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Category: PANAMA
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RANCHO FRIO STATION, DARIEN NATIONAL PARK 
PANAMA

EL REAL (near) (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (24-28th March, 2005)

 

Birding Site Guide

This was an excellent but difficult site for us to access cheaply. Although there are flights ($50 one-way) we took a bus from the main terminal in Panama City to Meteti ($9, 6 hours) and from there a pick-up to Yaviza ($5, 2 and a half hours). There were many police check points along the way where we had to show passports and were asked questions. There are some direct buses from Panama City to Yaviza. From Yaviza we took a small boat to El Real ($3, 1 hour) which had quite good birding on the way (I saw Viridian Dacnis ?). There is a hotel ($7 for a double) and restaurant ($2 a meal) in town and a lady called Jessica living next to the hotel will organize guides, park entrance and accomodation fees. A guide in costs $10 in and $10 out. Entrance to the park $3 per person and accommodation $10 per person per night. All food needs to be taken in although the river water in the park is drinkable. El real only has a limited food shopping and it would be better bought in Yaviza which is cheaper anyway. There is a fire where cooking can be done and a few pots, pans and dishes that can be used. We also received some free cooked food. It is a 4 hour hike to the Rancho Frio (Pirre) station in the park. This passes through open, secondary and good forest and the birding is excellent. There are bunks at Rancho Frio but no sheets. A mosquito net is also a good idea although mosquitos were few when we were there and the guide in residence claimed there was no malaria in the area. The guide (Henry) is knowledgeable about birds and very keen but speaks no English. There are several trails from the camp. One carries on to an Antenna where there is a police post, 3 and half hours from the camp. I didn't walk this far but higher elevation endemics may be found here and Harpy Eagle has also been seen. I did see Great Currasow along the first part of this trail. Great Green Macaws can be seen flying over the camp in the mornings and evenings. Grey fox can be seen scavenging at the garbage dump nearby and agoutis are common in the forest. I saw 150 species including 28 lifers. 


Species seen


Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 

Flora 

Author: Charles Hesse 

 

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