Isla Barro Colorado Island Tour

(Smithsonian Institute)

TOUR: Barro Colorado Island



you should allow pup ups to see pictures

TYPE OF TOUR: nature

DURATION: 9 - 11 hours


  • guided tour English/Spanish

  • boat transportation

  • lunch

  • drinks


  • hat

  • ID, passport or student ID

  • socks & walking shoes

  • long pants

  • t-shirt or light long sleeved shirt

  • dress in forest colors to blend in

  • sun block

  • rain jacket (green season)

  • Optional: pencil & notebook, camera, change of clothes, repellent & masking tape (tape socks over pants)

PRICE: US$95 - US$170




The guide will give some information about natural history and prepare the group for the walk along the trail. This is a 2-3 hr. hike. The walk ends at the Visitor Center, where you will find an exhibition regarding BCNM. After the Visitors Center you will head to the cafeteria to have lunch. This is a cafeteria-style lunch with a variety of dishes, including a vegetarian section, since some of the scientists that live and work at Barro Colorado are also vegetarian. After lunch, there will be time to ask questions and relax.

Eat a good breakfast (you can bring something along to eat in the boat)

Barro Colorado is one of the oldest tropical research stations in the world: people have been studying the forest here for more than 80 years. More than 200 scientists visit this open-air biology laboratory every year to study ecology, evolution and behavior of the animals and plants of the monument. Some of the projects focus on monitoring climatic conditions in relation to the populations of particular plants and animals. Research projects on plants, animals and microorganisms contribute tangibly to our understanding of the rich tropical forest ecosystem. By increasing our understanding, we may find ways to conserve our forests and to use their resources to our benefit.

Did you know that...?
-The Barro Colorado Nature Monument includes Barro Colorado Island and the five surrounding mainland peninsulas: Gigante, Peña Blanca, Bohío, Buena Vista and Frijoles.
-The area of the Island is 1,500 ha, whereas the area of the entire Monument is 5,600 ha.
-The annual precipitation on the Island is 2,600mm of rain.
-Leaf cutter ants cut more than 15% of all the leaves produced in the forest to fertilize the fungus that they eat in subterranean nests.
-Fig wasps may travel up to 9 miles to pollinate fig fruit.
T-he majority of fruit in the forest is produced in July and in September. In El Niño years, more fruit is produced.
-A big Espavé tree (Anacardium excelsum) pumps 54kg of water from the soil up into leaves, every day.
-Five monkey species live on Barro Colorado, all native to Panama: Spider Monkey, White-Faced Capucin, Geoffrey's Tamarin, Howler Monkey and Night Monkey.