We stopped in Colon, Panama and did this as an excursion from our cruise. We were bussed from the pier to Gamboa Resort and stopped at the bottom of the tram. I has multiple "cars" that fit 5 passengers and a "guide". The ride is very comfortable and we felt very safe. The "guide" reminded of a teen doing a summer job, but she was knowledgable, friendly and pleasant. The ride was only abour 20 minutes to the top of the hill. We passed, literally, thru the rain forest. It was NOT full of bugs, as I thought it would be. We saw lots of ants, heard birds and saw a sloth in the distance. There was not a lot of wildlife, but then with the people taking and the noise of the tram (more cliking that noise), it really was not surprising. At the top we disembarked and walked about 50 feet to an observation tower. It was all ramps, no steps, which was nice and easy. Went up about 6 stories and had a marvelous view of the river and the canal. Well worth the trip. Spectacular pictures. They say that it is handicapped accessible, which the tram and tower are, but the trip from the tram to the tower is not paved and would be difficult with a wheelchair or crutches. Doable but difficult. Got down from the tower, back on the tram and the bus took us to the other attractions. These were included in the price that we got from the cruise line. I DO NOT KNOW IF THESE WOULD BE INCLUDED IF YOU GO ON YOUR OWN. We stopped at the Butterfly house, interesting and beautiful, but a little disappointing because I only saw about 5 varietiers of butterflies. The were many of each, but only about 5 varieties. 10 minutes and you're done, unless you want to stand there and wait for a butterfly to land so you can take a picture. Then we walked over to the Reptile house. It had a croc, three cayman, about a dozen turtles and about 8 tanks with various fish (Tilapia, Colossa, minnow/sardines - can't remember the rest). Don't need to spend more than 10 minutes there. Walked over to Snake house - it was cool in there, nice break from the heat outside. Saw about 20 snakes, an iguana and a poisonous frog in the individual enclosures. Again, 10 minutes and yo're done. Orchid farm was the last stop. About 20 different varieties, lots of specimens. Pretty pictures, but 10 minutes and you're done. All of these are on the grounds of the Resort, but the are NOT world-renown by any means. Nice but simple. The tram itself was great and would have gotten a 5 star, but these others brought my rating down to only 4 stars.
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