Jungle Land Panama
Jungle Land Panama
4.5
Fishing Charters & ToursNature & Wildlife ToursStand Up PaddleboardingKayaking & Canoeing
This location was reported permanently closed
About
This is the by far the most complete day tour conducted on Lake Gatun of the Panama Canal. Tour the lake and see diversa flora, fauna and ships transiting the Canal. Witness history in the making with works to expand the canal. Visit Monkey Island and our award winning Floating Lodge. Enjoy a delicious Panamanian lunch and take part in our numerous activities at no additional charge, kayaking, fishing, swiming & Stand-up-Paddling.
Gamboa, Panama
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(8 reviews)
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(9 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles336 reviews
Excellent
275
Very good
35
Average
16
Poor
4
Terrible
6

Erin B
New York City, NY149 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
We did an overnight tour at Jungle Land and I still dream of returning. It was an amazing 24 hours. Upon arriving at the lodge, you have time for a swim in the lake, relaxing in the hammocks, or hanging out with a drink and book in hand at one of the lodge's viewpoints. After a delicious dinner we did the night boat tour, spotted several cayman, and heard the jungle come alive. Sitting at the lodge watching the stars and hearing the amazing jungle noises was a perfect ending to the day. In the morning we were woken up at 5am by howler monkeys and I cannot remember ever being so happy so early in the morning. The next day we chose to forgo our monkey island tour, having already done it earlier our trip, so we had the lake and its jumping platform to ourselves. After lunch we went on a wonderful kayaking trip to a waterfall. I was saddened to leave such a beautiful place but so grateful to Karen and Maria for taking care of us. We hope to return again!
Written February 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MtRainierDave
74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
After a 10-month closure, this wonderful place is again welcoming guests for amazing jungle experiences.
If you want to see the jungle and Panama canal from a distance, you can go on a cruise, but if you want to actually experience the jungle and actually cross the canal in a fun ride in a small boat, come here. Here we had up-close encounters with monkeys and crocodiles, caught fish, kayaked to a waterfall that I swam in and spotted parrots, toucans, and howler monkeys from the sundeck of the boat. There's more adventures available here we didn't even do. Everything is clean, food freshly prepared and very good and beds comfortable. We almost settled for just one night here but I'm so glad we stayed two! My wife and I have visited central America 10 times and this is our favorite place we've stayed.
Written February 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patricia L
Denver, CO176 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Family
This was a really great tour, and so far, the most fun we have had yet. First you will He tour the canal and hear some history and watch the ships pass by. He then takes you to an island where you will get the chance to meet some local monkeys up close and personal that come out to the boat. After that you go to his floating lodge in the middle of nowhere and meet a different type of monkey.

