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“Fabulous lodge with amazing guides” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Canopy Lodge

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Canopy Lodge
Cerro Gaital Natural Monument, El Valle de Anton 0832-2701 WTC, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Fabulous lodge with amazing guides”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge are both fabulous places to stay if you're interested in birds and wildlife. The guides at both lodges are fantastic, and know all the birds by sight and sound. I have stayed at both accommodations twice now, and can't wait to go back.

The Tower is a fairly simple lodge (particularly the single rooms which share a bathroom). The twins have en suite bathrooms. The accommodation is in an old radar tower, which makes for interestingly shaped rooms, and for great access to the top of the tower to watch birds and mammals, but does mean the whole place can be noisy (they provide ear plugs to guard against snorers!).

The Lodge is more luxurious, with lovely ensuite rooms for both twin and single. It is located by a rushing river, and has bird feeders.

The food in both lodges is good and tasty. I would highly recommend visits to both the Tower and Lodge. I stayed at the Tower for 7 nights and at the Lodge for 3 nights, and that wasn't long enough in either place!

Room Tip: All rooms are very nice, but I would recommend the upstairs rooms since you have better views from y...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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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106 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

We wanted to spend a couple of nights inland and away from Panama City but were tight for time so needed to find a location relatively nearby. After doing some research, we opted for El Valle de Anton and by all accounts there was one place to stay that stands out - the Canopy Lodge. A quick look on the website and we were sold - it looked fantastic. Our one reservation was as to how we would fit in and what we might do given that neither of us had any birding experience.

Nonetheless, we jumped on a local bus in Panama City (an experience in itself) and made our way up to El Valle. We were met by Tino, the local host, and an absolutely delicious lunch. The common area of the Lodge is very relaxed, sort of 'safari-style', with an open air eating area, sofas and a communal library. We were actually the only guests during our stay - sandwiched between two busy periods for the lodge. As a result we had truly exceptional service although I'm certain that this is common regardless of when you come to visit. We dined with the owner and his guests one of our nights and on our own the other. Throughout, the food was absolutely delicious, varied and true to local cuisine. Our room was equally well appointed - big bed, very light with lots of natural light, a great shower.

What I really want to underline is how much fun we had during the stay - we spent a full day in the gardens of the Lodge spotting all sorts of wonderful birds, taking lots of pictures and just enjoying the setting. There's also a natural swimming pool that is very refreshing to swim in. Throughout the time we spent in the grounds, Tino was on hand to offer us expert guidance on where different birds were, what they were, what birds were making different sounds and so on. Just in the grounds we must have seen 15-20 different types of bird, including Toucans, Woodpeckers, Hummingbirds, a Mot Mot and a whole host of Tanigers and so on.

We also really enjoyed doing one of the trails with Eliecer - another of the expert guides. We were joined on the trail by two experienced birders and yet our guide still struck a really good balance between seeking out really difficult to find species and giving us a general education as we went. In total, we saw over 60 different species of bird in our two day visit and really enjoyed the experience.

I can't recommend the Canopy Lodge highly enough - it's a fantastic place to stay, with great nature to explore and run by a great team. I'd especially like to thank Tino and Raul for their generosity and time - it was an absolute pleasure to spend the two days in your company. Ps - we'll be emailing some of our photos as promised!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We stayed at the Canopy Lodge for five nights in December. (We also stayed at the Tower.) The Lodge The Canopy Lodge is relatively luxurious and located in a mountain rainforest. It is well designed, with large rooms and each with a porch overlooking a beautiful tropical garden. The garden attracts many birds, and includes a swimming pond. There is no air conditioning, but the location is high in elevation and is much cooler than in Panama City. The Lodge staff is excellent. The owner joined us one night for dinner and was very interesting.

The food is served family style and is excellent. The staff accommodates food issues with no problem.  My wife is lactose intolerant and can't eat red meat or salads, and the staff accommodated these and other food issues with no problem (e.g., another guest at the Lodge was vegetarian).

