TOUR DESCRIPTION Pipeline Road is a moderate, approx. 22 km (13.7 mile), relatively flat trail within Soberania National Park’s 22,000 hectares (55,000 acres) of tropical rainforest. This abandoned service road remains pretty much flat and passes through a mature forest track. Soberania National Park boasts an impressive list of 525 species of birds and 105 species of mammals. This is not a loop trail, so hikers can enjoy a hike suitable to their physical abilities and walking speed and return on the same route late morning to continue with the boat tour.
After the rainforest hike you continue on a short drive to the marina where you head out on an expedition boat on Gatun Lake along the inlets of the Panama Canal to observe wildlife, flora and fauna. Snacks on the boat included. Return back to your hotel early afternoon.
4+ persons:US$140 per person plus 7% tax
2-3 persons:US$240 per person plus 7% tax
**please contact us about charter boat prices**
INCLUDED Bilingual naturalist guide, picnic lunch, park entrance fees, transportation from/to your hotel in Panama City (please note that a $35 per person roundtrip surcharge based on 2+ persons must be added to day tours beginning and/or ending at Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort or hotels near Tocumen Airport)
DISCLAIMER Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however they are subject to change due to weather or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.
Early this morning you are picked up at the lobby of your hotel by an Ancon Expeditions of Panama Naturalist guide for the approx. 45-minute drive to Soberania National Park in the Panama Canal Watershed. Soon after you cross the Chagres River, you reach Pipeline Road. During World War II a pipeline was built along the Panama Canal to transport fuel from one ocean to the other in the event the waterway was attacked. Fortunately, it was never used. The gravel road built to maintain the pipeline provides excellent walking access to Soberania's 22,000 hectares (55,000 acres) of tropical rainforest. The park boasts an impressive list of 525 species of birds including the Black Hawk-eagle, Black-cheeked woodpecker, Black-breasted Puffbird, Broad-billed Motmot, Blue Cotinga, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Masked Tytira, Violaceous Trogon, Fasciated Antshrike, Shining honeycreeper, and a great array of North American migrants. Soberania is also home to 105 species of mammals including large felines, Tamandua, Two and Three-toed Sloth, 4 species of monkeys, Agouti, some of which are listed under CITES (endangered species) and 59 endemic plant species in 4 life zones.
Pipeline Road is a moderate, approx. 22 km (13.7 mile) trail, remains pretty much flat and passes through a mature forest. In most places the forest is clear of undergrowth, which makes it especially suited for observing shy, interior forest birds like tinamous and leaftossers. When visiting Pipeline Road you also have a good chance to find an army ant swarm and many of the birds that follow these swarms as they roam the forest floor. This is not a loop trail, so hikers can enjoy a hike suitable to their physical abilities and walking speed and return on the same route mid morning to continue with the boat tour. The hike takes about 2 - 2.5 hours and then you continue via boat on Gatun Lake.
Mid morning you will be transferred to the marina near Gamboa where you board a comfortable 12 passenger expedition boat. The tour includes a voyage across Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal, where you pass gigantic cargo ships in sharp contrast with the natural surroundings. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to spot Green iguana and Three-toed sloth resting on tree branches, Crocodile, Osprey in the hunt for Peacock bass, Snail kite and Keel-billed toucan among other wildlife. Gatun Lake was formed to give way to the Panama Canal in 1914. With a surface of 423 Km2 (163 sq mi), at the time of its creation was the largest man-made lake in the world. The flow of all the rivers within the Panama Canal Watershed is contained in Gatun Lake to provide water for the operation of the lock system. Nearly 200 million liters (52 million gallons) of fresh water are used for every ship that transits through the Panama Canal from one ocean to another. Our expedition boat will allow a close experience with rainforest covered islands (former hill tops) in Gatun Lake to search for White-faced capuchin, Mantled howler monkey, Spider monkey, and Geoffrey’s tamarin. You will enjoy some light snacks, fruits and beverages on the boat before returning back to the marina. Early afternoon you will be transferred back to your hotel.
- 7:00 a.m. Approximate Pick up time at your hotel in Panama City (depending on your hotel location)
- 6-7 hours approximate tour duration
Check our SPECIALS SECTION for current "open tours" with already passengers signed up or review our green season Specials!
WHAT TO BRING
For the Pipeline Road Trail:
- Hiking/Trekking footwear
- Water bottle and/or hydrating drink
- Snacks (Power bar, trail mix, fruit, etc.)
- Light clothing and long pants
- Insect Repellant
For the Jungle Boat Tour (can be left with driver and will be ready on board upon arrival to Gatun Lake):
- Sandals or tennis shoes
- Dry sack
- Cap or hat
- Sunscreen lotion
- Light raincoat
- Binoculars (available for rent at Ancon Expeditions of Panama)
Ancon Expeditions is Panama’s top eco-tourism operator. Our Natural & Cultural History Guides are the country's finest. Due to frequently asked questions from our clients about suggested guide & staff gratuities, we would like to provide you with the following universal tipping guidelines:
- Naturalist guide/Tour leader: US$10.00-US$20.00 per person/day
- Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person/day
- Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
- Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day
- Tour boat driver: US$5.00 per person/day
"This was a perfect rainforest experience with a hike not too strenuous for my husband and I, we saw lots of wildlife on the jungle boat tour and loved our guide Ivan! Amazed by his knowledge. Thanks Ancon Expeditions of Panama, we will definitely return!
Peggy Brown, USA
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