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“The highlight of our Panama trip!”

Jungla de Panama Wildlife Refuge
Ranked #15 of 45 things to do in Boquete
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Jungla de Panama is a wildlife sanctuary that cares for and rehabilitates dozens of indigenous animals in a visitor-friendly, educational environment. Open daily from 10am-3pm. Located 10 minutes outside Boquete in the cloud forest of Palmira. ***AND DON'T FORGET*** You can also stay with us! Accommodations and on site restaurant available.
Saint Thomas, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“The highlight of our Panama trip!”
Reviewed March 27, 2013

If you are looking for laid back, educational and enjoyable stay- Jungla de Panama is a must during your Panama trip! The owners are dedicated to taking care of the animals as well as educating and offering personal tours for all who visit.

Here is a brief explanation of our stay and what we learned:

We were supposed to stay for one night, but enjoyed it so much that we canceled our other plans and stayed for three. In this time we were able to see day to day operations as well as some of the behind the scenes work that goes into the refuge itself. We met the owners (Luis and Dorothy) and their children who were always ready to educate us about the animals (and Spanish, as we are minimally bilingual). We learned the backgrounds of the animals in the refuge and the reasons that they were there. In addition to all of the valuable animal information, I was shocked to learn that the refuge relies strictly on donations, whether it be food or monetary. The refuge receives no assistance from the government-they are not a non profit agency.

Luckily we had an understanding prior to our visit that this is not a zoo, it is a refuge. After reading other reviews, I wonder if there is a poor understanding of what a refuge is. Please remember "Most refuges focus on rehabilitation, wild release, education, emergency care, public education, shelter, and partnership." (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5548522) That is what the owners (who have over 25 years in wildlife experience) focus on. If the size of the sanctuary creates an issue for you when you visit, why not donate time, food, materials or money to help the owners provide for these animals rather than state it is a poor value for your money?

Aside from the animals, Jungla de Panama has various choices for traveler's who wish to stay overnight. There is a hostel, a small apartment and (from what we hear) plans for a bed and breakfast in the future..onsite! Additionally there is a small bar/restaurant (try the pizza Frank makes, it is incredible!) onsite which allows visitors to relax and enjoy the sites overall atmosphere.

In a nutshell the Luis and Dorothy do a wonderful service for not only the animals-but for the community and for visitors by providing education, interaction and most important a big heart for all species, human or otherwise.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank angelalyn75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
menageriemama, Manager at Jungla de Panama Wildlife Refuge, responded to this review, November 22, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful review! We enjoyed having you guys out and we hope that you can visit again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    77
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
houston
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Little rehab”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

This is a very small place with just a few animals. We found it poor value as it takes about 15 ninutes to see everything.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank jLpriceHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
menageriemama, Owner at Jungla de Panama Wildlife Refuge, responded to this review, November 8, 2013
We are a not a zoo but a rescue center which focuses on rehabilitation, wild release, education, shelter and care for previously owned animals whose owners are unable to care for them. When we are able, we release the animals back into the wild so they can live "normal" lives. We do not have a massive menagerie of accumulated, captive exotics either because we have released some or because there have been fewer and fewer people owning exotic animals.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medicine Hat, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome!”
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Great place to visit, they really care about the animals here... The guy showing us around had a fantastic sense of humor!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
menageriemama, Owner at Jungla de Panama Wildlife Refuge, responded to this review, November 8, 2013
We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your time here! Come back and visit us again real soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mal Pais, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Horrible”
Reviewed March 21, 2013

My husband and I were really looking forward to spending the day at La Jungla...until we arrived. The animals are kept in small, dirty cages and the atmosphere is hardly enjoyable. The coati paces in his cage without enough room to wander, and the two smallest monkeys do not have enough room to exercise. If you are an animal lover, I encourage you to go, and bring food for the animals, which they did not appear to have when we visited. Instead of offering a cash donation, please bring fresh fruits, or blankets for the monkeys. We left after a mere 10 minutes feling sick to our stomachs. I am very surprised by the positive feedback, as this is one of, if not the most, depressing "sanctuaries" I have ever visited. I don't mean to discourage visitors, as that will only negatively impact the animals; however, I strongly suggest assisting the animals with non-monetary donations in order to ensure their care and livelihood. Additionally, it is evident that the profitable restaurant is the owner's top priority, which was packed with ex-pats. Please do not promote the restaurant, it is clear the funds are not used to assist the animals. Overall, our experience was incredibly depressing.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank JadeAndTrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Provo, Utah
2 reviews
“Great staff with lots of personalized attention”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

We came here with our son for his birthday. Before going, I called Luis to make sure they were available for a visit and told him we were bringing our son. When we arrived, he recognized us and wished my son happy birthday by name. We had tons of personalized attention throughout the visit and had a great time. I highly recommended coming, especially with kids who love animals.

Helpful?
Thank sjingley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
menageriemama, Owner at Jungla de Panama Wildlife Refuge, responded to this review, November 8, 2013
Thank you for your review! We try to make everyone feel like family when they come. We hope that you will visit us again real soon! Bring that boy back here to play with animals again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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