Both the Lodge and the Tower cater to birders, and many of the guests we were fairly intense about it. My wife is an avid birder, while I just enjoy seeing the birds and other wildlife. Between the two locations, by my wife’s accounting we saw some 170 bird species.

We both had a great time and we found other guests at both places to be quite congenial.  There were several non-birder spouses like me, who just enjoyed seeing a rainforest.  The bird/nature guides are incredibly good. They can spot a bird in the far distance, identify it, and find in their spotting scope within minutes. They are also quite tenacious in seeking rare birds. The Lodge also has activities for non-birders which are listed on their web site.

We had a good time on our stay at the Lodge and recommend it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Driebergen, The Netherlands
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

Excellent location, good rooms but terrible food( especially breakfast,unless you like green scrambled eggs, burned sausages and old coffee).Service was poor.It was expensive and completely not worth the money.Look for something else.
Maik Willems Holland

Room Tip: Great location,terrible food and service.You really have to like birds very much to stay here. Expe...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the Canopy Lodge for three nights the week before Thanksgiving. The Canopy Tower Family arranged the transport between our hotel in Panama City and the Lodge. The fee was reasonable, we were picked up on time and we felt very safe with the driver. The Lodge and grounds were beautiful and our room was neat and clean, with a lovely view of the garden area. The food was good and wine was included with dinner. There are four feeders in the garden area and it was very relaxing to sit in the outdoor "lobby" area and watch the birds and squirrels come and go. Each morning and afternoon was spent hunting for birds and the guides were very knowledgeable and spoke English well. The "hunts" are for hardcore birders and those who aren't all that interested in adding to their life list may want to relax at the Lodge. Zip-lining is available just up the road, but we didn't go because it was raining most of the time.
When we first arrived, we were asked if we had any dietary restrictions, and I told them I don't eat fish. They seemed to understand, but the main course for two of the three dinners was only fish. There was plenty to eat with salad, rice and beans, but it would have been much nicer to have a main course for me that wasn't fish!
With that exception, and understanding that the main focus of the daily activities is hardcore bird watching, this is a fabulous place and we'd certainly recommend it!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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 24, 2012

This place is fantastic for birding. We had an endless supply of beautiful birds at the feeders and a great guide. My only suggestion is that they embrace Panamanian cuisine a bit more fully (but the food was good). The rooms are big, clean, and comfortable.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heredia, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

I recently passed through El Valle and after much debating on where to stay, I decided to treat myself to a couple of nights at the Canopy Lodge. Now, usually I am a bit more of a budget traveler and stay mainly at biological field stations where us biologists "rough it". Canopy Lodge was worth every penny!

It's not often that everything a hotel posts on their website is 100% true, but I am happy to say this was the case for Canopy Lodge. The birds are right outside your window and can be seen all over the clearing, providing many photo opportunities. The rooms are clean and attractive, and the food... oh the food... was amazing! The lodge is filled with little touches here and there that make you really feel at home. The staff was exceedingly friendly and helpful, all of them!

I did not partake on any tours with the guides, but I spent about four hours every night hiking in search of reptiles and amphibians (I'm a herpetologist). Many frogs were found right on the hotel grounds, along the river. I spent the days photographing the specimens from the previous night, and the guides would pop up to the room just to chat, see the frogs, and make sure that everything was perfect. I tell you, the service was amazing!

I would not hesitate to stay here again, it was simply outstanding!

Thank you,

-Don

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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Additional Information about Canopy Lodge

Address: Cerro Gaital Natural Monument, El Valle de Anton 0832-2701 WTC, Panama
Location: Panama > Cocle Province > El Valle de Anton
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty lodging in El Valle de Anton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Full service lodge specializing in nature activities, particularly bird watching. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Canopy Hotel El Valle De Anton
Canopy Lodge Panama/El Valle De Anton

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