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Birding Panama and the Great Raptor Migration

Program Number: 20617RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/7/2013 - 10/17/2013;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Panama
Price starting at: $2,553.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 28; 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat    

It is one of the most awesome sights in nature — hundreds and hundreds of raptors gliding effortless along a corridor of sky on their annual migration route from North America to South America. There is no better place to witness this event than from Panama, the narrow isthmus that acts as a funnel and concentrates the great birds on their pilgrimage south. But it isn’t just the raptors that draws birders from around the world to Panama. From the famous Pipeline Road to forest sanctuaries and mangrove wetlands, discover why Panama’s amazingly varied terrain is home to the greatest diversity of bird species in South America.




Highlights

• Marvel at Panama’s amazing raptor migration and assist the Panama Audubon Society with their annual hawk count.
• In the world-famous Pipeline Road climb above the forest to an observation tower to watch for Mealy and Red-lobed Parrots, Green-shrike Vireo, Toucans, Tanagers and more.
• Explore the Panama Bay Mudflats, a RAMSAR wetland and a favorite feeding ground for migrating shorebirds.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to three miles a day over uneven terrain in tropical conditions.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our Birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.




Date Specific Information

10-7-2013

This departure can be taken in conjunction with #20616-09/27/13.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Panama City, 3 nights; coach to Gamboa, 2 nights; coach to El Valle, 2 nights; coach to Chitré, 2 nights; coach to Panama City, 1 night; departure.



Arrival Panama City
3 nights
Coach to Gamboa
2 nights

Climb Ancon Hill to view the annual raptor migration and to aid the Panama Audubon Society during their annual Hawk Count project. Visit the Panama Bay Mudflats — a globally recognized Important Bird Area and wintering habitat to hundreds of thousands of shorebirds. Learn the fascinating story of the Panama Canal firsthand. Hit one of the world’s great birding hotspots — Pipeline Road. From a 100 foot-high observation tower scan above the forest canopy to search for Crested Eagles, Golden-collared Manakins, White-bellied and Blue-throated Antbirds, Pheasant Cuckoos and Hook-billed Kites.



Coach to El Valle
2 nights
Coach to Chitré
2 nights
Coach to Panama City
1 night
Departure

Greet the dawn at Campana National Park, Panama's first protected area, to search for middle-elevation species such as Black-and-Yellow Tanagers, Plain Antvireos, Rufous-collared Sparrows, White-ruffed Manakins, White-throated Thrush, Bay-headed Tanagers and many others. At Cerro Gaital Natural Monument, view birds in the lush 827-acre nature reserve that protects the mountainous terrain surrounding El Valle de Antón and is home to more than 300 species. Look for Tawny-crested Tanagers, Chestnut-capped Brush Finches, Green Hermits and Barred Hawks. Scan for Wattled Jacanas, Purple Gallinules, Glossy Ibises, Roseate Spoonbills and Ferruginous Pygmy Owls from the 60-foot observation tower overlooking the wetlands of Las Macanas Marsh. At Chitré's Agallito Beach Mudflats, search for Black-bellied Plovers, Oystercatchers, Sandpipers and many other coastal species.




Panama

Panama’s abundance in transient wealth attracted the likes of English explorers Sir Francis Drake and Henry Morgan in search of goods. The historical reliance on commerce has made this tropical oasis a melting pot of culture. Located between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, its dominant features are the mountainous highlands – formed along the central spine of the country, grasslands and over 500 rivers, 125 of which flow into the Caribbean Sea.



Accommodations
Panama City: Hotel overlooking the canal. Gamboa: Rainforest resort. Coronado: Beachfront hotel. Chitre: Hotel with outdoor pool and lake.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn City of Knowledge
  Panama City, Panama 3 nights
   Gamboa Rainforest Resort
  Gamboa, Panama 2 nights
   Hotel Rincon Vallero
  El Valle, Panama 2 nights
   Hotel Versalles
  Chitré, Panama 2 nights
   Holiday Inn City of Knowledge
  Panama City, Panama 1 night
 Holiday Inn City of Knowledge
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Holiday Inn - City of Knowledge is located just 15 minutes from the center of Panama City. The property is surrounded by tropical vegetation and overlooks the Panama Canal.
  Contact info: Ave. Omar Torrijo Herrera
Clayton
Panama City,   Panama
phone: +507-3174000
web: www.holidayinn.com
  Room amenities: Rooms have private bath, TV with cable, wireless high-speed internet, radio/alarm clock, iron & ironing board, coffee maker, hair dryer, mini bar, security box, and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant, bar, business center, Internet access, and laundry services.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Type of accommodations and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for assistance in booking additional nights.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Subject to availability. Type of accommodations and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for assistance in booking additional nights.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

 Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Type: Resort
  Description: Gamboa Rainforest Resort is strategically located on the banks of the Chagres River and the Panama Canal, near the Soberania National Park. The lush surroundings and quiet neighborhood are a nice refuge from the hustle and bustle of Panama City, just 30 minutes away.
  Contact info: Corregimiento de Cristobal Colon, Panama 5
Gamboa,   Panama
phone: +507-2068888
web: www.gamboaresort.com
  Room amenities: Large double-occupancy guest rooms have private bathrooms, tropical furnishings, internet access, and patio with hammock.
  Facility amenities: Pools, business center, laundry services, restaurants, bar, spa services, tour desk, room service, and gift shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Rincon Vallero
Type: Hotel
  Description: Charming hotel located less than 2 hours away from Panama City, in picturesque El Valle. The hotel has all ground level accommodations and rooms have views of the hotel's attractive gardens.
  Contact info: Espavé Street
El Valle de Antón, Coclé Province,   Panama
phone: +507-9836175
web: www.hotelrinconvallero.com
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, hot water, tiled floors, phone, TV, DVD player, mini bar, and safety deposit box.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, conference room, game room, pools, Jacuzzi, sauna, spa services, Internet access, gardens, petting zoo, and playground.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Hotel Versalles
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Versalles is located along Chitre's Paseo Enrique Geenzier in the province of Herrera. The medium--sized hotel provides comfortable lodging and modern amenities--all with a charming Panamanian flavor.
  Contact info: Paseo Enrique Geenzier, West of Parque Union
Chitre,   Panama
phone: +507-9964422
web: www.hotelversalles.com
  Room amenities: Rooms have private bathrooms, air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, and internet access.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, conference rooms, business center, outdoor pool, and laundry service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
All-day arrivals at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama. Hotel check-in begins at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Holiday Inn City of Knowledge that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama. Hotel check-out by 11 a.m. You will be staying at Holiday Inn City of Knowledge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Panama City
  Transportation to site: Taxi services are available at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. For more information about the airport and transportation services, please consult the airport's official website: www.tocumenpanama.aero/
  From End of Program
  Location: Panama City
  Transportation from site: Taxi services are available at the hotel. Please ask for assistance at the hotel's front desk.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Equipment Requirements: Scopes are recommended but not required. We recommend wide angle binoculars, something within the range of 7x35, 8x40 or even 10x50 with good light gathering characteristics. Although light and comfortable, pocket binoculars don't work as well in low light conditions.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrivals to Panama City, Panama.
(Monday, October 7)
   
 Arrive To: Arrivals to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. The Road Scholar representative will be waiting outside the exit door with a Road Scholar sign (only applies to Road Scholar group flights).

Transfer to the hotel and check-in.
Please note that hotel check-in usually begins at 3 pm. This is an international travel day and does not include any program activities or scheduled meals.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn City of Knowledge

Day 2: Panama City - Birding at Ancon Hill and Panama Bay Mudflats (RAMSAR Site).
(Tuesday, October 8)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Orientation meeting.

Transfer to Ancon Hill for morning birding and a site lecture.

Ancon Hill is a site used by the Panama Audubon Society during their annual Hawk Count project. Be on alert for any kettles flying over! During this activity, we will also have the opportunity to enjoy wonderful views of the Panama Canal, the Old City and downtown.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a lecture about the annual hawk migration provided by the Panama Audubon Society.

Transfer to the Panama Bay Mudflats, Panama Viejo ruins, and Costa del Este area for shorebird viewing. The Panama Bay Mudflats are a RAMSAR wetland, a globally recognized Important Bird Area, and a site of hemispheric importance by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).

