Panama Ecolodges-Any recommendations?

Jan 7th, 2003, 06:01 PM
  #1  
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Panama Ecolodges-Any recommendations?

We are looking into going to Panama and staying at a couple of ecolodges or resorts that have abundant wildlife. Don't know where to start! Any recommendations?
 
Mar 5th, 2003, 09:56 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Definitely. Panam has some amazing EcoLodges. Gamboa is a 5 star luxury resort built in conjunction with the Smithsonian, in the rainforest, along the banks of the canal. Los Quetzales in Cerra Punta, Chiriqui is AWESOME. It's adjacent to Amistad, the huge reserve shared by Costa Rica and Panama. Your room would be at canopy level. Punta Caracol in Bocas is a tahitian style eco lodge. There are many others. Hey there -
December is an excellent time to visit Panama. It is not rainy season, and most tourists visit after January. Gamboa is excellent, defintiely worth staying at, and has several pretty economical options - you can stay in the villas rather than the resort and still enjoy all of the ammenities. I lived and worked in Panama for much of last year, for an eco/adventure travel outfit, so I can definitely suggest many activities. I can also help you with transfers and accommodations. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]. I don't check Fodors too often, so it will be an easier way for us to communicate.
Enjoy Panama!
Brian
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Mar 5th, 2003, 09:56 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Definitely. Panam has some amazing EcoLodges. Gamboa is a 5 star luxury resort built in conjunction with the Smithsonian, in the rainforest, along the banks of the canal. Los Quetzales in Cerra Punta, Chiriqui is AWESOME. It's adjacent to Amistad, the huge reserve shared by Costa Rica and Panama. Your room would be at canopy level. Punta Caracol in Bocas is a tahitian style eco lodge. There are many others. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]. I don't check Fodors too often, so it will be an easier way for us to communicate.
Enjoy Panama!
Brian
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Mar 5th, 2003, 02:32 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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It's great to see some posts about Panama. I've started thinking ahead to next year - I know it's a long time away, but winter has been brutal here in Toronto! Although we usually go to Mexico for a couple of weeks, we're thinking that we'd like to go to Panama next. I've been doing some very preliminary research and there doesn't seem to be a lot of info available.
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Mar 5th, 2003, 07:03 PM
  #5  
nep
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 25
Hello,
I was just in Panama this past January. It was fantastic--although we were a bit disappointed that we didn't see much wildlife, except for butterflies, in their natural environment. But we didn't do any guided tours, we just went on our own, so maybe we just didn't know where are how to look for it.

We stayed at the ROyal Decameron resort. The only negative thing to say about this resort was the location--about 2 hours from Panama City. It's a long time to sit on a bus after the 5 1/2 hour plane trip from Toronto. The food was excellent and was our favorite part. There was a main buffet resturaunt and then 7 a la carte places to choose from for dinner. The entertainment was so-so. Also interesting about this resort is the interesting mix of guests. There were some Canadians from Toronto and Montreal, Italians from northern Italy, and a lot of South Amerians--mainly Columbians. For such a variety of guests the resort does a great job catering to all groups. It was a wonderful vacation!

Anyways, the question was about ecolodges. Tourism in Panama has only been around for about 3 years and they still have some kinks to work out, so the eco part doesn't seem as developed as it would in say Costa Rica. However, we did do a day trip to Gamboa. We were a bit disappointed because we couldn't hike there--for some reason the day we were there they had closed the trails. We did not think anyone was staying in the villas by the looks of it. It was kind of spooky driving in through what looked like a deserted resort. We did take a boat trip while there which was fun--we saw lots of birds and some turtles. It was very pricey--about 300 a night for a garden view room and I don't think food was included.

Just another note--on the way to Gamboa there is a sign for "Canopy Tower." It's acutally a very exclusive hotel with 7 rooms that offers wondering bird watching apparently because you are at the top of the canopy. We were told that it was possible to go up to the top to see the great view. Unless you are staying there cars aren't allowed up. Just as we were starting the trek up, a truck from the hotel was making it's way down and we asked how long the walk would take. It takes about 30 minutes and it's a pretty good uphill climb. Once there, you see that this was once a US military site. The fencing and signs are still there and the hotel occupys the original military building. To make a long story short--you aren't allowed in. We begged and pleaded to no avail. We walked all that way and didn't get to go up. Just a warning because we had read things and were told that we could go up.

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