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“Simple and more affordable option for birders”

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Canopy Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #4 of 4 Gamboa B&B and Inns
Reviewed 15 April 2012

Reasons to stay at the Canopy Bed and Breakfast.

1) The neighborhood is historical and the homes are lovely as they date back to the times when the US had its dominant presence in the area.

2) The B&B is a much more affordable option for birders (as compared to its sister property, Canopy Tower)

3) There's a bus stop right across the street from the B&B

4) The staff is friendly

5) There is a washer/dryer on site and if you need a load of laundry cleaned all it will cost you is $5. (This was especially handy since we were nearing the end of our 15-day journey in Panama)

6) Free wi-fi

7) Air conditioning in your room and wonderful air circulation on the main floor dining and living room areas. (Though for some reason when you step out of your room and into the hallway and down the stairs, be prepared to hit a wall of heat. It's just a crazy little quirk of the way the home is built.)

8) If you'd like for dinner to be prepared, give them a day's notice and they can prepare it for you.

9) On the coffee table in the living room there's a binder that reviews all the tours you can join at the nearby Canopy Tower, though that's only if there is space available. We were concerned about that even before we left for Panama, so I had emailed my contact at the Canopy B&B and asked for a recommendation of a local bird guide. They recommended Beny Wilson to us, who is also a freelancer for the Canopy Tower group and he was fantastic! We had Beny for the three full days we were in Gamboa and what a resource! He was also a delight to converse with and he knew all the ins and outs and especially all the great places to have lunch, even though they were limited.

Things to keep in mind when staying here:

1) There are really no amenities in Gamboa. Restaurants are sparse and a rare find, so having the B&B prepare dinner for you can be an option (see above). Gas station is a bit of a haul away, as are ATMs, and other amenities.

2) As you get with most B&Bs, there's no charming couple who will chat with you and give you tips. English is limited here and staff is very young.

3) Breakfast is a little inconsistent. One morning it was a spectacular spread and another morning it was simple and there was no protein except for yogurt.

The Canopy B&B is still a new property and I believe the Canopy group will soon work out the kinks. It's still a lovely option for those who want to bird on their own and don't want to pay the prices of the Canopy Tower.

Also know that you can visit the Canopy tower for $25 pp between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. We did that and had fantastic views of the massive hawk migration.

Note to Canopy B&B: I'd suggest adding luggage holders/racks to the room. It will help the guest as well as help keep the lovely wood floors in good condition.

Room Tip: Ask for the view over the yard (not the street). You'll be able to see the birds at the feeders...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank MsBoice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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46 - 52 of 59 reviews

Reviewed 16 March 2012

Wonderful place in Gamboa -- clean, quiet, with nice common room for evening activities. Great birdwatching at their feeders and nearby. Gamboa doesn't have a lot of amenities which is okay, but the downside was that there weren't restaurants nearby except for the large resort and we weren't informed that we should bring food, which was challenging since we stayed for multiple days. The staff did their jobs, but they weren't helpful or approachable.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank sc_traveler09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2012

A three-night stay in February 2012 left us with excellent memories of a very clean, comfortable, tastefully decorated and hospitable establishment. The town of Gamboa is delightful and perfect for getting acquainted with the abundant and colourful wildlife – where else can you stroll along a pretty street in the evening and enjoy the sight of crested guan and green honeycreepers vying for bits of banana in someone’s garden?
We enjoyed a very good evening meal, prearranged at the time of booking, and the breakfasts were substantial and of high quality. This is a wonderful place to stay – highly and warmly recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Hafaner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2012

We really enjoyed our stay here. It's a beautifully renovated B&B with very nice staff (who spoke little English but were as helpful as could be). The "backyard birding" was amazing - chacalacas, parakeets, motmots, several tanagers, red-crowned woodpeckers, saltators, hummingbirds right at the birdfeeder. We arranged to have dinner 2 nights out of 3, and it was well worth it. This place, however, is extremely difficult to find. We spent an hour trying to figure out which house was the B&B. We eventually gave up and went to the Rainforest Resort to have a break and regroup, and then set out again. Jadwin Avenue does not have a sign, so be sure to pay close attention to the map before you go. The GPS was of no help. It was only because a neighbour saw us driving around and finally stopped and asked if they could help, that we found it. There needs to be some kind of signage or better directions - it doesn't look the same as the photo on the website which is what we were going by. The price is a little steep, but it's all about location. The proximity to Pipeline Road is great.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jilla01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2012

We decided to stay at the canopy b&b because of its proximity to Soberania National Park, and specifically the Pipeline Road trail. It turned out to be a very convenient location for this purpose.

