Visitors have a range of lodging options in Gamboa, starting with the beautiful boutique hotels for creatures of comfort. More adventurous types can stay the night in a jungle lodge that will allow them an up-close experience of hearing, observing, interacting, discovering, and learning about the various types of birds, trees, and exotic plants in the area.
Gamboa is located at the Dredging Division of the Panama Canal, where the Chagres River flows into Lake Gatún and at the end of Omar Torrijos H. Avenue in Panama City.
The main attractions in the Gamboa area that can be visited on an eco-tour are:
- Tour of the Panama Canal to see up-close the expansion work being done.
- Fishing on Gatún Lake, the largest artificial lake in the world at the time of its creation.
- Canoe ride on Gatún Lake past waterfalls and with the chance to take a dip.
- Visit to an Emberá indigenous village to learn about their customs and traditions.
- Ride on a cable car to an elevation of 85 meters (280 feet) for an optimum view of the rainforest.
Other nearby attractions:
Barro Colorado Island, the largest in Lake Gatún, together with five adjacent peninsulas: Gigante, Peña Blanca, Bohío, Buena Vista, and Frijoles, form the Barro Colorado Natural Monument, which serves as a Smithsonian Institute research center dedicated to studying rainforest ecosystems.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday: the boat leaves for Barro Colorado from the Gamboa dock at 7:15 a.m.
- Saturdays and Sundays: the boat leaves for Barro Colorado from the Gamboa dock at 8:00 a.m.
Summit: The park is located on the banks of the Panama Canal between the towns of Paraíso and Gamboa. It is a botanical and zoological garden that covers 250 hectares. The botanical garden includes a display of representative plant species from tropical and subtropical countries around the world, as well as species native to Panama. The zoo currently houses more than 300 animals. One of the zoo's attractions is the Harpy Eagle, Panama's national bird, and in its interactive center visitors can learn about its biology, habitat, and breeding habits. Visitors can also walk along the park's trails and observe the collection of animals and plants. The park has a children's playground, shelter houses for group meetings, a theater, a small museum of stuffed animals, and a refreshment stand.
How to arrive
- Car: Take Gaillard Highway, passing the Miraflores locks on the left and Albrook and Clayton on the right. Continuing along the highway, you will then go past the Pedro Miguel locks, the village of Paraíso, and the Summit Golf Club.
Immediately after going under a small railway bridge marked with the inscription "1929", turn left on the road to Gamboa. Go past the right-hand entrance to the Summit Gardens, and over a bridge that spans the Chagres River. If you want to stop at Gamboa, continue straight and drive along the Canal Dredging Division. Or, to go to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, turn right immediately after crossing the bridge over the Chagres River.
What to bring
- Insect repellent
- Water bottle
- Comfortable clothing