Jul 042013

Panama (Gamboa, Panama City)

Gamboa is a small town in the Republic of Panama. It was one of a handful of permanent Canal Zone townships, built to house employees of the Panama Canal and their dependents. The name Gamboa is the name of a tree of the quince family.

Gamboa is located on a sharp bend of the Chagres River at the point which feeds Lake Gatun. Just south of Gamboa, Lake Gatun and the Chagres meet the Culebra Cut (Gaillard Cut) where the Canal cuts through the Continental Divide. Thus, though Gamboa is closer to the Pacific side of Panama, its watershed is on the Atlantic side. A single lane iron and wood bridge crosses the Chagres and is the only road access to Gamboa. This bridge is still in use today. Vehicles waiting to pass over the bridge must wait for a stoplight to enter the bridge, since it is only capable of providing space for one lane of traffic at a time. In December 2010 this bridge was the site of massive flooding and huge floating islands passing under the bridge, with trees violently hitting it, which led to the temporary closure of the Panama Canal.

Xtreme Airboat Tours

Xtreme Airboat Tours

The Chagres National Park can be found in the country of Panama, located between the Province of Panama and Colon, in the Eastern sector of the Panama Canal. The Chagres National Park has a total surface of 129,000 hectares.

The park contains tropical rain forests which is teaming with natural beauty, including stunning vistas, abundant tropical flora, and significant amounts of wild life. There are 900 or so endemic plant species, more than scientists have been able to identify and name. Of the 114 mammal species in Chagres National Park, four occur nowhere else. Bird watchers have identified 396 species in the park. There are 95 varieties of reptiles in the park (three endemic) and 79 kinds of amphibians (four endemic).

Xtreme Airboat Tours (call Milton Gonzalez at 61148991 or 61333702) offers Day Tours in Gamboa, from Lake Gatun into Rio Chagres, to experience the fauna and flora of the area, including a visit to the indigenous Embera community, where visitors are welcome with a show indigenous flutes, drums and rattles. Delicious Indian meals, such as fish, bananas and cassava are prepared, and learn about local lifestyle, arts and culture.

Night Tours on Lake Gatun include the catch & release of small alligators.

Location (9° 7′ 6″ N, 79° 42′ 19″ W)

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Service Providers
Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Located 30 minutes from Panama City, Gamboa Rainforest Resort is a unique property near the Soberania National Park Rainforest, on the banks of the Chagres River and Panama Canal. Enjoy an exotic retreat far from the noise and bustle of the city.

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