dense, humid Darien
Jungle is located on the western side of Panama. Cana,
the last substantial human settlement in the region is often the
base for exploring the depths of the undisturbed rainforest. Five
main trails of varying difficulty diverge from Cana, some scaling
4,700 feet up to the cloud forest. A recently built lookout platform
allows onlookers to view several different ecosystems at once.
The remnants of gold mining that occurred in the 19th century
are scattered about Cana, swallowed by the encroaching forest.
They remain evidence of how vulnerable even this remote jungle
is to human exploitation. The Darien Jungle is recognized as one
of the top-ten birding
sites in the world. It is possible to see birds and animals close
to the trail systems because the region is so remote and unvisited.
Green and chestnut-fronted macaws, rufous-tailed and snowy-bellied
hummingbirds and king vultures are common sightings. Endangered
species such as great curasows, macaws, white-lipped peccary,
tapir, black-headed spider monkey, and jaguar live protected under
the watch of nearby ranger stations. The evenings awake to a symphony
of sounds and owling offers glimpses of spectacled, mottled, pygmy,
and bare-shanked screech owls.
Poison Arrow Dart Frog