Parque Nacional Soberania is only 27km from Panama City, making it a very-accessible tropical rainforest. It extends from Limon on on Lago Gatun to just north of Paraiso and hosts 125 known mammal species, 402 bird species, 55 amphibian species, 79 reptile species, and 34 fresh-water fish species. The 17km-long dirt Pipeline Road (Camino del Oleoducto or Sendero Oleoducto) is famous for its birdlife, with more than four hundred species spotted from the trail. The road was built by the USA during WWII to service an oil pipeline that was built but never used during the war.

The Panama Rainforest Discovery Center has a 32m (172 steps) observation tower made of recycled material from the canal that is great for early-morning bird spotting, some hiking trails, and feeding stations for some fifteen species of hummingbirds.

We based ourselves at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.



Agoutis are small rodents native to Central America. They are related to guinea pigs, capybaras, and pacas.

Central American agouti, Dasyprocta punctata 

Coatimundis (coatis) are omnivorous diurnal mammals native to South and Central America, Mexico, and the southwestern United States. They are related to raccoons.

White-nosed coati, Nasua narica

White-tailed deer are a medium-sized deer native to North, Central and South America. The Central American animals are smaller and less conspicuous than the northern ones and have much smaller antlers.

White-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus

Sloths, Neotropical animals related to anteeaters, are noted for their slowness of movement, spending most of their lives hanging upside-down from rainforest trees. All sloths have three toes on their rear limbs.

Hoffmann's two-toed sloth, Choloepus hoffmanni

Brown-throated three-toed sloth, Bradypus variegatus. The striped color pattern on its back shows this one is a male.


Capuchin monkeys occupy the wet lowland forests on the Caribbean coast of Panama and the deciduous dry forest on the Pacific coast.

Panamanian white-faced capuchin, Cebus imitator

Howler monkeys are the most widespread primate genus in the Neotropics, native to South and Central American forests. They are famous for their loud howls, which can be heard up to three miles away even through dense rainforest. There are fifteen species. They eat fruit and leaves.

Mantled howler, Alouatta palliata

Tamarin monkeys are omnivorous squirrel-sized New World monkeys. There are twenty-two species. The tiny Geoffroy's tamarin is the only Central American species.

Geoffroy's tamarin (Panamnian, red-crested, or rufous-naped tamarin, mono titi), Saguinus geoffroyi


The Meso-American slider turtle is found from Mexico to Columbia.

Meso-American slider, Trachemys venusta uhrigi

Caimans are related to alligators. They are found in Mexico and Central and South America.

Spectacled caiman, Caiman crocodilus

American crocodiles are a crocodilian species found in the Neotropics. They can tolerate salt water. It is the largest reptile in Central America.

American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus

Snakes: the fer-de-lance is a highly poisonous pit viper. They are fast-moving and readily bite if annoyed.

Fer-de-lance (terciopelo), Bothrops asper

Iguanas: The green (American or common green) iguana is a large arboreal lizard with a row of spines along its back.

Green iguana, Iguana iguana

Basilisks are endemic to southern Mexico, Centra America, and northern South America. There are four species.

Striped (brown) basilisk, Basiliscus vittatus



Leafcutter ants (one of 47 species in two genera)


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Tropical buckeye, Junonia evarete

White peacock, Anartia jatrophae

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Pavon emperor, Doxocopa pavon




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Last modified 9 March 2024