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Ecotourism (Continued from previous page)

Baru Volcano National Park: highest elevation in Panama
The Baru Volcano National Park, situated 3,475 meters above sea level, is the highest elevation in Panama and is dominated by the extinct volcano, Baru Volcan. Both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea are visible from the top of this peak. The spectacular and beautifully colored bird, the Resplendent Quetzal, can be found in the cloud forests on the slopes. This park is accessible from the towns of Boquete and Volcan, and is located 473 kilometers from Panama City.

bee

 

 

La Amistad International Park:
a World Heritage site

Spread over an area of 207,000 hectares, or 511,508.14 acres, this park crosses borders and is shared by Panama and Costa Rica. It is a World Heritage site, with great bio-diversity and numerous endemic species. Seven of the twelve life zones in the Isthmus are identified here. With an array of ecosystems such as cloud forests, coral reefs, mangrove forests, and the unique paramo, Amistad/Bocas del Toro is rich in biological and cultural diversity. In fact, it is the most culturally and ethnically diverse region in both countries. Also known as the Friendship Park, it is famous for the harpy eagle and quetzal. The park can be accessed from Cerro Punta, Changuinola and Bocas del Toro, located 480 kilometers from Panama City.

 

Soberania National Park: World famous birding site


parkKnown for its world famous birding site, the Pipeline Road, the Soberania National Park is spread over an area of 19,341hectares, or 47,792.6 acres. The park contains excellent hiking trails and includes the Camino de Cruces - the cobblestone trail by which Peruvian gold was transported by mules to Nombre de Dios on its way to Spain. The park also houses a beautiful waterfall. Fishing is permitted in the Gatun Lake and the River Chagres. The park is located 25 kilometers from Panama City.

 

harpy eagle

Chagres National Park: Preserving the main watershed of the Panama Canal

 

This park is spread over an area of 129,000 hectares, 318,765.94 acres. It includes the Chagres River and Alajuela Lake and its primary purpose is to protect the main water sources important to the Panama Canal and Panama City. The park provides about 80% of the water needed for the canal’s operation and all the drinking water for Panama City. Comprised of hiking trails through elfin forests, the Park is located 40 kilometers from Panama City. Embera Indians, originally from the Darien and Bayano, have settlements here.

 

Harpy eagle

 

(Continued on page 3)

Panama’s incredible beauty and diverse ecological systems make it a very attractive destination for ecotourism. There is something for everyone here, from bird-watching to diving to just drinking in the sheer beauty of it all. It is the perfect place for relaxation and rejuvenation and getting in touch with all nature has to offer us. Q

 
facts

Panama’s incredible beauty and diverse ecological systems make it a very attractive destination for ecotourism

plant

Among the 10,000 species of plants found in Panama are about 1,200

orchid

varieties of orchids, 1,500 types of trees and 678 different ferns.

 

bottle tree

 

Panama has 1,500 types of trees. Above is a picture of a bottle tree
one can see in the Soberania National Park.

The serene rainforests and tropical flora enrich the land. Panama is an extremely beautiful and ecologically diverse country, with a large number of rain forests, cloud forests, and cool mountain retreats.

 

Copyright© 2011, Pan Am Publishing S.A., Republic of Panama