Night Safari and Giant Tree in Bayano

Giant tree and Night Safari

One of the things that can be done in the Embera Maje Cordillera community is a Night Safari, so, once we had dinner it was time to get ready.

Night Safari

We put on a lot of repellent, although they still bit me hahaha, we headed to the piragua to start the tour, all anxious with our flashlights and cameras waiting.

Nature is surprising, do not imagine seeing birds flying at night, especially almost touching the water.

One of the things we were looking for was crocodiles, I thought we had to go to the dark to see them, but no, you have to go looking for them with the flashlight and where you can see some red dots there is one (only red eyes are visible, when they are illuminated with a flashlight).

Every time we saw some we got closer, but the noise of the motor made them submerge.

Unfortunately, at the Night Safari, we did not carry the oars, so we could only get closer with the motor

Crocodile eyes are seen at night when illuminated by a flashlight at Night Safari
Crocodile eyes are seen at night when illuminated by a flashlight.

Almost at the end of the river, getting the lake, we caught a small one and it took us a lot to get out of the place, I thought we would spend the night there hahaha.

The young man who was carrying the crocodile, I don’t know what he was doing and it got loose on his head, the it bit him, although not much and then he released it inside the piragua, likewise, luckily in front of me there were 2 people hahaha, they quickly caught it.

We went to another part, where the rest of us could be closer to the crocodile, appreciate it and of course, later, we released it in the river.

This was definitely the best adventure of the weekend, I recommend you the Night Safari tour in Bayano.

Night Safari
Night Safari.

Peculiar phone

At about 9:00 pm we were supposed to call Jerry, who couldn’t stay the night with us.

In the afternoon, we asked how to make the call and they told us up there, we thought we would have to climb a palm tree, because we did not understand.

In one of the columns of the house, there is a point where there is a phone signal, it is like an open wooden box and ropes.

They place the cell phone and wait a few minutes for it to pick up the signal (it may catch it right away), without removing the cell phone the call is made and of course you have to put it on speaker.

The box is a bit high, so you have to stand on a chair.

It was quite fun and interesting.

Place to make calls
Place to make calls.

Emberá house

We got ready to sleep, some stayed talking with Mr. Jarami, the owner of the house.

I couldn’t sleep and I joined the conversation, he told us about his community and culture.

We put the tents inside the house, just in case it rained at night.

The house is a structure with Cocobolo columns and a wooden floor, raised one and a half meters above the ground with a roof of leaves known to them as guagara, the house has no walls.

Before, the houses raised them about 3.5m because at night the Peccaries passed by, they traveled in a herd of about 100.

Also, other animals such as jaguars, snakes, puma, among others, and being elevated they protected themselves from these animals.

The stairs they used were a not very wide trunk, with some indentations, that way they went up, pregnant women or with babies, children, the elderly, it seems to me extremely surprising.

Camping inside an Embera house after the Night Safari
Camping inside an Embera house.

They prepare like a tent with fabric and threads, which they put on and take off every day.

I saw it when I got up to participate in the conversation, I was thinking of taking a picture of it, but the next day they got up early and kept it.

On Sunday morning we had tea, and some, coffee and got ready to go for a hike on a trail.

dogs of bayano
Mates of the tour.

Knowing the giant tree

We went out again in the piragua and 2 dogs joined us swimming, the section of the river was short, the entire trail is uphill, part of it intervened by man and part not.

After a short time, we reached a super wide tree, for the other centennial trees that I have seen (between 100 and 500 years), this could be about 700 years (first photo), it is a calculation that I put, I am not an expert.

We took some photos and decided to go back to do the other things.

Way to know the giant tree
Way to know the giant tree.

The breakfast

A breakfast with hojaldre and bush meat was waiting for us, I recommend you bring your drinks, because they do have water, but it is not a water we are used to, so it is not recommended for foreigners, it is best to bring water and juices to be drunk.

Before we left, Jarami put on his Emberá party outfits and his wife, Esterbina Aripe, dressed me in her clothes, and so we took some pictures.

Dressed as Embera with the lady, Esterbina, and one of the adventurers, Aaron.
Dressed as Embera with the lady, Esterbina, and one of the adventurers, Aaron.

We pick up our things because we had to meet the group from the day trip to do the Bayano Caves and the Canyon.

Surprise show on the way back

We embarked, although in this case it would be Piraguamos, jijij, and on the way out we found the biggest surprise, 2 different types of birds, some all black and the other all white, they were in the water at full width.

As we went passing by, they took flight, it was 2 minutes like that, just imagine how many there were, there were thousands.

Beautiful spectacle of nature
Beautiful spectacle of nature.

Due to a delay, they could not go to the Canyon, however, then they went to the Embera community, they were painted, had lunch, traveled the river, saw many birds and a family of howler monkeys.

That weekend we remembered many things from our childhood, personally, there was no internet, no cell phone, in my house we had no cable and although there were already video games, not everyone had them at home.

The normal thing was to play soccer, ride a bicycle, skating and if we were to the countryside, we were going to a nearby river and also playing hide-and-seek either at night or during the day.

I remember we laughed a lot and a cut or scrape was nothing.

See the post of the Embera Maje Community

Howler monkey
Howler monkey.


  • Good repellent,
  • Bring water,
  • Sunscreen,
  • Quick-drying clothes, not jeans,
  • Swimsuit,
  • Sneakers and flip flops,
  • Something for the cold for the early morning,
  • Flashlight with extra batteries,
  • Ask, they are willing to tell you about their culture,
  • Bring identification, in Chepo policemen will ask for it.


  • It starts in $ 150.00 camping in the Embera community, Caves, Canyon, safari and hiking.

My guide

The guys of Travelling Souls Panama (507) 6153-8924 (WhatsApp),

Tour in Spanish and English.

How to get to Bayano?

You can only go if you have a booked tour and the meeting point will depend on the tour. I leave the address in case it is in Bayano.

Leaving from Albrook head east, either by no-toll road, North Motorway or South Motorway, then take the Pan-American Highway.

Continue until you reach the Bridge over Bayano Lake, it is easy to distinguish since it is the only bridge over the water after both Motorway.

The trip from Albrook to the Bridge over Bayano Lake can take 1 hour 40 minutes (per Motorway).

I do not recommend going by bus because they do not have a schedule and it may take time to pass.

Updated: 2020.

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whit the family
Adventurers of the trip, the Embera who welcomed us and shared the weekend with us.

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