The b&b itself is lovely: it is a 3-storey Canal Zone house, with three guest rooms on the top floor, common areas on the second floor and two guest rooms on the street level. My husband and daughter and I stayed on the top floor for four nights; the staff added a cot and cutely arranged her teddy bears on the pillow after making the bed every day. The nights were quiet, the bed was comfortable, and the bathroom was clean and modern. The breakfasts were filling: juices, coffee, fruit, cereal, eggs, bacon as well as panamanian items.

As for other meals, the website led us to believe that we could order lunches and dinners, however it was not clear that this has to be done at time of booking. So, we were out of luck as far as those meals were concerned! We had lunch one day at a huge resort within walking distance of the b&b, but it was ridiculously overpriced, the service was poor, and the commotion from all the tourists didn't make for the kind of meal we enjoy. We didn't go back. Luckily there was a tiny little convenience store in the town so we ate macaroni & cheese and spaghetti the other nights. Hopefully the b&b will start offering lunch and dinner options that can be ordered the day before, which would fix the issue.

The other main problem with the b&b was the lack of coordination with the Canopy Tower. Because the b&b is a new "sister" accommodation to the Tower, all bookings are made through the Tower. When we arrived on the first night, the b&b was completely dark and locked: no one was there. Luckily friends from Panama City were dropping us off and one of them knew other residents in Gamboa so from one phone call to the other we were able to connect with the Tower staff. It all worked out in the end, but we certainly would have been in a pickle if we had been arriving on our own in a taxi.

It was also hard to coordinate with the Tower in terms of birding excursions. Birding is the 'raison d'être' of the Canopy Tower, and priority is given to guests staying there. This is more or less indicated on their website, however we didn't realize that we would have to constantly call the Tower to find out if there was room on excursions from one day to the next. This could be easily fixed by asking b&b guests upon arrival which tours they would be interested in, and then calling the b&b as soon as something became available. In the end we did go on a night excursion and it was great: we saw kinkajous, sloths, and a potoo to boot.

Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
5  Thank BKK_23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2012

We booked 6 nights at the Canopy B&B and ended up extending our stay. The place is comfortable, the staff very pleasant, and getting to Pipeline Rd so simple we went every day after an early breakfast. We are not fond of tours but were able to get useful information from other like minded travelers staying here.

While not absolutely necessary, a car is useful. The walk back from Pipeline Rd in the afternoon would be long and hot. The fancy over priced Rain Forest Resort is a 10 or 15 minute walk, but if you eat there twice a day, will go broke in a hurry.

There are plans for the Canopy B&B to serve other meals in the future, but for now only an excellent breakfast is included.

One day we did make use of a guide from the Canopy Tower which is the full service and much more expensive lodge. The guide (Alex) was a superb professional who is genuinely interested the birds and other natural history.

We can not tress enough how much we enjoyed the spic and span, clean and friendly Canopy B&B.

Jack and Pam

Room Tip: The two downstairs rooms are very small. The 3 upstairs rooms cost a little more but are larger.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jampack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2011

The B&B is located in a lovely canal zone house that is beautifully furnished and very welcoming. The staff was very helpful and kind. Rooms were clean and tidy, but the common area is the most charming. There are birdfeeders in the back yard and the B&B mainly hosts birders. We did not eat meals other than breakfast at the B&B, but lunch and dinner are available for an additional cost.

We found Gamboa a good place to stay to explore the nearby Soberania National Park, but the town is limited to the large Gamboa Rainforest Resort and a couple of small B&Bs, leaving limited food and lodging options and promising a calm and quiet stay.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Lily_F11_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Canopy Bed and Breakfast

Address: House 114A Jadwin Ave, Gamboa 0801, Panama
Region: Panama > Colon Province > Gamboa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Gamboa
Price Range: £61 - £72 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Canopy Bed and Breakfast, a lovely addition to the Canopy Family of lodges in Panama. Come stay in the remote town of Gamboa, Panama in a house dating back to the construction of the Panama Canal. Just minutes from Pipeline Road! ... more   less 
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