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Darien National Park The Canal Zone

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Darien National Park

Containing Panama's largest national park, Darién is the most sparsely populated province in Panama.  Its impenetrability is illustrated by the fact it has the only gap in the Pan-American Highway which otherwise runs uninterrupted from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. The 576,000 hectares Darién National Park borders Colombia and includes some Pacific coastline and the Pirre mountain range.  Its importance is such that it was awarded World Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.  The pristine forests are home to giant anteaters, Geoffroy's tamarins, Baird's tapir, jaguarundi, ocelot, puma and capybara.  More than 400 species have been recorded in this world-class birding location including harpy eagle and four species of macaw. 

Cana Field Station
Located at the foot of the Pirre mountains in deepest Darien, this remote station, a former British-run gold mine, is only accessible by plane or on foot. The rustic wooden lodge has six basic rooms, shared bathrooms and limited electricity.  The abundance of wildlife, especially avian, seen from the lodge's porch and on the surrounding trails, is staggering. Pirre cloud forest is a five-hour hike from Cana up to 1200 metres. The tented camp is very basic but the bird life amply compensates, with specialities such as lemon-spectacled tanager, golden-headed quetzal and Pirre warbler. A must for the true wilderness lover.

 

 

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