We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Ivan's Bed & Breakfast Birding Lodge
Nearby Hotels
$149
$121
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Parking
  • Pool
Radisson Summit Hotel And Golf(Panama City)(Great Value!)
$81
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
$60
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Holiday Inn Panama Canal(Panama City)(Great Value!)
$85
$81
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
$77
$71
Country Inn
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Central Park Hotel(Panama City)
$56
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
$127
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
$64
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Hotel Marbella(Panama City)
$61
$55
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
TripAdvisor
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Reviews (77)
Filter reviews
77 results
Traveler rating
37
24
8
7
1
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
37
24
8
7
1
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsbed and breakfasthis wifepipeline roadgamboa resortroom downstairspanama cityprivate bathroomshort walkwealth of knowledgeahead of timebirding guiderainforest discovery centresmall shophot showeralbrook bus terminalspent nightsother guests
Filter
Updating list...
64 - 69 of 77 reviews
Reviewed February 8, 2010

This is an excellent place to stay if you're interested in wildlife but want to avoid the Gamboa Resort. It's a short walk to Pipeline Road. We spent 2 and a bit days walking up and down and wished we'd had longer. We saw many many birds and monkeys, sloths and an anteater. Other places are easily reached by bus. Ivan's is a great place to stay- all well thought out and Ivan is an excellent host who is committed to making sure you make the most of your stay. The b and b is family run and everything you need is there (laundry, beers from the honesty bar and very good bird guidebooks) . There's also lots of wildlife in the garden itself and in the surrounding area. The only minor drawback was that we did pay for some rather expensive transfers that seemed out of proportion to other transport in Panama (I guess this is because Ivan takes you himself). This may be our ignorance but I'd check prices first and maybe investigate other possible transfers or travel by taxi if I visited again. I would love to go back though- it's a great part of Panama to visit.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Panamaholidaymaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2010

Ivan's B&B is the perfect spot for an independent birder or small group to use as a base for exploring the Gamboa area. It is an excellent value and conveniently located in the middle of Gamboa town, only a 20 minute walk from the beginning of the world famous Pipeline Road. Ivan is an absolute gem, just a wonderful host, and it feels more like being welcomed into a good friend's home than staying in a hotel.

If you can't afford the Canopy Tower or simply have no interest in being trucked around with 12 other people on group birding tours -- both of which apply to me -- Ivan's is the place for you. Ivan's house is cozy and spacious, with WiFi access, plenty of room to lounge inside and out, and a small "honor system" bar.

The included breakfast is delicious and filling, as was the dinner (which is available for an extra charge). I strongly recommend paying for the dinner -- even with the included price and 10% tourism tax, the total nightly cost comes out to only $52 for comfortable lodging and two great, home-cooked meals. As others have noted before, there are literally zero restaurants in Gamboa. There is a tiny convenience store with sodas and snacks, but that is it! The only possible option in town is to go to the overpriced restaurant/lounges at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. This also means that you need to prepare for lunch on your own, so grab a few groceries and snacks before you arrive. So, the dinner option at Ivan's becomes very attractive, and the fact that it is delicious and Ivan is a wonderful conversational companion is just icing on the cake.

This was perfect for me, as I was traveling alone and brought a few munchies along so I was covered while out birding during the day. If you have a car, it's a short 25 minute drive to the western suburbs of Panama City (canal zone) like Balboa or Albrook if you need a real restaurant or store. Gamboa is only 15-20 minutes north of the Miraflores Locks, and close enough (30-45 minutes) to the City itself that you could easily take day trips into town if you want to mix some tourism in with the birding. For example, you could bird all morning, hit the Locks in the mid-day, head into Panama City in the afternoon and catch dinner in Casco Viejo, etc. If you are the type who prefers being away from the hustle and bustle, with a smaller proportion of city tourism vs nature tourism, it's a nice situation.

So, if your main goal is relaxing, getting off the beaten path, and exploring the amazing birding around Gamboa -- and you aren't going to get prissy about some missing amenities like restaurants and shopping -- Ivan's is the place. I did not have a car, but Ivan was gracious enough to give me a lift to a couple of spots for a few bucks, which saved me from having to wait for the bus. When I arrived in Gamboa, he immediately whisked me about in his golf cart and showed me around town, including pointing out the local roosting pair of Bat Falcons and the quickest walking route to Pipeline Road. Note that, while Pipeline Road and the Ammo Dump ponds are within walking distance, the other main spots to the south (Old Gamboa Road, Semaphore Hill Road, etc) are several km away so not really walkable; if you don' t have a car, you will need to catch the bus or a ride.

My only regret is that I didn't have more than two nights to spend in Gamboa. I could easily spend 4-5 nights there, which would provide more time to unwind during the heat of the mid-day and still leave plenty of time to explore the mind-blowing birding of the area. So if you want a mellow birding home base right smack dab in the middle of Gamboa, with a gracious host, the cozy comforts of a home, and a bunch of extra money in your pocket, Ivan's is the winner. Highly, highly recommended, and I will be back for sure.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank ston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2010

After spending a couple of nights in Panama City we were missing the green! We longed for nature... No better place to be surrounded by nature as Gamboa. This previous American settlement is in the middle of the jungle near the Panama Canal. And if you don't want to spend heaps of money on one of the eco-lodges in Gamboa than Ivan's B&B is the perfect alternative! (35$pax)
The room was clean and cozy and it had the best shower... ever... The dinner, homecooked by Ivan's wife, delicious... And Ivan was a very hospital hoste! He explained us everything about the place, the canal, the wildlife, the birds...

Wonderful to wake up with the howling of the monkeys in the forest!

I can fully recommend this lovely, cozy place!!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank ladymorpheus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2009

Ivan's B&B was fantastic. Ivan and his family made us feel right at home during our stay. It is clean and safe. Breakfast runs between 7 and 9 am, and is good. You can also buy dinner for 15 $ per person, which is good because there arn't many restaurants in town. Meals were excellent. Rooms were clean and efficeint, and had hot water after hiking all day in the jungle. Pipeline Road is 15 minutes away on foot. Ivan's is a gem, and I would definetly stay again!!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank shaytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2009

Gamboa is a small community well integrated into the rainforest with a tremendous variety of tropical birds coming into peoples backyards, making Ivan's a great spot to view them. In fact it is easier to spot the birds at Ivan's than in the forest where the vegetation is usually too dense. Many places to view wildlife nearby at pipeline raod by car or on lake Gatun islands by boat. Ivan and his wife are both knowledgeable about wildlife and where to view it. Keep in mind that Gamboa is small and you are best off to do any shopping for groceries etc in panama city before you get there. For exampel while I was there the family nursed a Motmot back to health which gave great photographing opportunities. The yard at Ivan's was home to a family of adorable Agoutis.

Ivan's wife is also agreat cook and offers meals to guests at the Inn, if prearranged. The rooms are comforatble and clean. Ivan is very helpful. I would definately stay there agian if in Gamboa. Gamboa is also relatively easily accessible compared with other part sof Panama where one can view rainforest wildlife.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank mrish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
View more reviews