Lunch was a nice Panamanian plate that was filling and tasty. After that he takes you on a kayaking trip through the jungle (too bad the water levels were low as it made paddling slightly difficult in some areas, but not so bad that you should miss the adventure) to a hidden waterfall that you can jump off. He has other options as well, like a fishing trip, if you aren't into kayaking. You also get to hold a baby Caiman alligator and can lounge on the hammocks, jump off the houseboat, and check out his other pets. Carl is funny, a bit cheesy and very knowledgable, and he really makes this tour fun. Don’t miss out!
Written May 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sharon C
Honolulu, HI2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2012 • Friends
Our ordeal started with Captain Carl showing up an hour late for our tour. His assistant was there 30 minutes earlier and happened to mention that with the # of people present, he hoped that Carl was bringing 2 boats. Normal max he said was 16 and there were close to 30 people. Carl showed up with one boat and crammed us all in anyway. We started our tour and everything seemed ok. About 10 minutes in to the adventure, while speeding through the canal, we slammed in to one of the large stationary cement buoys used to stabilize ships as they wait to enter the locks. It was very shocking and scary. (The boat seemed to have too much weight in the back and rode so high that Carl probably couldn't see in front of the boat.) Thank God the boat didn't take on any water. My husband and I were thrown forward into the row of seats in front of us. He bruised his ribs and over a week later, still is uncomfortable. My knee was jammed into to the bench in front and and my arm badly bruised by being thrown forward into the back of the seat in front. The poor little girl seated in front of me was thrown in to the back of the seat ahead of her and immediately had a golf ball size purple and red knot on her forehead. Carl took us back to the dock where we and the little girl and her Dad got off the boat. Within minutes and without time to examine potential damage to the boat, the rest of the group was back on the tour. I believe that the practices of Captain Carl are unsafe. The outcome of this accident could have been so much worse due to the disregard for safety. We consider ourselves lucky.
Written December 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
I always instruct our guests to arrive at 9:15am for a 9:30 depart. On this day we departed at 10am. Unforeseen delays do happen from time to time. Our launches are rated for 26 passengers and we dont put more than this number in them. It is true that we had more weight in the back than we should. This wasnt noticed until the boat accelerated causeing a blind spot. What we side swiped was a mooring bouy. These have a thick foam covering to protect boats that tie to them. The guests in the front took a tumble. We returned to the dock so that the small girl could be examined. It was good fortune that it was only a bump and nothing more serious. I have been transporting guests for over 20 years and this is the first incident where anyone received a bump or bruise. I do sincerely appologize to any guest that experienced any discomfort. It has always been our goal to provide our guests with a safe and enjoyable experience. We will double our efforts to ensure that this is our standard. Sincerely, Captain Carl Davis
Written January 1, 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ians5541
Cambridge, Canada27 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2013 • Couples
If I had known that this experience would have resulted in my husband and I seeing wild animals in poor kept conditions, I would have forgone going on this very expensive day trip. The cage is too small for the Toucan, which by the way is my favorite bird and should not be caged, the baby Crocodile is kept in a small plastic box with very little water and no vegetation as for the Boa constrictor the conditions are just as disgusting, with no tree or rocks to climb up or slither under.
It breaks my heart to see animals kept in such conditions, moving on to the barge. It is disgustingly dirty and not kept up to a reasonable condition. I managed to peak into the kitchen and was shocked at how unhygienic it was. Panamanian food is not known for flavor and as is all food in Central America was just ok and eatable, but nothing to write home about. I will say that having seen the Kitchen really put me off my meal and I forced myself to eat because it was a long day. As for the Captain. I did not like his appearance, his interaction with the guests especially the women. He seemed to like to belittle the female gender, and if I wanted to be treated in such a fashion I would have stayed married to my ex husband! DO NOT GO ON THIS EXCURTION SAVE YOUR MONEY AND GO ON A SIMILAR TOUR WITH A PROFESIONAL COMPANY THAT NOT ONLY KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING OR TALKING ABOUT BUT ALSO SEEM SOBER AND DO NOT TALK DOWN TO THEIR FEMALE GUESTS.
Written January 20, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Something smells funny here. We have seen a very similar review just resently. It must had been a very busy day in the kitchen with my cooks plateing food and numerous guests doing a health inspection. As a mater of fact we do have regular health inspections and pest control. I do agree that Central American cruisine may be bland at times. What we serve is a fusion of local fare geared towards a foriegn palate. I see so many of my guests take pictures of the plate before they clear it. May a suggest McDonalds in the future. Back to my pets. I found both of my birds in local bars. They were being kept in cages that were too small. Upon paying my bar tab I bought them and carried them back to my home in the forest. I would love to let them roam free, but more than once we have rescued them from in water landings. The small croc is for educational purpose. How often do you get the chance to hold an animal that grows to almost 20 feet long? After a couple of years of show and tell we release them into the wild. They have a better chance of survival than when we first collect them. In the wild it is estimated that only 2% survive to the age of adult. I accept the fact that Im not as attractive as when I was a young scuba instructor working on cruise ships. I didnt realize that people choose their tours based on the looks of the guide. Maybe I should shave more often. I did enjoy the part about the former husband. I wonder what his side of the story is. During my tour I do make jokes about many things but not the guests. All tours are not for all people. Please read the comments carefully. If you are too serious and have no sense of humor this is not the tour for you. Happy Times! Captain Carl
Written January 22, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Traveler425
Lima6 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011 • Friends
I was recommended this tour by someone at my hotel. What SHOCKED me on this tour is that Carl permits and encourages tourists to feed the wildlife. I’m just as shocked that the tourists on this forum LOVE it and have no idea how bad it is (or maybe they do know and don’t care?)! Unfortunately, feeding monkeys is dangerous for numerous reasons (which I’ve listed below) both to the monkeys and to people. PLEASE DO NOT participate in or encourage the feeding of wildlife. It’s really Carl’s responsibility to educate his tourists and he is directly at fault for encouraging tourists to do so, however, as long as tourists rave about the opportunity to feed wildlife here on Trip Advisor, he will be encouraged to keep that going for his business. Additionally, he might be encouraged to take more wild animals as ‘pets.’ He already has several ‘pets’ (boa constrictor, toucan, night monkey, etc) that are considered vulnerable to extinction and regulated by CITES. While I believe he probably cares about his ‘pets,’ I do not get the impression he has the training (nor the right) to care for these animals. I sincerely hope he stops buying or trapping more animals to show to his tourists.

