The Ultimate Guide to Gamboa Rainforest

Boat ride on the Gatun Lake, Panama | © Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Picture of Martina Gili
Updated: 11 October 2017
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Gamboa Rainforest is the perfect jungle getaway from Panama City. A short 30-minute drive from the center of the capital, the park offers a complete experience that includes visiting an indigenous tribe, going on a night safari, spotting wildlife on the riverbanks and enjoying the comfort of a great resort. Make the most of your visit with our ultimate guide to Gamboa Rainforest.

Chagres River Boat Tour

The Chagres River Boat Tour is the quickest and easiest way to get to know Gamboa and the natural wonders that the park has to offer. Sailing through the canal and along the riverbanks of the Chagres River you will get a feeling for Panama’s exotic vegetation and its diverse wildlife.

Chagres River, Panama
© Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Freshwater fishing

Fishing in the Panama Canal is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Located at the crossroads between the Chagres River and the Gatun Lake, the Gamboa Tarpon Club organizes tours for visitors to enjoy the abundance of fish inhabiting the waters of Panama.

Fishing in Gambia, Panama
© Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Kayak on the Chagres River

Kayaking on the Chagres River is a millennial activity that traces back to pre-Colombine times. First with canoes and later with small boats, the river and the canal have always been explored and inhabited. Take a kayak tour on the Chagres River or on the Panama Canal to enjoy the closest possible contact with nature.

Kayaks on the Chagres River, Panama
© Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Guided birdwatching tour

Panama is one of the hottest locations for birdwatching in the world. With over 1,000 species inhabiting its territory, the country is home to 10% of all existing bird species. Some of the best birdwatching can either be done when taking one of the boat tours, as well as on the Gamboa Resort grounds and along the Pipeline Road.

Birdwatching, Panama
© Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Aerial Tram

The Aerial Tram is a 600 meter-long tram that rises above the rainforest offering a unique perspective over Gamboa’s fauna and wildlife. During the tour, visitors are likely to spot a multitude of animals including sloths and a wide array of exotic bird species. At the end of the tram is a watchtower overlooking the Soberanía National Park and the intersection of the Chagres River with the Panama Canal.

Aerial Tram in Gamboa, Panama
© Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Visit the nature labs

Gamboa is home to some natural labs including a butterfly farm, an orchids center and a frog pond. The tour of the labs is ideal if you’re a biology enthusiast keen to get to know the lifecycle of some of the most exciting flora and fauna of Panama.

Butterfly Farm in Gamboa, Panama
© Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Boat ride on the Gatun Lake

The Gatun Lake is the second-largest artificial lake in the world. A boat tour along the Chagres River and among the little islands will give an insight into the fascinating ecology and history of the place. With a little luck you will also be able to spot several species of monkeys and birds, as well as crocodiles along the riverbanks.

Boat ride on the Gatun Lake, Panama
© Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Visit an Embera Tribe

The Emberá and Wunaan are indigenous groups native to Panama that live along the banks of the Chagres River. Get to know their culture, lifestyle and traditions by taking a tour to one of their villages. You can also choose to stay overnight for the ultimate experience.

Emberá tribe, Panama
© Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Night Safari

If you are an adventurous traveler, try the Night Safari offered by the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Armed with torches and flashlights, the expedition leaves the river shores by boat and explores the surrounding region under moonlight. If you’re lucky, you may spot the eyes of a crocodile shining in the distance.

Night Safari, Panama
© Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Sunday brunch with mimosas

Finally, treat yourself to a sumptuous Sunday brunch at Gamboa Rainforest Resort. The brunch features both breakfast dishes as well as sushi, pasta and salads, plus lots of champagne and mimosas to end the Gamboa adventure in style.

© Gabriel Gurrola / Unsplash
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