quite a sight!
Carlos was very happy with November and said it was good for migrants – which is of course correct. There is the risk however that it might rain. Luckily at the first two locations it rained at night and at lunchtime and rarely bothered us.
We’ll certainly consider future Motmot tours – Charles Fletcher
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