For those wondering, I have a Masters in Environmental Science and I work for a wildlife conservation organization, therefore I am well aware of the studies that show that feeding wildlife is VERY harmful to wildlife species and can be a danger to the people feeding them as well. While I understand that it’s exciting to connect and be up, close and personal with monkeys, please have respect for these wild species and let them be wild. I hear there are other tours with trained naturalists and guides that respect wildlife—such as the tour at Barrow Colorado with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Here are some reasons from the Eco Preservation Society not to feed monkeys:
Ten Reasons Not to Feed the Monkeys
You might find feeding the monkeys (and other wild animals) to be a thrilling experience, but you are not doing the monkeys a favor. In fact, you are actually harming them. Here’s why:
1. Monkeys are highly susceptible to diseases from human hands. They can die from bacteria transferred off your hand that has no ill effect on you.
2. Migration to human-populated areas to be fed increases the risk of dog attacks and road accidents
3. Irregular feeding leads to an aggressive behavior towards humans and other species.
4. Contrary to the stereotype, bananas are not the preferred food of monkeys in the wild. Bananas, especially those containing pesticides, can be upsetting to the monkeys’ delicate digestive system and cause serious dental problems that can lead to eventual death.
5. Feeding creates a dangerous dependency on humans that diminishes the monkeys’ survival abilities. (PARTICULARLY FOR BABY MONKEYS!)
6. Feeding interferes with the monkeys’ natural habits and upsets the balance of their lifestyle centered on eating wild fruits, seeds, small animals, and insects.
7. Contact with humans facilitates poaching and the trade in illegal wildlife.
8. Pregnant females who are fed nothing but bananas during their pregnancy will not give birth to healthy infants. The babies will be malnourished, or never develop to term, and die before birth.
9. Monkeys need to travel an average of 17 kilometers each day to be in good physical condition. If they know that food is available in a particular location, they will not leave that area.
10. Not only do we pass on diseases to animals when we feed them by hand, but they can pass diseases to us as well.
The monkeys do not realize any of this. Now YOU do. Don’t facilitate the extinction of one of Nature’s most amazing creatures for your own pleasure or financial gain.
Written December 13, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
I may not have a degree in Masters in Environmental Science, but I do have many years experience in the real world. Having lived on lake Gatun for over nine years I know the neighborhood and my neighbors well. The monkeys that we interact with are not wild but have adapted to humans over the years. The monkeys of monkey island where former pet monkeys that were introduced there. Their offspring have been boarding boats since they were less than one day old. The small islands that these monkeys are on do not provide them with the area that they would normally range on the main land. When the Primate Refuge and Santuary of Panama operated on islands at the north side of lake Gatun, they provisioned 3 different species with bananas. Some visitors to the tourist monkey islands feed the monkeys things they should not, such as salty snacks. When Smithsonian Institute first took over Barro Colorado Island there where no spider monkeys there. Staff from the island bought and reintroducted them. The monkeys today even frecuently visit the compound there. I have trapped non of the animals that we care for. All of these animals are also registered with ANAM the Panama Park Authority as if they were in a zoo. My night monkey would have perished had we not taken her and her sick father in. I enjoy sharing my home and my real life experiences with my guests. Not all tours are for all people. Sincerely, Captain Carl Davis
Written January 3, 2012
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

John Penman
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Family
My wife, 4 year old son, and I just returned from a fantastic overnight stay at the Jungle Land Panama floating lodge!

Our guide and host Shane made us feel at home and took great care of us whilst the owner was away in the city. In fact, all the staff at Jungle Land were great. The ladies in the kitchen turned out tasty dishes for all of our meals, and the boat drivers were expert wildlife spotters and fishing guides.

We opted to spend a little more and do the overnight package. At $200 per person ( our son went free, as do all kids between 3 and 5 years old), you could be forgiven for considering it expensive, until you experience what is included!

We motored along the Panama Canal, passing huge container ships; we had monkeys eating out of our hands; we went kayaking through the dense jungle to a waterfall for a swim; we went fishing, and easily caught peacock bass (which we ate that evening) with the assistance of our guide Henrioso; we did a night safari, and saw crocodiles, caymans and even a sloth! We handled a boa constrictor; we had all our meals prepared, and an open bar for the entire duration of our stay; we got to sleep with the jungle right outside our room ( there is no outer wall, just a mosquito screen) and the sounds of the jungle were amazing to hear.

