Rainforest and Summit Park in Panamá

Biodiversity in Panamá is well known worldwide.  Case in point: Panamá's prime humid forests, especially in Darién, with one of the oldest jungle areas, as well as Gamboa, Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro.  Rainforest tours are very popular, and many adventure tour operators offer them, in combination with bird watching.
But there is a place, almost unknown to visitors and foreigners, called the Summit Botanical Park, situated 30 minutes from the city, with an area of 620 acres, over 15,000 exotic plants, and close to 300 animals of all kinds.
It started 90 years ago as an experimental farm summit for tropical and sub-tropical plants, including Panamánian species.  There you can see jaguars, monkeys, iguanas and all kinds of animals.  But the most important is the Harpy Eagle, Panamá's national bird, which has a magnificent sanctuary open to the public.
Entrance is extremely inexpensive, around $2 for adults, and worth a visit.
If you like, you can have a family picnic, and spend all day enjoying the quiet and the beautiful plants.  You can also extend your visit to Gamboa, a former military base with a beautiful rainforest and a nice resort that offers boat and other tours to see butterflies, snakes, and monkeys, etc.  And the hotel itself is a peaceful and graceful place. 

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