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“Things are changing”

Summit Botanical Gardens
Ranked #55 of 172 things to do in Panama City
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Attraction details
Owner description: Featuring a small zoo and paved trails, this tropical botanical garden features Panama's national bird, the Harpy Eagle.
Southport
Level Contributor
125 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Things are changing”
Reviewed 29 January 2014

Yes, it's a Zoo and park for picnics, but the area is very large and we saw lots of birds around the whole area of the park. Most of the animals have been confiscated from poachers etc and the cages are too small for my liking. The American (Canadian?) lady helping to run the park that we met said they were working hard to get lots of things changed including the enclosures. For tourists It costs $5 for the day to enter and you can see some wildlife that you may otherwise fail to see in the wild. We visited 3 times as we passed to Gamboa for birding and wildlife in the Pipeline road etc. Opens 9am until 5pm

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank Ken L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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154 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
New York
Level Contributor
159 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Small zoo, awesome experience!”
Reviewed 4 December 2013

I went here as a day trip out of Panama City to see some wildlife. Getting here was a bit of a pain... The bus that left the Albrook Bus Terminal didnt leave until 12:45 and I had gotten to the terminal very early to catch the animals in action. But the bus eventually left and with the help of some fellow riders, was able to get off at Summit (make sure to tell the bus driver that you want the Summit Park stop because otherwise it might not stop there).

When I got here, it wasn't very crowded at all. It was raining on and off all day, but I still had a great time. All of the animals were very active, and you can get really close to the animals that won't eat you (the toucans), so this is great for photos. Walking around the park, you really feel like you are in the jungles.

Out of all the things I did in Panama, this may have been my favorite. A great day trip and if it wasn't down pouring, I would have stayed longer!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank schmayla98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Pleasantly Surprised”
Reviewed 29 November 2013

I wasn't sold on going to the zoo and botanical gardens, but was so pleased we decided to make the the trip in. The zoo is located within the Soberania National Park, so it was convenient for us to stop here after exploring the park trails.

There are many local animals and birds to view in the park - as other have mentioned all have been found injured in the wild or surrendered by/confiscated from people keeping them as "pets". The cages are small, so it is a bit different than zoos people from the U.S. might be used to, but I didn't find them to be offensive or concerning (although I am not a zoologist, just personal opinion). It is nice to know that there is an establishment trying to improve the lives of these animals and, in some case, rehabilitate them back into the wild.

The gardens seemed more like a some trees labeled, etc. throughout the property. We didn't walk into the picnic area, so there may have been more to see as far as plants in that area.

For us it was fun to see the monkeys, birds and big cats that we were not fortunate enough to spot in the wild during our trip.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank jmh3383
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Haslett, Michigan
Level Contributor
79 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“Small Zoo with Native Animals”
Reviewed 20 September 2013

This is more of a small zoo with animals native to Panama than a botanical garden. It is a good place to get an overview of some of the wildlife native to Panama. All of the animals have been rescued from inappropriate sites or were orphans. Some of the trees and plants are also labelled with names and information. Some of the animal enclosures are large and nice; others are small like an old fashioned zoo. All of the animals look well cared for and they are trying to improve the facilities. They recently received a young Harpy Eagle (Panama's national symbol) which was raised at the Miami zoo. They have a Harpy Eagle information center that provides a lot of information on this magnificent and rare bird.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank MIHorseman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
32 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Nice Wildlife Half Day Trip Outing for The Whole Family”
Reviewed 5 August 2013

This is a great place to visit for a couple of hours by the entire family. Summit is a wildlife rehabilitation centre where confiscated/ "domestice wild" animals are brought to in order to recover. Most of them are set back into the wild but some have to stay at Summit for their entire lives. You'll find multiple species of Monkeys, exotic birds, puma's, jaguars, deers and even some crocodiles. Throughout the pard you'll find several kids playgrounds as well.

Summit is very well maintained.

As a drawback I could say that there are no options for lunch. The only available stands (at the entrance/ exit) sell water and soda's. So bring a pick nick if you are planning to have lunch there...

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Christiaan v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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