The Bay of Panama, located east of Panama City on the Pacific coast, provides an important wintering habitat to hundreds of thousands of shorebirds. This section of coastline encompasses intertidal mudflats, estuaries, mangrove forests, swamp forests, and freshwater pools. Birders can hope to spot Western Sandpipers, Semipalmated and Black-bellied Plovers, Willets, Whimbrels, and Short-billed Dowitchers.
 Dinner: At local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn City of Knowledge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Panama City - Birding at Ancon Hill/Panama Audubon Annual Hawk Count.
(Wednesday, October 9)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a full day field trip to Ancon Hill for a chance to witness the raptor migration and assist the Panama Audubon Society with their annual hawk count.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue with birding activities at Ancon Hill.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn City of Knowledge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Gamboa - Bird Watching at Metropolitan Nature Park/Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal.
(Thursday, October 10)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Depart to the Metropolitan Nature Park for birding.

The approximately 232 hectares of Pacific dry forest were declared a national park in 1985. Nicknamed the “lung of Panama City,” the park is part of an important biological corridor that links the eastern shore of the Panama Canal with Las Cruces Trail and the Soberania National Park. Avian species such as the Yellow-backed Oriole, Crimson-backed Tanager, Rufous-and- White Wren, White-bellied Antbird and Lance-tailed Manakin are found within the park's dry forest. In addition to safeguarding local wildlife, the corridor and nearby protected areas also help to maintain the rivers and forests that supply the Panama Canal with enough water to function.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Excursion to the Miraflores Locks and site lecture. If we are lucky, we will get to see a ship transiting the locks.

The fifty-mile long Panama Canal, constructed at the narrowest point between the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans, has literally changed the course of world commerce. Three sets of mechanical locks, or flotation chambers, raise and lower ships between sea level and lake level, taking ships up to a height of 85 feet above sea level. The three locks are Gatún, Pedro Miguel and Miraflores. An elite group of pilots guide vessels through the locks, using electric locomotives known as mules.

Transfer to Gamboa.
Arrive at hotel and check-in.

Enjoy some late afternoon birding in the hotel's extensive grounds.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Gamboa - Pipeline Road/Harpy Eagle Educational Center at Summit Gardens.
(Friday, October 11)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Our day begins with a field trip to the Rainforest Discovery Center, located at the world-famous Pipeline Road.

The Panama Rainforest Discovery Center on Pipeline Road has a 100 ft high observation tower from where visitors can get a unique view of the forest. A spiral staircase, with a total of 174 steps, wends its way above the forest canopy to the top deck. Intermediate observation platforms, spaced every 25 ft along the tower, provide both a place to rest and a chance to study the forest and its wildlife from different levels. The tower is an especially great location to view bird species that reside in the upper stratum of the rainforest. Observe Mealy and Red-lored Parrots, Green-shrike Vireo, Keel-billed and Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, Golden-hooded, White-shouldered , Plain-colored Tanagers,White-vented and Scaled Pigeons, Blue Cotingas, Masked Tityras, Green and Red-legged Honeycreepers, King Vultures and more migrating raptors!

Continue birding along Pipeline Road. Some species you might see include: Crested Eagles, Golden-collared Manakins, White-bellied and Blue-throated Antbirds, Pheasant Cuckoos, and Hook-billed Kites.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Afternoon field trip to the Summit Botanical Gardens and the Harpy Eagle Educational Center.

The Summit Botanical Gardens is home to one of the great botanical collections in Central America. Founded in 1923, the Gardens contain over 15,000 plant species and today, house a zoo that features many animals native to Central America. The Harpy Eagle display includes an education center devoted to Panama’s national bird, and one of the most powerful birds of prey on earth.

Return to the hotel. Late afternoon birding on the hotel grounds.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: El Valle - Birding in Campana National Park and Punta Chame.
(Saturday, October 12)
   
 Breakfast: Boxed breakfast.
 Morning: Early morning birding at Campana National Park, Panama's first protected area.

The cloud forest habitat at Campana harbors some middle elevation species such as: Black-and-Yellow Tanagers, Plain Antvireos, Rufous-collared Sparrows, White-ruffed Manakins, White-throated Thrush, Bay-headed Tanagers and many others.

