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A Real Adventure.

This tour is focused on visitors who appreciate nature and have a great respect of native cultures.

If visitors want to go see a Harpy Eagle's nest they will have to hike for a whole day (3-4 hrs each way) through forest trails with a few steep, muddy climbs. The birdlist of La Marea just keeps growing: Sapayoa, Blue and Yellow Macaws, Black-crowned Antpitta, and
much more.

On the other hand, even if somebody is not in top physical condition, they would still be able to visit this site.

The village itself is a great place to be and most visitors will love just seeing such a “primitive” living culture today. The kids often perform traditional dances and songs for visitors, and people will have many opportunities to shop for local handicrafts like baskets, woodcarvings, and native jewelry.

Plus the surrounding rainforest is simply spectacular with Blueand-Yellow Macaws flying over the village, among many other birds and monkeys playing in the trees. Even if people don't want to do strenuous hikes in the rainforest, they will love the village experience and the surrounding wilderness.

Birds of the Darien Lowlands at La Marea:

The rainforests of the Chepigana Forest Reserve around La Marea village allow opportunities to see many of the endemic bird species found only in the Darien of Panama and Western Colombia.

The birdlife in this part of Panama is simply superb.

To give you an idea of the fine birds we get to see right around the village in Darien, while having our meals:
Green ibis
Blue-and-yellow Macaws
Crested Eagle
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (nesting)
White-headed Wrens
Yellow-breasted Flycatcher
Orange-crowned Oriole (nesting)
Black Oropendulas

Certainly once you go into the forest, one starts finding even better birds including rarities such as:
Sapayoa (we have even video-taped it)
Harpy eagle
Great-green Macaws

Some other Darien specialties that are commonly seen include:
Gray-cheeked Nunlet
Yellow-browed Shrike-vireo
Black Antshrike

Other forest-dwelling species of interest include:
Red-throated Caracara
Slaty-backed Forest-falcon
Olive backed quail dove
Dull-mantled antbird
Wing-banded antbird

The Darien Province is the largest region of Panama, yet the least populated. This condition allows the Darien to boast one of the last vast tracts of primary forest in Middle America. Moreover, the Darien region is one of the world's greatest Hot Spots of biodiversity.
Our adventure takes place at the Embera native village of La Marea. This village is located adjacent to the Chepigana Forest Reserve up the La Marea River slightly South-East of La Palma, Capital of the Darien Province.

Tourists going to La Marea stay in traditional palm-thatched guesthomes of the Embera natives.

The living conditions are for now quite rustic: they only have an out-house for toilet and an open tin-walled shower. We do have mosquito nets and inflatable mattresses so it is rather comfortable
staying there like the natives do, on the floor of traditional stilted homes. Actually our guests love living around the natives and seeing the true Embera way of life, even if that means waking up to a little pet kinkajou running around the house, or the snorting of tamed White-lipped Peccaries under the house.

We have limited the size of our tours to 12 people in 6 rooms. Four rooms have a Full bed. Two of the rooms have bunk beds available for student groups. We can even accommodate large student groups using bunkbeds, the capacity would be up to 20 people.

Getting There
2) Driving some 5 hours from Panama City to Metetí where you will board the motorized boat to ride up river for about 1 hour, timing will depend on the tides.

Day 1 – Panama City Arrival
On your arrival to Panama City, you will be met by an Inside Panama Tours representative and
transferred to your Hotel in Panama City.

Day 2: Transfer from Panama City into the Darien. Settle-in at La Marea Field Station (B,L,D)

Day 3: Wildlife Observations around Village and Introduction to the Embera Culture. (B,L,D)
We will spend some time looking for wildlife around the deck of the Field Station. We
are likely to find a great variety of birds including Macaws, soaring raptors, and even
a few species only found in this region.

Afterwards, we will do an interpretive nature walk in the nearby rainforest to learn
more about the plants and animals that call this tropical paradise home. We will
make special mention of certain plants that have tradicional uses for construction,
handicrafts, and even local medicines.

Later in the afternoon, we will have the chance to meet with our hosts, who will give
us some explanations about the Embera way of life.

Day 4: Exploring the Primary Rainforest – (B,L,D)
Today we will spend most of the day hiking deeper into the primary rainforest. These are areas that have never been in habitat or cleared by humans and contain and amazing biodiversity. Here we are likely to find species that are not common in more disturbed areas, some of which are endangered with extinction like the Great Green Macaw.

One of the highlights of our visit into the Primary Forest, although not too common, would be the
magnificent Harpy Eagle. The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) is the national bird of the Republic of
Panama, and standing three feet tall and up to a seven feet wingspan, it is the strongest bird of prey in the world!

Day 5: Transfer Back to Panama City – (B)
After farewells to our Embera hosts, and last minute souvenir shopping, we will pack our belongings for our departure.

Again depending on the high tide, we will start our journey down the river. Along the way we will keep our eyes open for “Mangrove” Black-hawk, Basilisk Lizards, Iguanas, crabs, kingfishers, herons, egrets, and much more.

We are scheduled to arrive in Panama City late in the evening & transfer to your Hotel.

Day 6 : Departure (B)
Transfer to Int'l Airport.

End of the Services.

Another option to get to La Marea is by flying to La Palma for about 1-hr, and then riding a
motorized boat for just over an hour to get to the village. (Additional cost).

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Join Date: February, 2nd 2012
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