Hiking the Pipeline Road, Panama

The Pipeline Road (Camino del Oleoducto) is a 6 kilometer stretch of disused road cut through the Panamanian rain-forest close to the Panama Canal and one of the most renowned places in the world for bird watching. In fact, it was here that in 1985 the Audubon Society set a record for 385 bird species identified in the same place in 24 hours.

The Pipeline Road was cut through the forest to allow easy maintenance of an oil pipeline that was to run parallel with the Panama Canal and be used to transport oil in the case of destruction of the canal during the Cold War. The road is now disused and provides fantastic access to wildlife – the forest around the Pipeline Road is home to 525 species of birds, 105 species of mammals and 79 species of reptile.