Transfer to Punta Chame, on Panama's Pacific coast for birding activities.

This small peninsula is located approximately 30 minutes from Coronado and contains mangrove patches and ponds that are frequented by migratory shorebirds and seabirds.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Enjoy some time at leisure to rest, update your check list or enjoy hotel amenities.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Rincon Vallero
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: El Valle - Birding at El Valle/Cultural Interaction at Local Market/Birding on Cara Iguana Trail.
(Sunday, October 13)
   
 Breakfast: Boxed breakfast.
 Morning: Early morning birding at Cerro Gaital Natural Monument.

The lush 827-acre nature reserve protects the mountainous terrain surrounding El Valle de Antón and is home to more than 300 bird species. Some of the best birding is done along the fringes of the reserve where vegetation is less dense. Look for Tawny-crested Tanagers, Chestnut-capped Brush Finches, Orange-billed Nightingale Thrushes, Green Hermits, Spotted Woodcreepers, and Barred Hawks.

Visit local hot springs, evidence of the valley's volcanic origins.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a visit to the small town of El Valle and its local market. Take a stroll around the market stands and rub shoulders with locals as they go about buying and selling fresh produce and handicrafts such as molas, hammocks, and ceramics.

Spend the rest of the afternoon birding along the Cara Iguana Trail. The tropical dry forest is a middle altitude habitat and is home to Rosy-Thrush Tanagers, Long-billed Starthroats, Little Tinamous, and Gray-headed Chachalaca.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Rincon Vallero
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Chitré - Cocle Grasslands/Basilica Menor Santiago Apostol/Shorebirds at Aguadulce Salt Pans.
(Monday, October 14)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer along the Pan-American Highway to the Cocle Grasslands. The grasslands encompass areas featured in the Audubon's directory of Important Bird Areas and has a habitat similar to the Tocumen Marshes.

The rice fields, marshes and pasture lands at Cocle are good sites to search for dry forest and open country specialties such as: Savanna Hawks, Aplomado Falcons, Veraguan Mangos, Pearl Kites, Scaly-breasted Hummingbirds, Crested Bobwhites, and Crested Caracaras.

Brief stop at Penónomé, Panama's geographic center.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, visit the town of Natá de los Caballeros and the historic Basilica Menor Santiago Apostol.

Natá de los Caballeros was founded in 1522 as a Spanish outpost. The colonial settlement was established in an attempt to hold in check the indigenous presence in the region. Not only is Natá one of the country's oldest inhabited towns, it is also home to one of Panama's oldest churches, the Basílica Menor Santiago Apóstol. The attractive whitewashed basilica has a tall bell tower and a wide facade adorned with multiple columns and three large arched doors.

Visit the Aguadulce Salt Pans (a.k.a. Las Salinas) in search of migratory shorebirds. The evaporation ponds used for salt production have the second largest concentration of migratory shorebirds in Panama.

Late afternoon arrival at the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Versalles
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Chitré - Birding at Las Macanas Marsh/Sarigua National Park.
(Tuesday, October 15)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Early this morning, transfer to Las Macanas Marsh to enjoy a full morning of birding activities. Look for migratory ducks and aquatic species that frequent the marshlands. We hope to spot Wattled Jacanas, Purple Gallinules, Glossy Ibises, Roseate Spoonbills, Ferruginous Pygmy Owls, Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures and Brown–throated Parakeets.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy some time at leisure.

Afternoon field trip to the desert-like Sarigua National Park, located on the Parita Gulf, in search of migratory species.

The area's lack of vegetation is the result of many years of human misuse. Coastal forests in this region were cut down to create grazing lands, exposing the acidic soil to erosion from wind and rain. In addition to protecting the area's fragile ecosystem, Sarigua National Park safeguards the archaeological remains of Panama's oldest pre-Columbian village.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Versalles
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Return to Panama City - Birding at Agallito Beach Mudflats/Orientation to Chitre Town and Villa de los Santos.
(Wednesday, October 16)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Morning bird watching at Chitré's Agallito Beach Mudflats. The mudflats and mangroves attract Black-bellied Plovers, American Oystercatchers, Western Sandpipers and many other coastal species. Thousands of shorebirds are known to frequent the beach every year from late October to early March.

