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Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

Smalltown, Canada
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619 posts
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Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

Hi,

Just discovered this place and looks like a possibility for us next winter. Would be travelling from TO probably thru Nolitours which I think means we would be in the villas. We are middleaged couple who like to mix relaxation with sightseeing. Is is really only a ten minute walk to the Canal? Recent reviews seem mixed. We are not fussy or picky. Will we like it?

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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97 reviews
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1. Re: Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

Probably depends on the price you get for the package. Gamboa is about 40 minutes outside of PC, it is isolated not much else around it. You can walk down to the canal but it is a bit of a hike and there is nothing there except for the canal, no locks you could just hang out a while and watch ships pass by.

A couple of nights would be allright but I certainly would not want to spend my whole time there.

My suggestion always is to stay in PC and take a day trip out to Gamboa. If you want to stay by the canal you can stay at the County Inn & Suites on the Causeway,

Can you get good airfare without booking through a tour company?

Hotels in Panama are not overly expensive but I have no idea what airfare from Ontario costs.

Smalltown, Canada
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619 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

Thanks CDY

Do lots of ships pass thru every day?

It sounds like there are walking trails as well. What about bicycles?

Many Canadian on a tight budget (and we are) travel to all inclusives. We can get good deals to the Caribbean and a few Central American countries. For $800 or $900 CDN$ per person including tax we get airfare, 7 nights, all meals, all drinks - and you know your cost upfront.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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622 posts
17 reviews
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3. Re: Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

About 40 ships a day, but the most interesting place to see the transit is at the locks. There's a visitor center at Miraflores locks. You can go there by cab.

Panama City, Panama
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for Panama
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1,959 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

From a fellow Canadian who has lived in Panama for over 9 years and is in the tourism industry...

Gamboa is a nice resort - not necessarily set up for all-inclusive stays... Isolated but then the other two large all-inclusives on the Pacific beaches where most Canucks go are also out of the way...

The resort itself is nice in a picturesque location, decent restaurants and pool area, nice rooms although the villas can be a bit tired as they are the old Canal housing - haven't been inside lately but the outsides were only cosmetically fixed up.

Not a whole heck of a lot to do after the first 2 or 3 days there and you will spend a lot of money going into town and back to explore the other sights...

If you really want to experience Panama then you should stay closer to the city and do day trips to the other areas - you can find hotels in the $25 to $50 a night range in decent areas of town. You can find good food at good prices (you can also eat very expensively if you want as well)...

I would do a bit more research into the things that interest you - culture, adventure sports, history, nature etc and then look at your options.

If you just want a week of relaxing and no really exploring then Gamboa would be an okay choice, but if you want to explore Panama at all then it probably isn't the best place to be based.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Andrew

Tempe, Arizona
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234 posts
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5. Re: Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

just spent 3 weeks on contadora island for the 7th year in a row. it is paradise--quiet, safe with beautiful beaches and water. lots of history and ocean wildlife. $75 rt plane from albrook airport and a 20 min. flight. even well worth it for a day or two. lots of money being put into the hotel contadora----$136/night double and all-inclusive.

Ontario
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207 posts
13 reviews
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6. Re: Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

We spent two weeks there (on 2 occassions). Very nice hotel and a very good price. I would check out Sunwing - much better prices. We stayed in the hotel room the first time and the villas the second -liked the villas better, although they are old, very charming. There are lots of great tours to do from the Gamboa. If you like wildlife, you will love this place. We had a car rental both times so did not get bored - went into PC quite a bit, drove down the coast, to El Valle, etc. The driving is pretty good, with the exception of PC - you can get a cab or bus pretty cheap though.

I thought the Gamboa offered excellent value. We checked out prices booking hotels and airfare separately, but just couldn't justify it compared to the package deal through Gamboa.

Smalltown, Canada
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7. Re: Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the input!!

Marleygirl - I read your review and it was one of the reasons I thought we might like this place. When we travel we like seeing the local plants, animals, birds, etc. and it sounds like we could do this right on the resort. I saw mentions of being able to hike/walk and just enjoy nature. When we vacation we like to be able to relax and don't usually do organized tours.

Not really worried about lack of "night life" or partying as we are not really into that too much, although it seems like we are probably quite a bit older than you, so we would probably really enjoy that "lame 60's music" lol

8. Re: Gamboa Rainforest for Canadians?

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