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“A unique and varied experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Canopy Tower

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Canopy Tower
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Semaphore Hill Road | Soberania National Park, Panama City 0832-2701, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Progreso, Mexico
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“A unique and varied experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

The food was served buffet style, prepared from recipes created by the owner's sister, a nationally famous chef. Most dishes were prepared using local ingredients. Everyone commented on how great and interesting the food was. The only negative was that wine was included in the price but beer was extra.
Every morning we woke to find many different species of birds and mammals just outside our window, including Howler Monkies, sloths, etc. There is a lookout tower on the roof where we started out days with fresh coffee and juice, followed by a full breakfast in the dining room.
Every day there were extremely knowledgeable and helpful guides ready to take us out for birding and nature excursions, morning, afternoon and evening.
Because the building is a converted radio communications tower constructed of metal, the rooms are not soundproof - actually the opposite. Except for this drawback, I would have given it a 5-star rating!

Room Tip: Use the ear plugs that are provided
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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185 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Emporia, Kansas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

This is an excellent birding extravaganza! Our guide, Domi was so knowledgeable and caring- he frequently went the extra mile to help us find each bird spotted. I will advise that it's not the best choice for those who aren't ready to climb stairs and walk for several hours each day finding birds. This can quickly become a "hit the ground running" vacation. I took a day to just relax at the tower and enjoyed the solitude and quiet while my husband couldn't miss an opportunity to see more birds.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Arlington, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

My husband and I had heard about Canopy Tower and thought it sounded cool, so we planned an entire Panama vacation around it. It is a unique destination, not only because your room is in a converted USAF radio tower up in the jungle canopy. Panama, because of it's geographical location, is so significant historically, politically and biologically. Canopy Tower puts you in touch with all those wonders of Panama--you look out the window and see all the monkeys and birds and from the observation deck you see the canal and boats from all over the world.
You do need to climb stairs, there is no air conditioning and the rooms are not anywhere near soundproof. None of these things bothered me. My fellow travelers were really considerate and quiet in the evening, so I never needed the earplugs. The design with open rooms up in the tree tops meant there was always a breeze. The common room was a comfortable and very neat place to hang out. The food was quite good, everything was clean and the staff was courteous. Our guide, Eliecer, was great, although they are very bird-centric and you have to let them know you are interested in other things too. He found us some cool bats, an armadillo and cayman. The monkeys were the most incredible part of the trip. We ate lunch together 2 days. It was so cool to see how monkeys live that close up. They weren't disturbed by us and hardly paid us any notice at all so you felt like you weren't even there.
I would recommend this place to anyone who does not have a disability that would keep them from getting up stairs. It is in the wild, yet convenient to get to. You don't have to go on a safari. 35 minutes drive from Panama City, just check in, put your feet up and watch the birds and monkeys go by your window.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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San Diego, California, USA
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

We stayed four nights and had excellent food at each meal. The trek up and down the stairs does get a bit old--but the birding is fantastic. We upgraded to one of the suites and had a very large room and an en-suite bath which was terrific. Carlos was our birding guide and was fabulous! He knew where all the birds were hiding and we saw so many wonderful birds, animals and even archaeological sites. And it's just 45 minutes out of Panama City--well worth the visit!

Room Tip: Choose one of the suites if you can.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

The Canopy Tower is one of three hotels owned by an environmental activist. it is a decommissioned "listening post" of the United States, a relic from the Cold War. it is right in the middle of a National Park, Soberiania, which has lakes and jungle and trails filled with lush plants, flowers, wonderful trees, animals, birds, butterflies and green, dappled sunlight. the Tower is behind a locked gate as it is on public grounds.

The Tower has been renovated to house a number of guests and accomodate their food needs. This is a top notch staff who are pleasant and kind and quite helpful to any and all individuals in need. It is a place of steps however, so if you have problems climbing them, this is not going to be easy at all.

but....it is a mecca for birds and butterflies. the guides are incredible at both sighting and hearing birds, and can point out what they are hearing in even the densest of vegetation and the worst of lighting. and they make sure that EVERYONE has seen the bird. and the same goes for monkeys and other wildlife native to the area.

the food was excellent in terms of the recipes used, which were from the wife of the owner, who published her book of Panamanian recipes some years ago, however, some of the dishes were overcooked. but flavorful and a wonderful blending of cooking styles that reflected the international nature of Panama.

sound travels in this place because you are living in a renovated, hollow steel tower so guests are asked, thank God, to be restrained. There is a great dining area that has 360 degrees worth of large windows, and a top balcony, also 360 degrees, that puts one over the canopy itself, so you can see Panama City in the distance, but more importantly for a birder, the birds waking up and flying around in the dawn air. and to be served coffee up there is a dream.

this is a wonderful experience and hard to beat anywhere. except maybe this owner's second property, the Lodge, which is upscale and just plain incredible. it was very hard to leave both the Tower and especially the Lodge, to return home.

Room Tip: Rooms right below the dining area (third floor) and in the middle canopy area so some of them look o...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

This review is not based on staying overnight at the Canopy Tower, but visiting the Canopy Tower. My husband and I stayed at its nearby sister property, Canopy B&B. You don't need to be an overnight guest to visit the Canopy Tower, but there is a fee. ($25 pp and that only gets you in between 7a.m. and 10:00 a.m.)

Everyone is nice at Canopy Tower. We spent our three hours at the top of the tower enjoying the views of the massive hawk migration. The guide were great at pointing out species to us and there was hot coffee on hand and you could use the bathroom at the facilities if needed. There are chairs aplenty at the top of the tower and to be honest, that's my kind of birding!

Definitely visit the Canopy Tower if you are in the area. We stayed at the more affordable Canopy B&B and so it was more of a cost factor for us as to why we didn't stay overnight at Canopy Tower. But know that you still have the option to visit it for the fee.

Room Tip: No tips for a good room, as we were not overnight guests.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2012

We spent three nights at the Canopy tower and I wish we could have stayed longer - The guides were excellent and were very considerate of my husband's slow pace due to health problems - Our guide even produced a little camp stool for David to sit on while we were out on the pipeline road - and while we sat, we saw a brown headed parrot - so that made it doubly nice

I can't wait to go back - and hope to go to the canopy lodge also

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Canopy Tower

Address: Semaphore Hill Road | Soberania National Park, Panama City 0832-2701, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 70 Specialty Lodging in Panama City
Also Known As:
Canopy Tower Hotel Panama City
Canopy Tower Panama/Panama City

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