I spent two months at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort in Gamboa Panama during January and March of this year. My primary mission was to photograph the birds and wildlife in the area, and I can't say enough good things about the experience. Located in Gamboa, the hotel is at the intersection of the Chagres River and the Panama Canal, in the heart of the Soberania National Forest...and within walking distance (albeit a healthy 3km walk) of the world famous birding destination, Pipeline Road.
The Area: Birding at the resort is outstanding. One serious birder I met there found 147 species on the grounds of the resort in one day. I found the grounds of the resort to be consistently EXCELLENT birding, both as to species count and to the numbers of birds. Pipeline Road? It's world famous among birders for Good Reason. It takes work to find the bird there (hint: Mixed Flocks and Army Ant Swarms are the 'E' ticket at Pipeline Road) but it's consistently excellent. Don't miss the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center while there. There is an entrance fee, but it's well worth the price of admission. I found both Rufous Vented Ground Cuckoo and Pheasant Cuckoo within yards of the Discovery Center, and their resident Night Monkeys are not to be missed.
The Hotel: A beautiful facility. The Pool is fantastic, the rooms are great, and the Breakfast Buffet is enough to make a serious birder delay getting out into the field during those special early morning hours!.
Activities: Do NOT miss fishing for Peacock Bass trips out of the resorts marina, it is a LOAD of fun--even if you're not much into fishing---and it's a nice break from a grind of serious birding/photography. Dittos for the Birding by Boat tours run out of the Marina---these trips are priced very reasonably, and when you've been hiking your hieny off for a few days it's a great way to keep birding--and get some unique aquatic species while sparing your feet. Dittos for the Snail Kite Flight Photography trips run out of the marina. They take you out into Gatun lake to an area that is LOADED with snail kites feeding, gamboling, etc. It's non-stop photograph of magnificent birds, with a side trip to Monkey Island for White Faced Capuchin monkeys. You're almost guaranteed to find some Howler Monkeys and a Sloth or two on your trip. along with a few Caiman and Crocs to round out the day.
In conclusion, I can only say that I'll be back, soon!1
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Deep in the heart of the Panamanian rainforest lies the completely unique Gamboa Rainforest Resort. This magnificent destination rests where the scenic Chagres River meets the Panama Canal and is the only resort property in the area. Few places on earth offer such an amazing natural experience while providing an unsurpassed level of luxury. Escape the noise and hectic pace of everyday life and surround yourself with the tranquility of the mystical Soberania National Forest. Here, just a short 30-minute ride from Panama City, on 340 acres overlooking the stunning Panama Canal, you can commune with nature in a pristine environment where explorers and pirates once tread. Our Panama Tours offer an exhilarating variety of jungle adventures such as an aerial tram, guided boat tours, fishing expeditions, and much more. Our tours are designed to show you wildlife in its natural setting amidst the colorful splendor of the jungle flora. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gamboa Rainforest Hotel Gamboa
- Gamboa Rain Forest Resort