9 North Panama
Boat Tours • Eco Tours • Nature & Wildlife Tours • Photography Tours • Day Trips
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Rainforest Photography Expeditions and Bird Photography Tours on a custom built Rainforest Expedition boat. Includes specialised photographer's chair with an articulating arm and gimbal and pro-level DSLR camera and 150-600mm. All tours include a Photography Guide and Bird Tours include an experience Bird Guide. Nutritious snacks and beverages. Maximum 4 guests, boat can be booked for one person or a group's exclusive use. Pick up and drop off at accommodation in Gamboa included. Owner directly involved as a Guide, English speaking. Boat Captain and Bird Guide speak Spanish and understandable English.
Gamboa, Panama
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9 North Panama
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
56 reviews
Excellent
56
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thc152
New York City, NY179 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
First time visiting Panama City and my wife wanted to see the Panama Canal. As for me an avid fisherman I want to do some fishing in Panama. I came across 9 North Panama when I was researching for a fishing charter in Panama. The uniqueness of fishing trip 9 North offer on the Panama Canal immediately caught my attention. I reached out to Andrew owner to inquire about the trip. He responded quickly and answered all my questions promptly. I’m so glad we made the decision to do this trip with Andrew. His knowledge about the rainforest, eco system, the wild animals, etc is really impressive. He took his time to explain everything and show us some of the wild animals in the rainforest. I have done fishing in many places and this fishing trip provided an absolutely amazing experience. We else can you fish in one of the seven wonders of the world, See wild animals like crocodiles and monkeys in their natural habitat, ride next to huge cruise and large cargo ships in Panama Canal while you are fishing? I also want to mention about how comfortable and unique the boat is. It’s custom made for photography with a spacious platform and comfortable swift chairs. Very comfortable for fishing as well. We caught many peacock bass on this trip and they were beautiful. Andrew also provided a delicious homemade picnic style lunch on the banks and that was a lovely experience as well. If you are in Panama City you must do this trip. I want to thank Andrew for such amazing experience. This fishing trip is the highlight of our trip to Panama City. Loved!
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello Tak Thank you for your very kind words. I am extremely fortunate to live in Panama and enjoy the amazing Gatun Lake (through which the Panama Canal passes). Every day on the lake is a new and wonderful experience for me. Tight lines! Andrew
Written March 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MaruStaab
Mars, PA51 contributions
Nov 2020 • Family
We had an excellent experience with Andrew and Pauline. Our 3 y/o loved it and we enjoyed the nature, the view and the wildlife. Highly recommend if visiting Panama w/kids.
Written November 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Rich N
Hi Mara It is wonderful to have kids on the boat so that at an early age they can get an appreciation for and interest in nature. Look forward to seeing you again shortly. Andrew
Written November 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

emrafnzch
Zug25 contributions
Nov 2019 • Couples
We had an amazing few hours out on the water with Andrew and Johnny. We saw so much wildlife, got some great photos and were able to really enjoy the beautiful area. Andrew leads you away from the crowded tour boats to hidden nooks of the lake where you have peace and quiet to wait for nature to put on it's show. Johnny has a great eye for spotting creatures and getting the boat up close, and on the right angle for great photos. Andrew is very knowledgeable and told us lots of interesting bits and pieces along the way. Highlights were watching a sloth climb through the treetops, a couple of cheeky posing lizards on rocks, the sweet wee monkeys and some amazing moments with a turtle. Cannot recommend this highly enough for a great way to get up close with nature.
Written November 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Rich N
Thank you Rafael and Emma, we had a really enjoyable tour with you. Once again the forest, lake and weather were amazing. My favourites are always the crocs that you got some good photos of. A first was the turtle that took great delight in posing for her photo. Wonderful. Enjoy the rest of your travels in Panama and hope to see you again soon? Andrew
Written November 12, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cdlhos
Los Angeles, CA405 contributions
I met Andrew and the boat at the Gamboa marina for a 10:30am tour. Scheduling the tour was very easy using email, with very quick replies to my questions. It was just myself, Andrew, and the boat driver. The driver was great, going at a slow speed so we could spot plenty of wildlife. Andrew is a great guide, friendly, and interesting to talk to. We covered lots of inlets and coves where we were the only boat. I was familiar with a similar camera and lens, but had never shot using the mounting rig. You do not need to be an experienced photographer, Andrew has several preset settings that work well. It did take a while to get used to raising and lowering the camera as needed. We were on the lake for about three hours and had great weather. We saw three species of monkeys, loads of birds, iguanas, crocodiles, and more. I would highly recommend this tour for adults who like photography and nature. It was one of my favorite experiences in Panama and would definitely do it again when I return.
Written October 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Rich N
Hello Cheryl Thank you. As you mentioned, the weather, again, was great. For the past month, despite it being the 'rainy' season, we have had unbelievably good clear sunny mornings and wonderful wildlife sightings. Look forward to seeing you again. Andrew
Written October 27, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Adele
Dublin, Ireland9 contributions
I found this tour browsing TA, and I couldn’t have been luckier! I had the chance not only to see my favourite animals up-close, but also to take incredible pictures of them :D
Everything from pick up to drop off was perfect, and Andrew is one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve met; you don’t want to miss out this experience!
Thank you so much for everything to the whole crew!
Written September 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Rich N
Hi Adele Thank you. Once again the Rainforest and weather didn't disappoint us and we got some amazing photos. Look forward to seeing you again next time you are in Panama. This time, you experienced the forest in the Green season. Next time it will be in the Dry season, when you will get to see an extraordinary array of flowers and water fowl. See you soon. Andrew
Written September 23, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JudyandIan
Los Angeles, CA62 contributions
Aug 2019
Our morning with Andrew and Johnny was the highlight of our trip to Panama. Thanks to Johnny’s eagle eyes (no pun intended), we got close-up photos of two iguanas, Capuchins and Tamarinds and several birds, including the rare Sungrebe. Andrew has immersed himself in learning about Panama’s flora and fauna and over our four-and-half hours together, gently shared his knowledge. His boat and cameras are set up to give the best photo experience, whether sailing beside massive ships in the Panama Canal or a tiny inlet off Gatun Lake. Andrew's passion for the environment has led him to eliminate plastic for guests. As a result, water is served in sterilized reusable bottles, as is his delicious pasta salad. Our picnic on the boat in a quiet inlet was a relaxing interlude on a memorable day. We pretty much had the place to ourselves since Andrew likes to get out on the water while most people are still sleeping! The payoff is worth the sleep sacrifice. We also took advantage of the driving service from Panama City recommended by Andrew. Our driver, Mayeli, is a wonderful person who got us to our destination safely, in comfort and a few minutes early. We look forward to repeating the entire experience another time.
Written August 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Judy and Ian Thank you for your very kind words. It was so good to meet and chat to you both, and hear about your interesting ventures and experiences. I look forward to keeping in touch. All the best Andrew
Written August 26, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Monica_W1970
Raleigh, NC75 contributions
Jul 2019 • Family
Someone on Twitter told me this was the activity they enjoyed the most on their vacation in Panama. I'm so glad we booked this tour. We've been traveling the world for over 20 years now and I've grown tired of the "tourist hubs". I want to feel like I've experienced a place, not the crowds who are visiting it. This tour was perfect in that way. There are only a few boats in the world that offer this kind of experience.

