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“Birding in Luxury”
Review of Canopy Lodge

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Canopy Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Norwalk, Connecticut
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Birding in Luxury”
Reviewed September 16, 2011

This newest addition to the Canopy Group is just spectacular in its location and its architecture. The lodge is very elegant and comfortable, food delicious and the staff was very helpful. Our Birding guide, Carlos, was the best guide I have ever had. Also, the other guides I encountered were also very good as well as friendly and helpful.The birding was, again, spectacular with almost all of my target birds found.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Henrietta L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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165 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bowling Green, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2011

We stayed 4 nights at the Canopy Lodge during the first week of August in a group of 11 members of the Toledo (Ohio) Naturalists Association. Our group had also spent 4 nights at the Canopy Tower, a sister location. We had also visited both locations in 2008 as a group of 4. The Canopy Lodge is truly exceptional in my opinion. The rooms are very spacious and nicely, but simply, decorated. Each has its own lanai overlooking the terrain between the building and the mountain stream which flows through the property. There are strategically located feeders throughout and one need only walk onto the lanai or the observation area in the reception/dining area to see varous birds. The food is excellent and freshly prepared. Special diets are accommodated. Everything is clean and very well maintained. Our guide from the Tower, Carlos Bethancourt, accompanied us to the Lodge and remained with us throughout our visit. He was assisted by Danilo Rodriquez. Both guides are excellent and helpful. We took advantage of the "rainy season" rates but the weather was seldom a factor in our activities as the guides are able to relocate planned trips. We were rained out only one afternoon. The personnel at the Lodge, as at the Tower, are very friendly and helpful and provide excellent service. The owner, Raul Arias, is frequently present to greet and converse with guests conveying sincere concern for a satisfactory visit and genuine gratitude for the patronage. I highly recommend a visit to the Canopy Lodge in El Valle de Anton, Panama.

Room Tip: All rooms are essentially alike and are excellent
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Vagabond025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toledo, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2011

A group of 11 birders from Ohio spent four days at the Canopy Tower and four days at the Canopy Lodge in early August. The Lodge is located in a beautiful setting near El Valle de Anton. We really enjoyed the lovely grounds with both hummingbird and fruit feeders and flowering plants that attracted a variety of birds. The higher altitude at the lodge was a little cooler and we encountered many new birds at this location.

The rooms at the lodge are very spacious and comfortable. We really enjoyed our private balcony where we could relax and observe the birds. The food at the Lodge was very good and plentiful and we enjoyed the complementary wine with dinner. Our birding guides were excellent. I would highly recommend Carlos Bethancourt who is an excellent guide and very fluent in English. Also Danilo is a very knowledgeable and experienced guide who was great at locating the birds. The Canopy Lodge is a great place to experience neotropical birding in a very comfortable setting.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cathy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2011

We had such a wonderful experience. The rooms were clean and comfortable and the food was both delicious and plentiful. Providing wine with dinner is a really nice touch and adds to the enjoyment of an already great meal! The staffs at both lodges were so pleasant and friendly - it was a delight to greet them each morning. Of course, what we really went for was the birding! I enjoyed every single minute of every single trip! I will never forget how friendly and fun to be with the guides were. I looked forward to joining each of them for the day's adventure. I was constantly amazed at how much they knew about each bird and how patient they were while making sure we each had good looks at them. I certainly hope that we will be fortunate enough to join each of them again sometime in the near future and to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge once again.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank plguss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2011

Canopy Lodge is pretty much exactly as it appears in the website photos. We traveled NYC via EWR direct to Panama City door to door about 12 hours. We really had no idea what to expect, we booked this trip after we changed our minds from a spa vacation in Nicaragua. Upon arrival (about 9:30 pm) we found that our room was not in fact ready for us so the staff had to make the beds and clean the bathroom for us. Which was OK as we dined on a nice meal in the common dining/lounge area. Our trip included four full days and two travel days. The first day we went to La Mesa which was quite lovely and we had some great sightings. The following day we were told our guide's wife from Day 1 had been bitten by a snake and was in hospital until further notice so he would no longer be our guide. That was where things took a turn for us. the next two days of birding were quite dull not as exciting as the first day, so instead of going on a post-siesta 2:30pm drive we opted to see some of the highlights of El Valle which included; the market, the hot springs, zip lining over the waterfalls and lastly the extremely depressing and awful zoo.
On our third night we began to grow tired of the many communal meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner. So we made a 7pm reservation at Casa de Lordes and it was totally worth it. The food and service were both excellent and it was nice to get away from the group a bit and eat some different food. Our last day of birding was the best, not so much for the birds but the experience of going to the beach and having lunch at the owners home on the beach it was a magical beach house with mango trees etc.