With that many activities, you'd think we'd have been rushed from one to the next in order to remain on schedule, but not so. The timing of everything had clearly been well thought out and refined over time. Everything flowed easily - and remember, we had a 4 year old in tow.

We thought the mosquitoes would be a problem, especially since it was the wet season, but we slept well that night unmolested by those nasty insects.

In my opinion, if you've come all the way to Panama, you'd be stealing from yourself if you didn't spend a little extra and do this tour. You see the famous Panama Canal, experience the jungle, and see a surprising number of animals.

An absolute must-do!
Written August 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jordan7676
London, UK55 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014
Great setting and Capt. Carl is mildly entertaining. But downhill from there. Lots of waiting around, mostly unhelpful guides, potentially sickness-including food, limited actual wildlife, and generally boring. Spend your time elsewhere....waste of about 9 hours.
Written December 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
During the Holiday seasons we find ourselves handleing larger than normal groups. My staff are very good at what they do but some were new. This lead to a few delays that guests normally dont experience. I you take part in our activities I dont think you will be bored unless your in to extreme sports. Also during the Holiday season there are more than normal amount of tour boats visiting the islands where we interact with the Capuchin monkeys. They can only take so much and disapear at times to rest. Sometimes I wish I could do the same. We run a very clean kitchen and we serve a lot of happy guests. If illness was a problem you would see comments to this effect. On the other hand you see many good comments about our typical Panamanian lunch. Happy New Year! Capt. Carl Davis
Written January 2, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Allan W.
Pomona, CA156 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Couples
Aspects of trip and ratings for them:
5 helpful crew on houseboat and variety of activities available (fishing w/ everything provided, kayaking, jumping off platform into lake, swimming, walk to waterfall)
5 scenery, safety concerns on water
4 wry, sometimes ribald commentary by Captain Carl
4 management of a large group by Captain and crew--but they were understaffed
4 information provided about service ships and transiting ships in lake
3 limited wildlife viewing: a few monkeys, sloth, turtle
3 adequate lunch
2 time getting boat launch site (pick up in Panama City scheduled for 8, arrival at dock at 10)
0 no toilet at launch site, 2 hours after scheduled Panama City pickup: "use the bushes"

Tip: If you have a car, it is probably better to drive to Gamboa than to be picked up at your hotel in Panama City
Written January 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Normally the transfers from the city go smother, but at times if there is traffic, lost guests and other delays it can snow ball. I heve been discussing with the transportation company how we can improve this service. When this happens they need to offer a restroom break before arriving at the lake. The Panama canal is in charge of the public landing. Not only will they not install restroom facitities they wont allow the tour operators to do so either. I guess they dont see the benifits of tourism for Panama. The wildlife that we see on tour does vary. The animals are busy doing their own thing and dont seem to plan for our tour schedual. This is the reason we spend a couple hours touring in the boat looking for as many as we can. That old Captain is human and has better days than others. Sometime members of the tour group dont make it easy. When you are a business owner you dont take as much time off as you should and you forget what it is like to be in vacation mode. Some people get my humor and some do not. I have additional staff in training and on the way. My military training helps me manage larger groups. My new staff take a softer approach. Our goal has always been to provide our guests with the best and most complete experience on lake Gatun. Keep your head down and keep charging! Captain Carl
Written January 24, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Don121937
Playa Coronado, Panama3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Family
I have been an avid fisherman all of my life. Carl is a great host but his fishing falls way below expectations. Our guide could not keep the engine running so he paddled us along the shore where we had not chance to catch peacock bass. We caught an average of one fish per person after fishing the entire day. Never have I had such a disappointing experience.
Written January 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
I do want to appologize about you having engine problems. Anyone who owns an outboard motor knows that they can be probmatic at times. They can put a man on the moon but thay cant make a problem free outboard motor. Fishing on lake Gatun is like fishing anywhere. There are good days and not such good days. With the Peacock bass you have to find them or they find you. Sometimes it is better in the morning and sometimes it is better in the afternoon. Bottom line about the Peacock fishing on the lake Gatun, it is not the Amazon. I respect the fact that there are serious fishermen and we do our best to accomandate them. The guests who have the best time are the ones who also appreciate the natural beauty of the area as well as the joy of fishing. The motor is feeling better. May we do better in the future! Captain Carl
Written January 23, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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