The boat sits 4 people, the captain and Andrew (the owner) which was perfect for our family. We had rented a car so we decided to drive the 40 minutes from our hotel in downtown Panama City to the Gatun Lake dock. We were on the boat at 6:30 and headed up a portion of the Canal towards its estuaries. After 30 minutes we were alongside an island known for its monkeys and away we went. The cameras are set on auto, easy to manage and adjust. Andrew does a great job of adjusting the lighting as the day progresses. The monkeys were not shy and almost appeared to be posing for us. We moved on, taking pictures of a variety of birds, alligators and even an ant eater at the top of a tree. Yes, ant eaters in Panama climb trees. Andrew is very informed about the entire ecological system and it's obvious how much he loves doing these tours. We had a fantastic time and would highly recommend the tour to others. We rarely saw other people but when we did pull up to a Monkey Island tour I noticed they were trying to get a quick pic of a monkey with their phones, I have to admit I was really glad we had taken this tour instead, since we visited three island populated by monkeys. You will really feel immersed in the rainforest and no tour is alike. It's all dependent on the animals and plants.

I do recommend the 6:30 am tour. There's very few people around at that time, the animals are more active and it's not as hot. By noon we were starting to feel the heat. Make sure you wear a hat (it was bright when the sun came out), sunscreen and bug spray (although we had very few bugs).
Written July 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Rich N
Hi Monica Thank you for such kind words. Once again the Rainforest put on a show for us, and its always wonderful to watch monkeys behave naturally in their natural envronment. You guys, in particular, your daughter, got some brilliant photos which I'm going to post on Instagram. We had as much fun as you did, and hope that we may see you again soon. Andrew
Written July 22, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Annette F
Sydney, Australia6 contributions
Jun 2019 • Solo
Andrew's idea of providing a boat with swivel chairs and upscale camera equipment which can capture fabulous wildlife photos is brilliant. Whether you're an experienced photographer who chose not to haul the kit on holiday, or a strictly phone-photographer, this expedition is for you. You take shots like a pro, then take home the SD card. Even without the photography, this is a great tour: early morning in the jungle, monkeys, birds, crocs -- toucan in the wild. Plus you cross the iconic Panama Canal, dodging container ships. What an adventure. Highly recommended.
Written June 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Rich N
Thank you Annette. The Rainforest never ceases to amaze me, and on every tour we experience something new and special. Hope to see you again in Panamá. Andrew
Written July 1, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

hallage123
Michigan8 contributions
Feb 2019 • Couples
This was one of the most unique and intimate tours I have ever experienced. Owners Andrew and Pauline were so knowledgeable on everything we saw and incredibly gracious and flexible hosts. Captain Johnny was all smiles and very talented at finding wildlife. The pictures we took were straight out of a National Geographic magazine, I have zero talent for photography but Andrew was so helpful, patient and a great teacher, I came away with so many outstanding photographs I had a difficult time narrowing it down when posting the hightlights on FB.

We left with such an amazing good feelings. The time spent on the Lake was so peaceful and a welcome break from the craziness and crowds of downtown Panama City. I can't recommend this tour enough. It was a wonderful way to wind down our week in Panama.

Tip: If you are coming from the city, I recommend saving some time before or after the tour just to sit and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat on the patio of the lobby restaurant of the Gamboa Rainforest resort (this was actually a recommendation from Andrew and we are so glad we took his suggestion).
Written February 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Michelle We had a great time, with a lot of laughs, with you and Dan. That's what our tour is all about: lots of fun, great sightings of wildlife, wonderful photos regardless of one's camera experiece and a connection with this incredibly and precious piece of our planet! See you again soon. Andrew & Pauline
Written March 9, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jenbo1957
Little Silver, NJ7 contributions
Jan 2019 • Friends
We had a wonderful experience with Andrew as our guide and teacher. The cameras are great, the boat is perfect, and our pictures are amazing. I would do this again in a minute! If you like taking pictures, this is a fantastic tour!!!
Written January 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello Jen Thank you. You got some really amazing photos! Please join us again. Andrew & Pauline
Written January 20, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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9 North Panama (Gamboa) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go