In the end my summary would be this; while I understand that accommodations are nicer at the lodge over the tower, the birding at the tower is supposed to be far superior to that of the lodge. While it was fun for us to hang with an older crowd, we did find some really cranky grumpy old people on the trip, but fortunately there were a few people staying at the lodge that made the experience fun for us and made us forget about the grumpsters.

would I return ? probably not. But I did have a wonderful experience and if I was to return to panama one day I would def book the tower for the birding.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tuffybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sequim, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2011

Before booking a 7-day birding package at the Canopy Lodge for the first week of June 2011, my wife and I read much of the extensive information provided about the Lodge on the web site for the Canopy Tower Family; and, we reviewed comments on Trip Advisor. So we went with high expectations which, to our amazement, were exceeded.

The tropical forest setting for the Lodge in El Valle de Anton is indeed idyllic. We loved the relaxed atmosphere and having our meals outside on a large, well appointed, covered pavilion overlooking the river and gardens, which attract many birds and butterflies. The food was well prepared, diverse, and delicious, including lots of local fruits and, occasionally, homemade ice cream. Careful attention was also given to avoid any indicated food allergies and dietary restrictions. Complimentary Chilean red and white wines were set out for dinner, and we really enjoyed the perfectly chilled white wine with each evening meal.

Our lodge room, as they all do, overlooked the gardens and the river lulled us to sleep every night. The bedroom and the bathroom were spacious, with lots of closet space and a long table-desk, and very comfortable beds. The ceiling circulating fan was quite adequate in providing comfort in our room, and had the side benefit of not having to put camera, lens, and binoculars in plastic bags to avoid condensation and fogging when we entered or left the room (a problem we had in Panama City). Lodge manager, Hernan, was very gracious and efficient in attempting to satisfy our every need. Finally, a real bonus was finding that the internet wireless connection available on the pavilion was easily accessible and quite fast.

Our birding guide, Armodio (Moyo) Rodriquez, with whom we spent 8-10 hours a day, was, for lack of a better term, a magician in his ability to hear, see, call and track birds in dense forests or far off trees, and in providing many opportunities for very good picures, even in difficult lighting conditions. As noted, our accommodations were quite nice, our food, drink and service excellent, but Moyo made our Canopy Lodge visit a unique, enjoyable, and productive learning adventure. We have experienced other birding guides in the U.S., but no one with the extraordinary capabilities of Moyo. He is very personable, enthusiastic, and determined that his birders will see a wide variety of bird species. There were only two other birders in our group, so Moyo was also our driver for the many trips into the countryside on roads ranging from the narrow paved one from the Pan American Highway to El Valle to the wide, paved streets of the Altos de Maria development, but mostly rocky and dirt roads in sparsely settled jungle areas. These daily or twice a day trips to diverse birding locations also provided the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery and vistas. Moyo is to be commended for his adherence to safety-first driving principles, and Lodge ownership and management is is to be complimented for the quality, maintenance, and cleanliness of the vehicles (van, 4-wheel drive truck, and SUV) provided (along with ice cold drinks) for the trips.

The Canopy Lodge is a great base for birding--we saw 180+ species in 7 days. And even though we were there during the much-hyped "rainy season," it needs to be emphasized that it doesn't rain all the time or even most of the time. We rate our Canopy Lodge experience a 10+ in all categories--birding guides, diversity of birds, Lodge grounds and gardens, food and drink selections, and service. Summer is low season for birding in Panama, so if one desires more personalized, relaxed service you might want to consider the Canopy Lodge during this less busy time of year.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kenaisoki13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2011

Canopy Lodge is nestled at the foot of a mountain, and is shielded by tall stately tropical trees and plants. A small river chatters along as it tumbles over rocks providing a constant background to everything that happens. The air and trees are punctuated by the constant darting in and out of colorful birds that feed at the several stations set up around the dining area. At night, after the last human sound as faded, the river, the night frogs and cicadas take over.

I recently spent a week here to do birding in the area. The room I was given was perfect: absolutely spotless. The bed was very comfortable. A ceiling fan provided ample cool air, which was seldom needed. An alarm clock and flashlight are provided. I appreciated the balcony especially after a morning and afternoon of hiking in the rainforest. Meals were simple but quite tasty, with some of the most delicious fruit I've ever eaten. I enjoyed the unique taste of ginger icecream. The staff was very professional, very courteous, and quick to help if one needed it. Tino Sanchez was our bird guide for the week we were there, and his competence and abililty to call birds and spot them was amazing. His skills included being able to identify every butterfly we saw.

What was especially appreciated by us was that there are no TVs, radios, etc., to interfere with the spectacular nature surrounding the lodge, and the silence so necessary to listen, to hear, the world around us.

Being at Canopy Lodge was a privilege, a treasure.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Birder57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Canopy Lodge

Property: Canopy Lodge
Address: Cerro Gaital Natural Monument, El Valle de Anton 0832-2701 WTC, Panama
Location: Panama > Cocle Province > El Valle de Anton
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 14 Specialty Lodging in El Valle de Anton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Full service lodge specializing in nature activities, particularly birding and nature-watching. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Canopy Hotel El Valle De Anton
Canopy Lodge Panama/El Valle De Anton

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