Birding Hotspots of a Lifetime

Planning a birding trip? See our recommendations for six birding hotspots around the world that everyone should see.

I need to start with a disclaimer. It’s nearly impossible to pick only six places in the whole world to go birding. And it might be even harder to recommend just one tour company for each place. Birding tourism is really booming. Dozens of companies seem to be popping up, promising you the best vacation of your life, full of jaw-dropping birds.

While I’ve been to only one of these birding hotspots myself (I adore Alaska), I really pulled out all the stops for this story, talking to bird experts and friends from around the country. After much research, I present you with these six great places to go, along with six great companies that can get you there.

If you’re planning a birding adventure, I strongly encourage you to contact some of these companies and see how they might be able to help. Selecting a company to go birding with is much like picking out a new pair of shoes. You can’t go by looks alone; you really have to try them on. I mean, you’re probably looking at spending thousands of dollars for one of these trips. So contact these companies and try them on for size—ask them questions, get their advice, talk to them about what areas you want to visit. Chances are, you’ll figure out the right fit and will soon be on your way to the trip of a lifetime.


Panama Panama is a big tourist destination and, increasingly, a retirement choice for American baby boomers. Still, it values its biodiversity so highly that it has set aside more than a quarter of its land for national parks and refuges.

That and the tropical climate mean that an amazing 900 species of birds spend all or part of the year here. You’ll see all kinds of toucans, puffbirds, hummingbirds, jacamars, woodcreepers, antbirds and more. In fact, it’s easy to spot more than 100 bird species in a single day.

CHECK OUT: Pretty much all bird tour companies go to Panama, but we like the small mom-and-pop operation Cheepers! Birding on a Budget. Owners Cindy and Jim Beckman do all the planning and paperwork and they go on the tours, too. If you check out their website and email an inquiry, you’ll hear back directly from one of them.

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  1. says

    Most wonderful city forever these birding hotspots myself I really pulled out all the stops for this story, talking to bird experts and friends from around the land .

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