Jungle Day Tours

panama jungle toursGatun Lake is the site of several local guide companies that operate to take tourists on Jungle Day Tours throughout the rain forests surrounding the Panama Canal and Gatun Lake region. Gatun Lake is one of the world’s most famous lakes, as it was the largest in the world for quite a long time. The lake essentially made the Panama Canal possible, as its waters support the operation of the locks.

From the shores of the lake, Jungle Day Tours embark and lead visitors on a voyage of discovery. Visitors can enjoy looking at the ancient sailing routes that have been used for centuries all around the isthmus, long before the creation of the Panama Canal. You’ll also likely see huge ocean ships that are in transit.

Jungle Day tours are best for those that wish to see an abundance of wildlife. You’ll have the chance to snap photos of exotic Panamanian birds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas and even crocodiles. Some even allow kayak rentals and swimming in some areas. Fishing is always a popular Jungle Day tour activity, as Peacock Bass are abundant in Gatun Lake, although they are not considered a fish native to our region of Panama (they were introduced accidentally by a businessman vacationing in Casco Viejo).

Let the tropical rainforest awaken your soul and enjoy Panama Jungle Day tours. Think of having a delicious, native style lunch with an abundance of local refreshments awaiting you while you are on your tour. Sip a cool drink and lounge in a nearby hammock while you wait on the boats to bring you back to Casco Viejo and Magnolia Inn.

Magnolia Inn in Casco Viejo is a well-appointed, luxury boutique hotel and hostel in Panama City, Panama. In addition to being one of the best reviewed hotels and hostels in Casco Viejo by Trip Advisor, Booking.com and Hostel Word, Magnolia Inn is conveniently located near a variety of attractions. In Panama City, these include:

In Casco Viejo, these include:

Monkey Island Panama

monkey island panama toursMonkey Island Panama is home to several species of monkeys that are native to our region of Central America and there are several tour companies that offer Monkey Island tours that operate all around Gatun Lake and the Panama Canal.

Visitors can get a chance to feed the wild monkeys of Monkey Island Panama. The area is home to these species of monkeys: the Mantled Howler Monkey, the White-Faced Capuchin Monkey, Geoffroy’s Tamarin Monkey, and the Lemurine Owl Monkey. These tours take you in and around the waters that surround the rainforest found all along the canal. Here’s a little bit about Monkey Island and the different species that you can see.

Mantled Howler Monkey:
Visitors can go on tours of Monkey Island and see these adorable monkeys that live in groups of females with a few males. It communicates with other members of its group by creating a very loud sound that can be heard across some 5 kilometers. It is considered the loudest animal in our country’s rich animal diversity. Mantled Howler monkeys eat mostly trees from the tops of trees, as well as native fruits, nuts and flowers. They live anywhere from 15 to 20 years.

White-Faced Capuchin Monkey:
Also called the White-Throated Capuchin, these monkeys live in groups of 20 males and females and are very intelligent. They live in the Gatun lake region and are easily seen trying to use tree branches as a tool to knock food that is located just out of its reach. They live about 50 years.

Geoffroy’s Tamarin Monkey:
This small monkey lives in Panama and Colombia and its black and white with a red-brown nape. It has a white triangle shaped patch on its mask at the front of its head. It is the smallest species of monkey that you will see on most of the Monkey Island tours. They love the tropical rainforest’s dense moist canopy. The baby monkeys are born in the spring between April and June and newborns look a lot different than their parents. They are beige with white and black fur all over their bodies and tail. The entire family supports the new monkey baby care including the sibling monkeys. The Geoffroy’s Tamarin Monkey has a lifespan of 13 years.

Lemurine Owl Monkey:
These grey bellied night monkeys sleep during the daytime and come out to eat when dark sets in. They eat fruit, insects and nectar from fruit trees as well as sometimes small birds. They are a small monkey native to Panama. An interesting fact is that they are a monogamous monkey, and the couple usually has only one infant per year. The mother is in charge of the nursing and the father takes on the other responsibilities of raising the newborn.

