I read the reviews here on the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and I was shocked to see so many negative things written about this beautiful resort. You should not come here expecting to find the "Atlantis Bahamas" - it's not that kind of resort.
The Gamboa Resort is quiet, serene, and welcoming, and the staff are overwhelmingly friendly. Our family made so many new friends at this hotel, I can't even count them on both hands. We began our trip in Panama City, where we planned to stay for the entire 8 days in Panama, doing day trips out from there. After the first few days we weren't very excited with the city, but when we took a Gamboa boat cruise to see the monkeys we spotted the resort and moved there the next day. We were so glad we did. It saved our vacation. We have traveled extensively (with 4 year old) around the world, including many other Latin American cities. In our opinion, PC is very much like most other Latin American cities: while much safer, NOT cleaner, and NOT less hectic. Gamboa is a nice retreat from that mayhem.
A few notes: The food in the bar is just that - bar food - nothing special, but the food in both restaurants is quite nice, and the evening buffets were surprisingly good! Breakfast is often included with your room (ask so you'll know!) and the buffet for that is huge and diverse. The pool was wonderful. The spa was small and functional, but I had the best massage of my life there. The hotel tours aren't huge, but they're nicely done, and fun for the family, especially children. The hotel can also arrange for larger boat tours (Canal transits) that are long, but worth it - do the partial transit only with children (~5hours long). We didn't find anything to be overpriced. Food, gift shop, and tours were all very reasonable. We stayed in the villas (one bedroom apartment) where the space was nice to have for a family. But these are 100 yr old buildings, so not resort-perfect, but very nice indeed.
Gamboa is making an honest effort to educate its visitors, not only about the canal, but also about the surrounding rainforest and its inhabitants...something that our family enjoyed immensely. Enjoy Gamboa for what it is - it's a wonderful place!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Deep in the heart of the Panamanian rainforest lies the completely unique Gamboa Rainforest Resort. This magnificent destination rests where the scenic Chagres River meets the Panama Canal and is the only resort property in the area. Few places on earth offer such an amazing natural experience while providing an unsurpassed level of luxury. Escape the noise and hectic pace of everyday life and surround yourself with the tranquility of the mystical Soberania National Forest. Here, just a short 30-minute ride from Panama City, on 340 acres overlooking the stunning Panama Canal, you can commune with nature in a pristine environment where explorers and pirates once tread. Our Panama Tours offer an exhilarating variety of jungle adventures such as an aerial tram, guided boat tours, fishing expeditions, and much more. Our tours are designed to show you wildlife in its natural setting amidst the colorful splendor of the jungle flora. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gamboa Rainforest Hotel Gamboa
- Gamboa Rain Forest Resort