Panama is full of fascinating sights, both man made and natural. And while exploring the historical and engineering wonders of the canal is a highlight for many first-time visitors to Panama, nature travel enthusiasts will want to check out Soberanía National Park for a different kind of excitement.

The park is known as one of the planet's most accessible rainforest reserves. It comprises 48,000 acres that contain varied and plentiful species. Soberanía boasts about 525 species of birds, the number rising between November and April when North American migrant birds fly south. In fact, Panama is ranked one of the world's top bird-watching sites. Within the entire country, the number of species is 950 resident and migrant birds, which is more than that of the U.S. and Canada combined.

Showcase birds like toucans, trogons and macaws will delight even non-birders, but seasoned bird watching enthusiasts will also enjoy spotting the the broad-billed motmot, blue cotinga or shining honeycreeper.

“I loved birding along Pipeline Road in Soberanía, where we saw the rare, endangered harpy eagle,” said past International Expeditions Panama traveler Carol Evans of Walnut Creek, California.

In addition to the gorgeous array of birds that fill the forest, visitors are also likely to see white-faced capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloths and coatis.

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