I went to Panama Rainforest at Pipeline Road, a discovery center and tower that just opened in January. The Audubon Society counted the most species of birds during a 24-hour period here. We arrived in the dark and had some difficulty finding the place and getting past the entrance fence. In the dark, various animals scurried in front of the taxi headlights while a constant din of animals and monkeys filled the air. I kept saying, “Asi es un jungle.” The taxi driver said, “No, es un Congo.”
A guide, Marcelo, helped us, showed us to the tower which rises above the tree tops and canopy. The tower is 32 meters tall and took two years to build. With Marcelo´s assistance and equipment we spotted about 35 species including toucans. At one point, we saw five toucans sitting in a tree. We saw a variety of parrots, woodpeckers, does, cuckoos, humming birds, tanager and other birds in red, yellow, green, brown and purple. We also watched a couple of sloths. One of the sloths was resting in the boughs of a tree like it was his easy chair and casually surveying the landscape.
We spent additional time in the daylight meeting other personnel and reviewing their books. I recommend a visit to www.pipelineroad.org. The center is located about an hour´s drive from Panama City center. The Pipeline Road is 17 miles long, was built by the U.S. Army during World War II to protect an oil pipeline across the isthmus.