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South/Central America

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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 16:05   #1
Rachael Smith
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South/Central America

Hi, I am thinking of surprising my husband with a birding trip (which won't be easy as he reads these forums too). We'd both love to go somewhere in South or Central America. I have read the other threads re this but our circumstances are slightly different to others. We would be travelling with our 3 kids, ages 3 1/2yrs, 2yrs and 5 months. We can travel realitivley lightly, but we find with the kids that mostly birding by car is better than long walks (we will work on that when they're older).
We'd probably only have 1 week, 10 days maximum for the trip and as we are only living in the USA for another 6 months this is possibly our only chance to visit these areas.
Can anyone recommend a destination that would be kid friendly, drivable and riddled with stunning birds...?
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 20:41   #2
Rick Wright, Tucson
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Check out They can set up just about anything, including trips to accommodate children.
Have fun!
Rick Wright
Vancouver and Tucson
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 21:40   #3
Rachael Smith
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thanks Rick, I will, I had been thinking Panama might be good.

I forgot to mention in my first post, but I am keen to avoid areas where Malarial medication is recommended as I think the kids are a bit young to be taking those types of meds.
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Old Wednesday 6th June 2007, 00:11   #4
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I would make a suggestion of the Tela and Copan Ruinas area of Honduras. Tela has Lancetilla Botanical Gardens 10 km away, wetlands and towards Ceiba is a great wetland with manatees.

Copan Ruinas has great birding and Mayan history.

When travelling in Central America (well anywhere) with children dog bites and rabies are a serious concern. Hopefully you know already but children must be taught that all dogs are off limits. That being said I am rabies vaccinated and have never had a problem with dogs.
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Old Thursday 7th June 2007, 23:37   #5
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If you only have a week, you might be better off going to Central America rather than South America. Costa Rica must be a very good option. It has such a wide biodiversity in such a tiny area that travel between sites is easy. You would easily be able to see a wide variety of habitats in a short time. The country is well geared up for birders and the birding is spectacular. The new field guide by Richard Garrigues is worth checking out, as is his website, which includes loads of good info (

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Old Friday 8th June 2007, 00:45   #6
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Tom and others:
it seems that the address have changed, the current version seems to be

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Old Saturday 9th June 2007, 03:07   #7
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Hola Rach,

I may of course be a little biased, but I must recommend Panama.
Just in the area around Panama City and the Panama Canal there are more than 500 different bird species possible !

Especially considering the kids, I would recommend the Gamboa Rainforest Resort which sits right at the edge of the forest and you can find more than 150 different birds right in the grounds; so you may be able to find three different kinds of toucans, a few trogons, and parrots as you walk from one swimming pool to the other.

Although it may sound like the place is out in the middle of the jungle (and it actually is...) it is only found some 35 mins from the financial district of Panama City, no malaria or other medication needed.

Panama is just over 2 hours away from Miami and some 3 hours from Houston, so it is easy to do a quick trip. Plus the currency is the US Dollar, so no time is lost in exchanging money.

Let me know if you might have any other questions or concerns.
Happy birding,

Guido C. Berguido
Biologist - Operations Manager
Advantage Tours Panama
"Adventures in nature with the local Advantage"

P.O. Box 0801-00051
Republic of Panama
Tel. 011-507-6676-2466
fax: 011-507-221-9246
e.mail: [email protected]
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Old Monday 11th June 2007, 00:11   #8
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well what can i say.... to me... the best option is Costa Rica, save, cheap, friendly people, several places to birdwathing, more that 800different species... take ur time Rachel, i also believe that every please or country its gonna be amazing to ur family, so just trow the dice
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