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.
- 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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