After visiting the mudflats, we will explore the town of Chitré including the Herrera Museum. The small museum displays an interesting collection of archaeological artifacts from various regions of Panama.

From Chitré, drive approximately 2.5 miles south to Villa de los Santos for a visit to the Museo de La Nacionalidad and the Iglesia de San Antanacio.

La Villa residents are especially proud of their town’s role in Panama’s fight for independence. In November of 1821, dissatisfied residents wrote a letter to Simón Bolívar, expressing their wish to join the revolt against Spanish rule. Less than three weeks later the country declared its independence from Spain. The house where the famous letter was signed was turned into a museum, the Museo de La Nacionalidad. The museum details the town’s early history, leading up to its historic cry for independence.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Transfer to Panama City.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn City of Knowledge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Departures/Fly to the U.S.
(Thursday, October 17)
   
 Depart From: Transfer to Panama City's Tocumen International Airport to catch return flight to the U.S.
Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day. Except for breakfast, all other meals are on your own on this day.
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant (dependent on flight times).
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Tapir's Morning Bath


Author: Elizabeth Royte


Description: An engaging account of ecological research and ecologists at Barro Colorado Island, the Smithsonian Institution's Tropical Research Station in Panama.



A Guide to the Birds of Panama


Author: Robert Ridgely, J.A. Gwynne


Description: This comprehensive field guide, noteworthy for its beautiful color plates, covers additional species found in Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica.



A Neotropical Companion


Author: J.C. Kricher, Mark Plotkin


Description: From plants and animals to birds and bugs, it's all here in this wonderfully written overview of the ecology, habitats, plants and animals of Central and South America.



Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish


Author: Joseph Keenan


Description: Idioms, common mistakes in word usage, and other helpful advice on tackling spoken Spanish. You'll need some foundation to take full advantage of this book – but even a complete novice will appreciate the author's playful sense of humor.



Culture Smart! Panama


Author: Heloise Crowther


Description: This practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture is concise and well-illustrated.



Forgotten Continent, The Battle for Latin America's Soul


Author: Michael Reid


Description: Economist editor Reid draws on his years in the cities, presidential palaces and shantytowns of Central and South America in this portrait of a region rich in oil, farmland and culture and its prospects in the face of globalization.



Lonely Planet Panama


Author: Lonely Planet


Description: Written in the tradition of Lonely Planet travel guides. This book is a good general resource and provides accounts of the Panamanian history and local culture and also detailed descriptions of sites of interest.



National Geographic Panama


Author: Christopher Baker


Description: Award-winning travel writer and photographer Christopher Baker introduces the history, nature and attractions of Panama, thoroughly illustrated in National Geographic’s style



Panama Map


Author: ITMB


Description: A full-color, double-sided map of Panama for the traveler at the detailed scale of 1:480,000.



Panama Wildlife Guide: Birds


Author: Rainforest Publications


Description: PLASTIC CARD, 14 PAGES/A handy 14-panel fold-up card featuring accurate color illustrations of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and insects. We also carry Panama Wildlife Guide: Birds.



The Birds of Panama


Author: Robert Dean, George R. Angehr


Description: Built for the field, with range maps, illustrations and descriptions on facing pages, this Zona Tropical guide covers 900 species.



The Building of the Panama Canal in Historic Photographs


Author: Ulrich Keller


Description: These archival photographs tell the story of the people who built the Panama Canal, the engineers who designed it and the changes wrought on the landscape through its construction.



The Monkey's Bridge, Mysteries of Evolution in Central America


Author: David Rains Wallace


Description: Opening this absorbing account of the history and biogeography of the Central American isthmus with the tale of Columbus, Wallace weaves his own travels in the region with a crisp overview of exploration, nature and evolution. Natural history buffs and ecologically minded travelers will appreciate this valuable resource.



The Path Between the Seas, The Creation of the Panama Canal: 1870-1914


Author: David McCullough


Description: Admirably told in vivid, page-turning detail. McCullough reveals the full scope of the Panama Canal, its characters, technical difficulties and Byzantine politics.



Tropical Nature


Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata


Description: A lively, lucid portrait of the tropics as seen by two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists. Its 17 marvelous essays introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforest





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