5 Days in the Darien national park
The Darien gap sends a worrying thought to everyone who has heard about it. The stories and undoubtedly experience people have gone through in this part of the world are mind-blowing, people continue to experience these issues currently.
But I would like to get people to think about the other side of the coin, dense rainforest primary jungle and indigenous communities, intense biodiversity. Wildlife has rarely be seen for example Harpy eagles spectacled bears and ocelot are commonplace here. I want more people to experience this as the logistical work is already in place accommodation in Jaque, the closest town to the Colombian border on the Panamanian side.
On a pretty coastline pounded by waves, Jaqué is a sleepy village with no road access. Concrete sidewalks run down the middle of streets and there’s a diverse population of Afro-Darienitas, Emberá and Wounaan. Marine turtles come to nest here seasonally and volunteers can get involved during the seasonal arribadas (arrivals). Source:
Day 1 arrive in Jaque via aeroplane from Panama city
We arrive in Jaque I myself will meet you at the airport proceed with security checks. Which is undertaken by the SENAFRONT Notorious as they sound actually intriguing and very welcoming exceptionally good at there job? After security checks, we will walk through the town of Jaque to our accommodation on the beach to rustic old style homes, where will operate throughout the stay here as a base camp. Arrival time is set as flights fly out of Panama city on 2 days Mondays and Fridays at 1015 each morning 1 flight per day. We can familiarise ourselves with the locals as there is a small makeshift bar. Which seems to be the hub of the town.
Day 2 we meet local people on the beach.
We focus this day on the huge variety of birds which frequent the coast to name a few Brown pelican, frigate birds, Neotropical cormorants and the odd sight of a species of a jacana on the mouth of a small river emptying out into the Pacific ocean this is just a few species of the 900+ known species of Panama.
Day 3 we focus on the amphibians of the region.
As the Darien is along the choco rainforest belt it gets immense amounts of rainfall highest proportion to anywhere in the world. This mix of untouched rainforest and high levels of warmth and rain brings the humidity upwards of 90%. Which is perfect for the amphibians dawn and dusk as well as at night again are perfect for the mind-boggling number of species we will see on any given night.
Day 4 bring your macro lenses
On the 4th day, we can head into the forest and have a slow walk around for opportunistic shots of the orchid species the sheer number of insects or the lonely tamandua skulking about after the tasty treat of termites. Or if we are lucky may get to see some tracks of the big cats in the area jaguar, cougar or ocelot. On the evening of the last night there, we again will go off on a short trek up the beach and if in season we may all get a look at the many marine sea turtles that come back yearly to create a nest and lay.
Day 5 our farewells
So on this day, we will need to prepare due to again security checks and any issue forced on us we could not have prepared for weather cancellation of flights. We will double check our equipment leave the accommodation as we had arrived and begin the flight back to civilisation.
My own time in the darien
The schedule can be altered for a specific focus if agreed by participants.
- Transport in-country
- Food a variety of local food in and around jaque
Accomodation is a rustic house which is not in current use where commodities such as warm water are not available. We have access to a gas cooking stove and a roof to shelter from tropical downpours, choice of bed or bring your own hammock (recommended).
Things not included
- Flights to or from the project
- Camera equipment (Although can be provided on request)
Kit list will be sent out on purchase of product.