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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Gamboa, Panama
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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
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Sheila W wrote a review Feb 2020
Austin, Texas169 contributions80 helpful votes
Very biodiverse as others have said. Would have enjoyed a longer hike to just absorb with less talk.
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Date of experience: January 2020
2 Helpful votes
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Susan K wrote a review Aug 2018
Martinsville, Indiana4 contributions1 helpful vote
We toured the research institute on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal. On the island hike we encountered agouti, howler monkeys, and various tropical birds. A wonderful learning experience!
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Date of experience: June 2018
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Sandersandco wrote a review Sep 2017
71 contributions35 helpful votes
+1
Absolutely loved this place. Beautiful view, friendly staff and lots of Sloths! Excellent adventure. Close to city and very cheap. Great afternoon!!!
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Date of experience: September 2017
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Barbara E wrote a review Aug 2017
Philadelphia107 contributions64 helpful votes
If you are a person at all interested in the rain forest you should make your way to the institute. It is a whole day excursion and you need to make reservations with the institute and there is a fee. The day included the Smithsonian boat back and forth to the island, a two hour guided walk through the island rain forest, lunch and then an afternoon visit by one of the researchers or a movie showing a number of the current research programs.
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Date of experience: November 2016
1 Helpful vote
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CDinDC20009 wrote a review Dec 2016
Washington DC, District of Columbia135 contributions315 helpful votes
While it is true that the STRI mission is a critical mission and that the opportunity to walk around the rainforest with a guide is very compelling, the totality of the visit is a disaster. We were so excited. You get on the employee boat at the crack of dawn, but then sit in the visitor center cafeteria area and wait for some unknown something to happen before you set out. The walk is very interesting. You never know what you'll come across and we were lucky to have encounters with howler monkeys, agoutis, coatis, a tree with millions of carpenter ants going about their business, fabulous butterflies and insects, and a wide variety of birds. Back at the visitor center we had a completely fine lunch. By the time it was over, it must have been close to 1:30pm and we were ready to leave. Not a chance. We were tortured with short videos, including YouTube videos, for over two hours. The problem is that STRI is not willing to accomodate their visitors by arranging to have one of the small boats waiting around Gamboa come out and pick up the visitors at an appropriate time; a time that doesn't include two hours of videos. Instead, the paying visitors have to wait for the employee shuttle. I could never recommend this trip to even the staunchest amateur naturalist. STRI needs to accommodate the visitors. If the fee doesn't cover the rental of a small afternoon boat, then raise the price of admission by a 5 dollars. That will more than cover the cost and make the visitors glad to have visited.
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Date of experience: December 2016
2 Helpful votes
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