Rick Morales


I served as a naturalist guide for over 12 years for one of the most prestigious tour operators in Panama, running long trips in all the life zones and geographic regions of Panama and nearby countries, both land-based and at sea. But my passion has always been to travel and explore the depths of nature, in places where other people don’t regularly venture. One day, as I was bushwhacking my way across Panama on the first Thru-hike of the TransPanama Trail, it just dawned on me that although there are lots of people wanting to immerse themselves in pristine jungles and have a great time, most of them never do it, because they lack the know-how and they lack someone to coach them and show them the way.
Today that is not only my profession, but also my hobby. On my time off, my girlfriend and I hike and camp often, and at Jungle Treks we volunteer to help outdoor clubs and other organizations fulfill their purpose.
When I’m not leading a trek, I’m usually exploring new routes for future itineraries; and when I’m not doing that, I’m perhaps backpacking somewhere else in the world, in deserts or snow-covered mountains.
I like to tell my friends that I don’t have a job, I just have fun and get paid for it!

  • Rick in the Darien Gap

    In action

Camino Real Trek

4 days / 3 nights
The Camino Real, a path used in the 17th and 18th centuries by Spaniards to transfer silver, gold and other treasures from Peru to Spain, was the first thoroughfare that connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and marked the beginning of Panama as a crossroads of the world. Today the route is hardly discernible, with large sections of it burried under the urban sprawl of Panama City; 

Darien Gap Expedition

8 days / 7 nights or 13 days / 12 nights
Explore the inside of one of Central America’s most fabled regions, the Darien. With its exuberant rainforests, endless meandering rivers, and its local people, here is an expedition of a lifetime. One of the best ways to experience the Darien is by joining our custom trips. Please enquire about the multiple possibilities. For example, one of our journeys begins with a commercial flight out of Panama City to the village of Sambu.

Rivers of Gold

9 days / 8 nights
Traverse the Santa Fe National Park encompassing both Pacific and Atlantic slopes of Panama’s Cordillera Central. This expedition takes you through four magnificent and very distinct life zones, (Pacific pre montane forests, tropical cloud forests, elfin forest, and Caribbean lowland rainforest), up and over the continental divide from the town of Santa Fe de Veraguas, and ending at Belen, where Christopher
Columbus attempted the first mainland settlement in 1503. 

Certified Wilderness Guide

Central & South America

The course provides both class time and hands-on approach to wilderness guiding in an actual expedition environment. From the time they register for the course, candidates are involved in all the stages of the expedition, from planning, to transportation, to undertaking, and debriefing. 

All the subjects addressed with strong emphasis on Risk & Emergency Management, Expeditionary & Outdoor Leadership, Sustainability & Conservation and Wilderness Survival.