Sloth - Panama

Panama is a fantastic tropical getaway destination and is positioned as the link in the chain joining Central America with South America. Panama is also one of the safest and most stable countries in Central America and the US dollar makes it an easy travel destination.

Famous for the Panama Canal to help trade between continents, the country offers incredible wildlife, beautiful beaches, warm waters, and some fantastic rainforest tours. Choose to spend your time relaxing in a tropical paradise or enjoy an active or adventurous vacation.

To get the best experience of Panama’s rainforest, we recommend staying in a lodge that offers guided tours. Choose to immerse yourself in either cloud forest or lowland rainforest, or balance the experience with a lodge near rainforest and beautiful beaches to explore the country’s incredible environments.

Here, we will offer our selection of the top 10 rainforest tours in Panama.

  1. The Canopy Lodge

    Canopy Lodge - Panama

    The Canopy Lodge is found in Panama’s cloud forest covered mountains. From the Canopy Lodge, you can enjoy some of the best birding experiences in Panama. Enjoy sitting on your veranda with your morning tea or coffee listening to the bird calls of dozens of species.

    The mountain valley where you can find the lodge offers beautiful scenery, waterfalls, creeks and cloud forest vegetation. The animals you can find on guided trail walks include Geoffroy’s tamarins or Hoffmann’s two-toed sloths and hundreds of tropical birds. The plants are also fascinating and you’re sure to see many delicate orchids and fascinating epiphytes.

    In addition to nature, there are also adventurous activities to enjoy near the lodge, including zip-lining, mountain biking, horse riding and a visit to the thermal pools.

    When back at the lodge, relax in the library with many books on Panama’s wildlife, use the lodge’s WiFi to keep in contact with family and friends, or enjoy the natural swimming area.

    Accommodation at the Canopy Lodge consists of comfortable and spacious rooms with a private bathroom. Each of the rooms has a fantastic view of the gardens and Guayabo River.

  2. The Canopy Camp

    Canopy Camp - Panama
    The Canopy Camp is an excellent lodge positioned in the lowland rainforest of Panama. This is right next to the 65,000 acre Filo del Tallo Hydrological Reserve. The lodge is particularly popular with birdwatchers, as there are many fantastic species to see from the canopy camp.

    The lodge is positioned in the Darién province of Panama, which is one of the most untouched areas of Central America. Nestled in the forest, wake with the sound of rufous-tailed jacamars, white-headed wrens and barred puffbirds for the beautiful dawn chorus.

    Enjoy guided tours to find different wildlife, including the colorful poison dart frogs, monkeys, and the many different colorful and interesting birds

    The lodge itself is composed of comfortable, custom-designed African safari-style tents with all the amenities offered at other modern lodges.

    Each of the different tents is well-spaced among tropical vegetation and is raised above the forest floor with a private bathroom. There are different tent categories, including the standard suite tents and deluxe suite tents offering more space.

    The tents also offer individual observation decks so you can enjoy looking at the birds and rainforest from the comfort of your accommodation when back at the camp. Enjoy wildlife watching or use our bird spotting scopes with your morning coffee.

  3. La Loma Jungle Lodge

    La Loma Jungle Lodge - Panama

    La Loma Jungle Lodge sits in the rainforest of Isla Bastimentos just off the coast of Panama. Accessed only by boat, enjoy a more exclusive stay in the rainforest with a variety of activities.

    The lodge sits on a 55 acre property, which includes the mangroves of Bahia Honda Bay, fruit trees and tropical forest. There are also fantastic views across the island.

    The lodge property is right at the edge of the National Marine Park, which protects beautiful white sand beaches.

    Each of the bungalows at La Loma Jungle Lodge is nestled in the rainforest with some fantastic views of the jungle. Fall asleep with the sounds of the rainforest and wake with the dawn chorus of birds.

    Start your morning with freshly ground coffee, a jungle tea or hot chocolate fresh from the lodge farm before heading out to explore with your guide. Meals at the lodge consists of farm-to-table cuisine freshly prepared by talented kitchen staff.

    Each bungalow offers 180 degree rainforest views, comfortable beds, ceiling fans, hardwood floors, handcrafted furniture and ensuite with hot showers and organic biodegradable toiletries.

