Panama

La Amistad National Park


Cloud Forest

La Amistad National Park (Parque Internacional La Amistad) is located in the provinces of Chiriqui and Bocas Del Toro, and extends into Costa Rica. It covers approximately 511,000 acres of mountainous terrain in the Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range. The park is famous for its cloudforests, where the trees form a canopy that creates a cool, misty atmosphere on the forest floor. The headwaters of the Teribe and Changuinola rivers are located within the park, as well as the Scui, Katsi and Uren rivers, and tributaries of the River Yorkin and River Sixaola.

Seven of the twelve life zones that occur in Panama are found within the park, which is home to a great diversity of plants, birds and animals. Over 100 species of mammals, including many primates like the howler monkey, black handed spider monkey, white throated capuchin and night monkey are found here. The park protects threatened populations of tapirs, shrews and olingo’s, which are in the same family as raccoons. The park is one of the last refuges for the five species of cats found in Panama, including the puma, ocelot and jaguar. In addition, 91 species of amphibians have been recorded in the park, including the arlequin frog and spiny toad. Among 61 species of reptiles are the mountain salamander and the coral snake. The park is home to an estimated 400-600 bird species including the harpy eagle, endemic glowthroated hummingbird, magnificent quetzal and the crested eagle, which is one of the largest and most threatened birds of prey in the tropics.

Waterfall

There are three towns near the park that can provide you with transportation and guides to the different areas of the park. These towns are Cerro Punta and Volcan in Chiriqui Province; and Changuinola in Bocas del Toro Province. In the Bocas del Toro Province area, you can find a former jungle training center for military forces called the Panajungla, which is an ideal spot for bird watching. There are also opportunities for rafting and fishing in the river Teribe. In the Chiriqui Province portion of the park, there are several natural trails leading into the park's interior, including the La Cascada and El Retoņo trails, which also provide good opportunities for bird watching.