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The Canal and Central Panama Hotels

Gamboa Rainforest Resort

  • Av. Omar Torrijos Map It
  • Gamboa
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  • Amazing views
  • Abundant wildlife
  • Ample facilities and diversions
  • Friendly staff


  • Food can be disappointing
  • Wi-Fi access is expensive

Updated 08/14/2012

Fodor's Review

Panoramic views of the Chagres River and surrounding rainforest, abundant wildlife, a selection of outdoor excursions, and amenities such as a spa and massive pool make this hotel a great place to experience the rainforest without sacrificing comfort. The lobby is impressive, with giant windows to admire the jungle panorama through, life-size crane sculptures hanging overhead, and a stream cascading through a three-story tropical atrium. The bright guest rooms have wicker furniture, hammocks, a colorful, tropical decor, and balconies. Junior suites, with two additional queen beds in a loft, are an option for families. Garden views are disappointing—stick with rooms with numbers in the 300s or 400s. The historic "villas" cost less, and are quieter, but suffer mildew problems. Activities include bird-watching, an aerial tram, a boat trip to Monkey Island, kayaking, and fishing.

Hotel Information


Av. Omar Torrijos, 32 km (19 mi) northwest of Panama City, Gamboa, 7338, Panama

Map It


507-314–5000; 507-206–8888-in Panama City; 877-800–1690-in the U.S.

Hotel Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • 160 rooms, 4 suites, 34 villas
  • Rate includes Breakfast

Updated 08/14/2012

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By janeq

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Nov 18, 2009

Gamboa Rainforest Resort Review

We stayed 3 nights in the main hotel, in a river view room. Room- after staying in a rustic cabana in San Blas, having a/c and hot water with good pressure, was heavenly. Our room was very attractive, in good condition, the patio was clean, the only issue with the bathroom was that the shower tiles could use some additional squirts of tilex. Service-- the staff at the front desk and the restaurants were friendly and provided good service for

the most part. The only hiccup was one afternoon we ordered food at the pool and I think they forgot the order, as we noticed the couple next to us got their food (and they had ordered after us), so we had to have the staff order it again. We also had an issue with the safe not opening, but maintenance came in less than 10minutes, (ended up battery needed replacing). Pool- on Sunday, it was packed, Monday it was completely dead. Even on Sunday, though crowded, the waitresses were circulating frequently. Food- average. Breakfast was included in our stay, and was a quite extensive buffet. For lunch we did the buffet once ( I think it was $22 or 24 plus drinks), we ate at the pool a couple of times ( club sandwiches, burgers, <$10 including fries/drink), ate in the bar one night ( most items <$10), and off menu in the restaurant (less than buffet cost). We stopped at a grocery in Panama City and bought a 2 pack of one liter water bottles for <$2 and a couple of smaller bottles for 39cents to avoid paying the high mark up. Activities- its kind of set up not for those who want to explore on their own, but finding and being able to walk on your own to the marina, or to the nature trail was not difficult, even though not really clearly marked on their map. Free activites included morning nature walk, evening truck ride, kayak, bicycling. The only paid excursion we did was Monkey Island. We had tried to book it in advance for our preferred day before we left the US, but could never get through to anyone, so when we arrived, the only thing available was for that afternoon. Overall, I found it a bit overpriced, but the room and setting are beautiful, and the pool area was very nice

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Jun 22, 2009

Luxury Living in the Rain Forest

The Gamboa Resort is a truly unique property - you are RIGHT in the Rain Forest. The rooms were a little humid, but nicely appointed, and the lobby was not air-conditioned so it was a bit warm some nights. We took the aerial tram up to catch some incredible views of the Canal. Ate lunch overlooking the Canal up close with turtles and crocodiles. Just amazing.

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