Birding in the Parque Internacional La Amistad
Although our cabin inside the Parque Internacional La Amistad had no electricity, it did have a spacious bedroom that comfortably slept our family of four, plus hot-water bathrooms, and a fireplace for the chilly evenings. It also had a fully equipped kitchen, which we used to prepare breakfasts with the organic food and fruit they had stocked up for us. They even went so far as to cater freshly-prepared dinners that arrived each night after the sun set. The biggest draw here, however, are the birds. Thanks to some strategically positioned feeders on the canopy-level terraces, we were entertained for hours by the constant parade of hummingbirds buzzing around the cabin. It’s become somewhat of a family joke that I seem to have morphed into “a birder” on this trip. Although I do admit that I really enjoyed looking for different species and keeping a checklist, I’m not exactly ready to invest in my own birding scope just yet. And I certainly wasn’t the only one in the family drawn to the natural splendor of the surroundings. Thanks to some special attention from our personal local guide, the boys even got into the act by keeping an alert eye out for the resplendent quetzal for which the lodge was named. He also told us to put sliced bananas out on the deck before dinner to attract some nocturnal wildlife to our cabin. Sure enough, the kids were treated to nightly visits from some resident kinkajous and cacomistles (ringtails), 2 indigenous mammals found in few other places.
By Rainer Jenss, Family Travel Correspondent
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Cerro Punta, Panama