    Enjoy some fantastic wildlife walks and hikes on the trails, as you pass primary forest, rock pools, and streams. You will find a variety of animals, including different monkeys, two and three-toed sloths, delicate tree frogs, tropical birds, and colorful butterflies.

    You can also visit the beautiful beaches, snorkel surrounding areas, kayak the mangroves, and explore the caves. For relaxation, you can also enjoy yoga and a relaxing massage.

  4. The Isla Palenque Resort

    Isla Palenque Resort - Panama

    The resort on Isla Palenque offers a fantastic experience of one of Panama’s nearby tropical islands.

    Your accommodation at Isla Palenque offers comfortable beds, an infinity pool, a spa for relaxation treatments, and delicious meals from the resort’s own organic farm. There is also a private villa available for large groups or families. Enjoy some locally inspired dishes as well as international favorites.

    Enjoy a relaxing massage or wellness treatment at the resort spa to fully relax on the island. There are also places for yoga or you can choose some lessons with our resident yoga instructor. There are also 7 secluded beaches you can visit from the lodge.

    For wildlife and rainforest, there are over 10 different nature trails and tours to enjoy. Enjoy a hike with your jungle guide into primary rainforest to see fantastic trees and interesting animals. Learn about the island and its inhabitants, including the island’s interesting history.

  5. The Casa Cayuco Eco Resort

    Casa Cayuco Eco Resort - Panama

    The Casa Cayuco Eco Resort is nestled right on the beach providing beautiful coastal views. Enjoy comfortable accommodation and many different activities.

    You can explore the surrounding rainforest, beaches and beautiful shoreline. The resort offers complementary kayaks, snorkel gear and there are many hiking trails to enjoy. There are also different guided excursions.

    Your stay at the Casa Cayuco Eco Resort includes three meals each day made with fresh ingredients. Meals are Panamanian-American fusion with a focus on fresh seafood, which is brought fresh right to our dock. Dietary restrictions or allergies can also be accommodated.

    The spacious cabins offer comfortable accommodation with private bathrooms and balconies to enjoy the tropical environment. There are different cabins to choose from. You can choose from cabins on the beach, in the rainforest or rooms in the main lodge.

    You can enjoy different tours and activities from the lodge. Choose from many hiking trails, snorkeling trips, adventure or cultural activities.

    Head out on boat tours to explore the Zapatillas National Park with its clear turquoise water and coral reefs. Spot Hawksbill sea turtles, different rays and colorful fish. Explore the snorkeling sites among the mangroves to find different crabs, octopus, soft corals and sponges.

    You can also explore the rainforest trails. Head out on guided excursions to find the famous red poison dart frogs, sloths, different monkeys and many tropical birds. There are a few different guided trails to choose from, which vary in length and difficulty.

  6. The Bellbird Lodge

    Bellbird Lodge - Panama

    The Bellbird Lodge in the cloud forest of Mount Totumas is the highest eco lodge in Panama at 6300 feet (1900m) above sea level. The lodge sits in wildlife-rich cloud forest, which is one of the world’s most species rich environments.

    Enjoy guided or self-guided trail walks to find many different birds, including a diversity of hummingbirds. There are also many fascinating plants that make up this environment, such as many different orchids and epiphytes.

    The Bellbird Lodge offers spacious cabins with comfortable beds, electricity, hot water and beautiful views of the surrounding La Amistad National Park.

    Your meals at the lodge include Asian and European influenced dishes made with fresh ingredients from the region. There is a limited set menu each day and guests are asked on arrival if there are any diet restrictions.

    The lodge helps protect 400 acres of Mount Totumas cloud forest, which acts as an important buffer zone for the national park. There are 9 amazing trails through the forest, which span over 50 kilometers giving a great experience of the cloud forest environment. See the colorful and interesting birds, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, coatis and even tracks of big cats like jaguar and puma.

  7. Tranquilo Bay Lodge

    Tranquilo Bay Lodge - Panama

    The Tranquilo Bay Lodge offers an authentic and adventurous vacation experience in Panama.

    Enjoy spacious cabins with comfortable beds, hot-water showers and air-conditioning. There are different accommodation options available, including options best suited to couples or families.

    Your meals at Tranquilo Bay Lodge are prepared with fresh and local ingredients with many fruits and herbs grown onsite. Breads and desserts are also made fresh each day.

    Enjoy guided tours around Bocas del Toro to explore on hiking, kayaking and snorkeling experiences. Choose a package option or book activities a la carte. There are many animals and plants to see, including over 500 bird species found in the region. There is also a tower, which is a great place to spot different species and to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

    Head out on guided tours in the rainforest to find many different animals and plants, such as a variety of monkeys, colorful birds, reptiles, orchids and hardwood trees. You can also enjoy cultural tours, a chocolate making tour, snorkeling experiences and kayaking.

  8. The Red Frog Beach Resort

    Red Frog Beach Resort - Panama

    The Red Frog Beach Resort is a Green Globe Certified Resort positioned on a beautiful stretch of beach and backs onto wildlife-rich rainforest.

    There are some fantastic trails to see monkeys, colorful birds, magnificent trees and the red poison dart frogs, which are the region’s famous animal.

    Choose from different accommodation options at Red Frog Beach Resort, including the private villas with fully equipped kitchens and a private pool. There are also Balinese style one and two bedroom cabins in their own Jungle Village with swimming pool.

    Because of the resort’s fantastic position, enjoy shaping the day around you. Choose to simply relax at the resort or head out on activities. Even when laying on your bed, you can enjoy beautiful views of the ocean or enjoy your private pool.

    There are different restaurants to enjoy at the Red Frog Beach Resort serving a diversity of different foods.

    To relax, you can enjoy El Susurro Spa for a massage or relaxation treatment while listening to the nearby waterfall and island birds.

    There are many different additional activities to enjoy. These include the nearby Sky Zipline Canopy Tour. This is one of the most popular tours on the Bocas Archipelago, including ziplines, rappelling and a canopy tour. The resort also offers kayaks and snorkeling equipment for hire.

    Enjoy a boat trip around the archipelago with a professional crew, which offers snorkeling equipment to explore coral reefs and secluded swimming spots.

    You can choose package options to focus on a romantic getaway, an adventurous vacation or focus on the wildlife.

  9. The Dolphin Bay Hideaway

    Dolphin Bay Hideaway - Panama

    Although focused on the coast and beautiful beaches, the Dolphin Bay Hideaway also offers a 2-hour hike in the island’s rainforest.

    The Dolphin Bay Hideaway is positioned on the Caribbean coast of Panama on the beautiful Dolphin Bay. The eco lodge is then the perfect destination to relax in the tropics or to enjoy an adventurous or wildlife focused vacation.

    Choose from the different rooms at the lodge with comfortable double beds, including the Sunrise Room, Bay Room, Island Room, Caribbean Room and Garden Room. Enjoy delicious home-style breakfasts and dinners at the lodge.

    Surrounded by mangrove islets, the waters around the lodge are calm throughout the year, which means year-round ocean access. This is a great place for water activities or heading out to see the dolphins.

    Enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boards or canoes. Enjoy paddling out to see wildlife and scenery. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also head out to see the bioluminescent algae on dark nights.

    The lodge is also a great place for walks. Head out on jungle hikes to find different wildlife, including the many tropical birds and colorful poison dart frogs. Visitors often see sloths, toucans, and howler monkeys. You can also enjoy excursions to Red Frog Beach, the nearby wetlands, and tour the chocolate farm.

  10. The Jungle Land Panama Lodge

    Jungle Land Panama Lodge - Panama

    The Jungle Land Panama Lodge is the only floating lodge on the famous Panama Canal. The lodge is surrounded by tropical rainforest filled with monkeys, colorful birds, and fascinating plants.

    Rooms at the lodge are simple and include comfortable beds, a private bathroom and a balcony to keep you connected to this incredible section of Panama.

    Enjoy guided tours around the nearby lake, visit monkey island, kayak the waterways and enjoy guided wildlife walks. Animals often seen around the lodge include the different monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and tropical parrots.

Ash - Author & Travel AdvisorAbout the Author: Ash Card is a frequent visitor to the Tropics and has a passion for helping visitors get the best experiences from tropical locations. Ash is a contributor to both TourTheTropics.com and ThinkJungle.com writing about tropical destinations, rainforests and wildlife. Feel free to contact Ash for tour help in the tropics. When not helping tourists with tours and info, Ash can be found salsa-ing the night away or posing near waterfalls.
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