Magnolia Inn in Casco Viejo is a well-appointed, luxury boutique hotel and hostel in Panama City, Panama. In addition to being one of the best reviewed hotels and hostels in Casco Viejo by Trip Advisor, Booking.com and Hostel Word, Magnolia Inn is conveniently located near a variety of attractions. In Panama City, these include:

In Casco Viejo, these include:

Gatun Lake

gatun lake toursAt the time of its construction in 1913, Gatun Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world. It was created by the damming of the Chagres River, and a crucial part of the creation of the Panama Canal as its waters operate the Panama Canal locks each time a ship passes through. It also provides the integral community amenity of drinking water to Panama City and Colon. It spans some 470 square kilometers (or 180 square miles) and is an important tropical ecological zone in the Atlantic Forest Corridor. Ecotourism is a huge activity here due to the sportfishing for non-native Peacock Bass.

Known for its preservation and beauty, Gatun Lake is surrounded by impenetrable rainforest areas, creating a barrier for the areas surrounding Panama Canal. Today, they are some of the last remaining untouched regions of in the world where native animal and plant species can flourish unscathed.

The lake is home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, operated on Barro Colorado Island, the largest island in Gatun Lake. Some of the most crucial groundbreaking scientific and biological research discoveries have occurred on Barro Colorado Island.

One of the most popular Gatun Lake Tours is for fishing. Peacock Bass love the waters of Gatun Lake, and was first accidentally introduced to Gatun Lake by a local businessman in the late 60’s. They are called Sargento and are not a native fish of Panama. They originate from the Amazon and Rio Negro River basins in South America and were brought to the lake accidentally. Today, they are a huge game fish that Gatun Lake tours operate to allow visitors to catch.

Whether in Panama to go after a sizeable Peacock Bass or just to relax, check out Magnolia Inn in Casco Viejo, a well-appointed, luxury boutique hotel and hostel in Panama City, Panama. In addition to being one of the best reviewed hotels and hostels in Casco Viejo by Trip Advisor, Booking.com and Hostel Word, Magnolia Inn is conveniently located near a variety of attractions. In Panama City, these include:

In Casco Viejo, these include:

The Panama Canal

the panama canalThe Panama Canal is a 48-mile wide ship canal that connects the Atlantic with the Pacific. It cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and played a large, important role in assisting world trade and making the United States a world leader and power. It impacted the economy of not only the United States but several small Central American countries that neighbor Panama, as well as the country of Panama as well. The canal enabled ships to pass through the America’s without having to brave the long trip around Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America.

It opened for the first time on August 15, 1913 after taking some 10 years to complete. The 1904 construction project which created the Panama Canal was not the first attempt at constructing a connector between the two Americas. The French saw a need for the canal and began work back in 1881 but abandoned the project after workers died and engineering the canal proved to be nearly impossible (at the time).

The United States set up the Isthmian Canal Commission (ICC) to oversee the construction. The commission reported directly to then secretary of war William Howard Taft. Taft was put in charge of overseeing the commission and making sure that the construction was efficient and free of the issues that the French experienced some decades earlier. President Theodore Roosevelt created the Panama Canal Project and appointed John Findley Wallace as its chief engineer. Engineers and workers handling the project had to first put in place the infrastructure needed to house the thousands of workers that would be working on the project. They saw a great need for sanitation first, a mistake that the French had overlooked. They put in place numerous measures to cut down on the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as Yellow Fever and Malaria through a series of sanitation measures. In fact, mosquito-borne diseases were nearly eliminated during this time of construction.

The construction of the canal was completed in 1914, 401 years after Panama was first crossed by Vasco Núñez de Balboa. The United States spent almost $375,000,000 (roughly equivalent to $8,600,000,000 now) to finish the project. This was by far the largest American engineering project to date. The canal was formally opened on August 15, 1914, with the passage of the cargo ship SS Ancon.

When in Casco Viejo, be sure to check out the Panama Canal Museum. The Canal Museum is filled with planning materials and interesting artifacts from the construction. Photos, site plans and much more are on display. If in Casco Viejo, check out Magnolia Inn, a beautifully reconstructed French colonial mansion, which features a 16-room hotel and hostel with 6 dorm rooms. In addition to being one of the best reviewed hotels and hostels in Casco Viejo by Trip Advisor, Booking.com and Hostel Word, Magnolia Inn is conveniently located near a variety of attractions. In Panama City, these include:

In Casco Viejo, these include: