Canopy Family Panama

Butterflies of Canopy Camp Darien

2018 dates:
Butterflies of Canopy Camp Darien III: December 8-13, 2018

2019 dates: 
Butterflies of Canopy Camp Darien I: June 2-7, 2019

Butterflies of Canopy Camp Darien II: August 25-30, 2019
Butterflies of Canopy Camp Darien III: December 8-13, 2019

2020 dates:
Butterflies of Canopy Camp Darien I: May 16-21, 2020
Butterflies of Canopy Camp Darien II: August 16-21, 2020
Butterflies of Canopy Camp Darien III: December 6-11, 2020

Glorious Blue-Skipper Paches loxus Jenn Sinasac Canopy Tower
Glorious Blue-Skipper (Paches loxus), photo by Jenn Sinasac

5-night, all-inclusive butterfly tour

Butterflies are one of nature’s most eye-catching creatures, considered by many throughout history as signs of joy and love. They can be found from the high arctic tundra down through the far stretches of the southern hemisphere. Like birds, they can be found in almost every ecosystem on Earth.  It is estimated that there are over 250,000 species of butterflies & moths (order Lepidoptera) living today, of which approximately 20,000 species of butterflies have been described. In the Neotropical region of the Americas, the diversity of butterflies is incredibly high; more than 1500 species can be found in Panama alone. Panama butterflies are active year round; however, they rely heavily on their host plants, and their activity can be quite seasonal, with more flight and visibility in the wetter months (April to December) of the year.

Darién is a land of new discoveries; this area is truly revered for its vast untouched rainforest and its close connection to South America ensures us that there is still much to be discovered here, butterflies included! Come join the expert Canopy Family butterfly guides as we explore the lowlands of Panama's fabled Darién province. This butterfly tour offers a great sense of adventure and exploration, as well as many beautiful new Panama butterflies!

More about this tour: 

• Butterflies are the main focus of this tour, as we will find and identify as many species as possible.

• An average of 182 butterfly species are seen.

• Photographic opportunities are plentiful, but this is not a strictly “photographic tour.”

• While searching for butterflies we will also see birds, mammals, reptiles and other insects. Though we won’t concentrate on these, we will certainly ID as many as possible.

• Butterflies will be identified near, far and in-between, so bring camera and binoculars!

• The guide(s) will have a spotting scope that can also be used for digiscoping (with your phone) for images of the more obliging species!

• A light and sheet will be used to attract moths, katydids, mantids and other insects to enjoy and photograph, but be aware that we will not be able to ID most of these.

This butterfly tour may be combined with Panama's Brilliant Butterflies tour for the ultimate Panama butterfly experience! 

2018-2019 rate for this special tour: $1,349.00
2020 rate TBD

Rate is US$ per person (+ taxes), double occupancy.  This all-inclusive butterfly tour includes lodging and meals at the Canopy Camp, bilingual professional guides, WiFi, wine with dinner, airport transfers to and from Panama City and all tours as per the itinerary. Please check with our reservations office for the times of our scheduled airport transfers to coordinate your arrival and departure times.

This tour does not include flights to and from Panama City, all taxes, private airport transfers, tips and alcoholic beverages. 

This tour is limited to 12 participants.

To book this special nature package, please contact us.  Spaces are limited so book your spot on this butterfly tour now!

Itinerary at a glance: 

Some of the sites we plan to visit during the tour: 

El Salto Road: We will start near the beginning of El Salto just off the Panamerican Highway and walk down this wide dirt road bordered by grassy edges and forest, keeping an eye out for a large variety of butterflies. As we butterfly our way along the road we will scan ahead for wet areas as they often attract some interesting species! On another morning, we will drive in farther before we begin our search.

El Salto Trail: El Salto Road ends at the river where there is an excellent grassy trail that cuts through the forest. The weedy edges and sunny patches are great butterfly habitat. We never know what we may find under a leaf! We will also check the river bank for puddling butterflies.

Nuevo Vigia Embera Village: If weather conditions permit, we will spend most of a day at this small Embera community. The day consists of a boat trip up-river where we will make a river bank landing and head into the village. We will spend time in a large grassy/weedy field as it usually holds numerous species of skippers, crescents and longwings, among others. It is here where we will keep a sharp eye out for Red Peacock! At the back of the field there is a forested trail we will also explore. We will enjoy a picnic lunch under the community’s thatched roof common area. During lunch the Embera women will display baskets, plates and masks they weave, some of which can take several months to complete. This is an excellent opportunity to purchase a keepsake of your time in the Darién and to support the local Embera community. 

San Francisco Reserve: We will stop here on our way to Canopy Camp in route or on our return trip to Panama City. Our butterflying here begins at the end of a dirt road at a slight elevation. We will drive to the top, park and scan the area before walking down the road, scanning the grassy edges and tree line. The sunny roadside patches usually have small blooming weedy plants that attract a variety of butterflies, especially skippers.  

Canopy Camp grounds: The camp grounds include the open areas between the dining/meeting area and the tents where flowering shrubs are planted, the road leading to the camp and a forested trail. We will butterfly here on our first afternoon after we settle into our tents. This area can be “butterflied” every day after lunch before we had out for our afternoon location.

This tour begins at 7:00 am at the Riande Aeropuerto Hotel near Tocumen International Airport near Panama City. It is best combined with Panama's Brilliant Butterflies tour, a fantastic week of butterflying at the Canopy Lodge and Canopy Tower prior to the tour dates, or a birding tour of your choice before or after! The tour finishes at the Riande Aeropuerto Hotel by mid-afternoon on the last day of the tour. 

Please note that the itinerary is flexible, and may change without prior notice due to weather, alterations in habitat or other conditions.

Periander Metalmark Rhetus periander Jenn Sinasac Canopy Camp Panama
Periander Metalmark (Rhetus periander), photo by Jenn Sinasac

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