Summit Zoo and Gamboa

Friday was our day to do whatever we wanted while while Emma worked. She fixed us up with a driver for the day and we sure felt spoiled. We had this really nice guy with a comfortable vehicle who knew his way around the city, and he was all ours to drive us around and take care of us. How cool is that!

Emma had mentioned that there was a zoo with a harpy eagle so I thought it might be interesting to check that out. Our driver knew just what we were talking about, and it wasn’t long before we were at the Summit Zoo in the Gamboa area a bit north of the city.

It’s beautiful! I did some reading later and learned that the area is a botanical garden started in 1923 to research how different plants and trees would do in the Panama climate. The first teak in America was grown here. In the 1960’s a small zoo was added and now has about 300 animals. The whole property was transferred to Panamanian ownership as part of the transfer of the canal and it’s properties. There is a lot of land and many areas where people can relax and families can play, and even on this weekday it was being enjoyed by quite a few people.

This is only a small taste of the zoo and the grounds. It was definitely worth the short trip up there.

After the zoo area, our driver suggested we get a bit of lunch at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. I had seen some Oferta Simple deals on this place and was curious to see it, so lunch sounded like a good plan. It is definitely beautiful and the view overlooking the water and canal is spectacular. It’s expensive to stay there though and lunch was so-so, but I’m really glad we got to see the place.

Since we were so close we decided to drive by the Titan, that huge floating crane that is parked nearby. It has an interesting history starting with Hitler, so check the link if you want to know a bit more.

By now it was time to head back to the city and Emma’s school for the final performance of their musical. Little did I know that the delights of the day were far from over. These were just young kids, 7-10 years old, but the quality of their performances rivalled others I’ve seen from much older students. There was no detail overlooked so singing, costumes, acting, lights, and every other aspect of the performance was first rate.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
This entry was posted in Exploring Panama, Miscellaneous, Panama, photography, travel, wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Summit Zoo and Gamboa

  1. Laurie says:

    Photos were so awesome. Love your travel stories.


  2. Marie says:

    As Panamanian, I really thank you for your great and sincere comments on different regions of Panamá. We know we have a beautiful country, but we like foreigners to take advantage and enjoy every single corner that Panamá has to offer. Regarding the Summit Garden, I have enjoyed it since I was a little girl and the piece and quite that you experience in this place is outstanding. Excellent for a family camping day. And the most surprising is the entrance Price….unbelievable.
    Panamá is very proud to share this place with visitors and makes every effort to keep it for future generations.


  3. Suzi Jensen says:

    Kris, I love your blog. My husband and I are currently in Gorgoa for two months. Can I have your email address so I can ask you a few questions. Keep up the great blog.
    Suzi Jensen (


  4. indacampo says:

    Love the pictures, but where’s your photo of you measuring your size against the Harpy’s wing span? LOL!


  5. Karen Ama Panama says:

    Beautiful animals and I’m so glad to see they are happy and healthy. What a beautiful area of Panama. The monkeys were definitely so cute! Were there any animals in the water with the bridge?


    • I’ve heard the zoo has been improving and they seemed to be doing a good job making things as comfortable as they could for the animals. There were turtles in the water under the bridge but I didn’t see anything else.


  6. Reblogged this on Let The Adventure Begin! and commented:
    My friend Kris Posted some really great photos of our time in Panama City they other week when I went to pick up my daughter. We really had a great time traveling together and we got the opportunity to explore some areas of the city that we both really loved. Here is her post, I have been having way too much fun with Mariah to have had time to publish anything about it….


  7. lyapp says:

    Thanks for sharing Kris. What a fun day! And your photos were lovely! 🙂


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