Darién national park, Panama

Lying in central America, it sits in a gap in the Pan-American Highway, indeed the only gap in a road that runs from Alaska to Argentina (16,000 miles, 25000 km). This impenetrable rainforest gap is stunningly beautiful. Unfortunately, too, this is not merely from the many animals capable of doing you harm if you get it wrong, but also some of the most dangerous humans with Renegades, Guerrillas, adventurers and drug trafficers.

The reserve covers 2240 square miles, 5800 square km and is just pure wilderness. As the largest tract of undeveloped land in central America, it is incredibly important. Starting on the rocky beaches of the Pacific, and on into lowland and upland rainforest. With mountains and rivers all over the place, and with the highest forests being covered in cloud much of the time.


Darien national park, from the air

With over 2500 different plant species and birds and animals from both continents, it is well worth a visit. Mammals living here include Peccaries, tapirs, and forest fox along with cats that include Pumas, Jaguars and ocelots. The most notable bird is the Harpy eagle which is the strongest bird of prey in the world. Amerindian tribes still inhabit the area, both preserving their culture and protecting the forest as they have done for many thousands of years – and this is one of their last remaining enclaves.


This reserve is likely to survive and thrive as long as the road does not cross the park – will that happen? who knows

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