Gamboa is located off the Gatun Lake where you can see thousands of tons of freight being moved, above sea level, through the recently (2015) expanded Panama canal.
Took the Bus from Albrook Mall Station
Vending Snacks while waiting
$1 can coke
Bus from Albrook to Gamboa
$1.50 for bus ticket
…Additional 1 dollars paid to bus drivers for seemingly no reason other than white boy tax haha I gladly handed it over, still a great deal.
I stayed at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. A prestigious Hotel located in the heart of the jungle. There is nothing quite like it anywhere around it, which makes the view from your “River-View” room absolutely immersive.
This is not your typical “BackPacker Spot” as prices are inflated however not completely unreasonable especially if you keep reading and learn how to enjoy the Rainforest Resort on a budget.
First thing’s first. The Gamboa Rainforest Resort is located in a rather remote part of Gamboa. You will not be able to easily find restaurants, convenience stores and the like. Sure, you can take a bus or taxi to a place somewhat nearby, however, I recommend bringing a majority of your food and especially your drinks with you.
There are 2 ways to get food while at the resort either you can choose the all-inclusive breakfast lunch and dinner buffet (including drinks) for 80 bucks. The other option is to form the Monkey Bar which is open late but seemingly shuts down completely after 2am. I will take this moment to compliment the chef on a fine Angus burger by America standards, keep in mind it comes at a premium of $14 so savor your bites.
There is a 3rd option for the last minute backpacker, you will find the most affordable drinks and snacks in the gift shop, visible from the monkey bar.
Cokes, water, and Gatorade will be a dollar cheaper here than at the bar.
Couple prices I can remember off the top of my head
Total paid for three-night stay with promotion: $328
Monkey bar prices
Pizza $9 (pretty awful)
Angus burger $14
Lesser burger $9
Bottled Water $3
Doritos (small bag) $1.00
Granola bars $.75
Safari night tour $0
They offer a boat trip down canal where you will see monkeys and caimans, tour of rainforest animal sanctuary featuring a sloth, and tours of dart frogs, butterflies, and native flowers…You can get the entire trip for $90. However, they do have options to break up the packages for the selective.
If it’s nature you are looking for, you will not need a tour to find it. There is plenty of interesting wildlife readily available such as Agouti (jungle rat haha) and Capybara. When you are walking through a rainforest you will find life everywhere you look. We saw 3 different types of monkeys, toucans, Carmen, dart frogs, tamarins, amazing amphibians, insane insects and cool reptiles (thought I was going to use something starting with an “r” right?).
Overall I really enjoyed my time at this resort and will include a link to more amazing drone footage I was able to capture while here.