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Things to do during May visit

texas
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Things to do during May visit

My wife and I are retirees and are exploring possible activities while visiting the P. C. area.

Answers to the following questions would be a great help.

1. Is a visit to the Miraflores Visitor center worthwhile after a Partial Transit? (redundant?)

2. Are bikes available to rent in the Pipeline Road area and are trails accessible w/bikes?

3. I read about a Rainforest Land and water expedition by Advantage Tours. The water part is said to be on Gatun Lake. Can the lock operation be observed from one of these tour boats if a ship is transiting? How would you rate the "expedition" in terms of cost and sights?

Thank you for the information.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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1. Re: Things to do during May visit

1. Having "locked up" (gone through the locks on a tug) a couple of times at both Miraflores and Gatun, I would rank a visit to Miraflores as much more beneficial and informative than riding through the locks. You'll see more. And the museum is well worth visiting.

2. No, you cannot rent bikes at the Pipeline. It is for hiking in the jungle. I have never seen mountain bikes on jungle trails, and as destructive as and as susceptible as jungle trails are to erosion, I hope I never do. You can rent bikes on the Amador causeway.

3. I'm not familiar with the tour, but if it's on Lake Gatun, the lock operations are not visible.

texas
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2. Re: Things to do during May visit

Thanks for the insights GB. They are very helpful. We had not planned to rent a car but were thinking of taking a bus to Gamboa area from Allbrook and then renting a bike to ride out to the Pipeline Rd. (not actually going on a jungle trail w/bike) Is this a practical way to get to a bird watch trail? (ie Pipeline) Is this actually a road? Or

do hiking trails intersect the road? Suggestions appreciated.

Thanks again.

3. Re: Things to do during May visit

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Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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4. Re: Things to do during May visit

The Pipeline trailhead is just off the main road past Gamboa. I wasn't aware that you could rent bikes at Gamboa Resort. Even so, I would never ride a bike on a road in Panama. There are no shoulders, the lanes are narrow and the Panamanians have no concern for pedestrians, dogs or people on bikes. This is not a bike friendly country.

While the Pipeline is well known for bird watching, my favoriate trail in that area is a lesser traveled trail, the Camino las Cruces. If you continue on the Madden Dam Road past the turn off to Gamboa, after about 7 km you'll come to what looks like a roadside rest area on your left. That's the trailhead to Camino las Cruces, one of two main "roads" built by the conquistadores in the latter 1500s to carry goods to Panama City and Inca gold and silver to the Chagres River and from there to Portobelo. While hiking the trail, I've seen a young Harpy eagle and other birds and animals.

If that interests you, let me know and I'll pass on other details.

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