A Sunday Times Top 10 Wild Adventure Begins in Panama This Week with Secret Compass

2014's Panama expedition departs this Saturday for an epic adventure exploring the Darien Gap.

Bristol, United Kingdom, March 12, 2014 --(PR.com)-- One of 2014’s wildest adventures (according to the Sunday Times Top 100 Holidays) embarks this Saturday, 15 March, to cross Panama’s notorious Darién Gap jungle.

The only break in the 30,000-mile-long Pan-American highway, the Darién Gap separates Panama and Columbia and is a natural barrier between Central and South America.

Its unexplored depths entice adventurers in, offering “an epic jungle experience worth boasting about for years to come” according to Secret Compass team mate Tom Healy.

Tom Bodkin, director of the adventure travel company Secret Compass, said, “We were thrilled that Panama was one of the Sunday Times’ top 100 trips of the year, in the Wild category. It’s a tough region to explore and is not without its risks and threats – which is what makes it wild.

“We strive to create extraordinary adventures for our teams, often with a wild or remote edge, in regions from Kurdistan and Afghanistan to Sierra Leone, Sudan and Madagascar.

“Our foray into the throbbing fecundity of the Darién Gap is one of our toughest expeditions to date. It fully deserves its Top 10 Wildest Holidays accolade.”

But the Darién Gap is far more than a notch on a daring adventurer’s belts. Its UNESCO-protected National Park is one of central America’s largest and most valuable areas.

Bodkin said, “The area is culturally and ethnically diverse, peopled by Emberá, Wounaan and Kuna tribes. Our team will meet Emberá tribesmen and visit major archaeological sites formerly lost in ancient jungles, such as 5,000-year-old petroglyphs.”

Panama’s Darien Gap: expedition highlights

· Explore the legendary region that separates the Americas
· Learn jungle survival skills from expert guides
· Travel alongside and learn about the Emberá Indians
· Seek out mysterious, 5,000-year-old petroglyphs (stone carvings)
· Explore jungle rivers by indigenous canoe
· Be among the first adventure travellers to cross the Darién Gap on foot

This World Heritage site also has a plethora of rare birds, plants and wildlife. Rick Morales, Secret Compass expedition leader, said, “I saw monkey, quetzals, peccaries and the tracks of jaguar, puma, ocelot and tapir.

“I never glimpsed a jaguar, though one night in the rainforest I heard and smelt something beneath my hammock – but chose not to find out what it was!” added Morales.

The security situation in the Darién has improved in recent years. Bodkin added, “Though some of the Darien remains volatile, we’ll avoid those places as we take the safety of our team members incredibly seriously.”

This pioneering Panamanian expedition is one of ten adventure travel experiences organised by Secret Compass in 2014. Find full Darien Gap expedition information here: http://secretcompass.com/expeditions/panama-expedition-2014/.

For further press information, please contact kerry@secretcompass.com.

Notes To Editors
Secret Compass is a pioneering expedition company creating world-first experiences for teams of like-minded adventurers. Through group and bespoke adventures, Secret Compass helps each team member achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Founded by ex-British Army Parachute Regiment officers, its expeditions reach the planet’s most remote regions in the spirit of exploration’s earliest pioneers. Its highly trained professionals deliver well-planned and safe experiences, while encouraging daring leaps out of comfort zones. Secret Compass is passionate about returning tourism to post-conflict zones and emerging economies to stimulate local development and challenge preconceptions.

Specialist Film and TV services
Secret Compass also takes film crews, journalists and photographers to remote and previously inaccessible areas thanks to its unrivalled location management expertise. Clients to date include the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Channel 4, in countries from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan.


Press enquiries: 0203 2398 038
Secret Compass
Kerry O'Neill
+44 (0)7815896533