Gamboa Rainforest Resort met all of our expectations. My family of four stayed there for six (6) nights March 22nd-28th. The resort is very isolated, but there are plenty of activities at the resort or around the area. I suggest the Monkey Island Tour, the Aerial Tram, and the Night Tour looking for wildlife on the grounds of the resort. Many of these tours book up quickly, so book early in your stay.
The rooms were large and very comfortable. We had to move out of a Junior Suite because the upper level was very warm as the air conditioning did not adequately cool this area. Stick with the Deluxe River View Rooms. Most meals were served buffet style, and the food quality was excellent. The exercise room is OK, not too many pieces of equipment, but enough to get a decent workout.
The staff is very friendly and accommodating, and most speak English. The housekeepers are good, but most do not speak English so practice up on your Spanish.
We took several trips out of Gamboa since we had rented a 4-wheel SUV (it is not necessary to rent a 4-wheel drive car unless you plan to do some off-road trips - the main roads in Panama are fine for normal vehicles). El Valle (about 2.5 hours drive) is beautiful, and there is a Canopy Adventure (zip-line tour) that is great fun. We also contracted with a tour company named Adventures In Panama (----) for a Jungle Adventure Tour that included rappelling down waterfalls in the rainforest - quite an exhilerating trip! Definitely not for anyone who is not in shape. Before and after the rappelling, we spent time in the Embera Indian Village which is really a step back in time - a wonderful experience.
You can book tours to the Embera Indian Village and many others through the Gamboa Resort tour desk located in the lobby of the hotel. The Indian Village tour is a different than the one we took (no crazy rappelling down waterfalls!), but is worth the cost and time to visit the Indian Village.
Overall, a very interesting and satisfying family vacation. I would highly recommend staying at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Panama is nice, but still very third worldish outside of Panama City. Make sure that you speak some Spanish - most Panamanians do not speak English which is contrary to most information that I received prior to our trip. I loved visiting the Panama Canal Visitors Center at the Miraflores Locks. Unfortunately, the rest of my family was bored stiff!
- 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