How-to: Soberania Rainforest Park, Panama
Soberania rainforest park is an easily accessible park just outside Panama City. Though maybe not the most exciting rainforest experience to be had in Central America, it does make for a pleasant day trip. And if you’re lucky, you may spot some of the colourful creatures that call this park home. Here’s how to take a trip here from the city…
How to get to Soberania Rainforest Park
The cheapest way to get to Soberania rainforest park is to take the bus towards Gamboa, and let the driver know you want to be dropped off at the park entrance. The journey costs less than $1, and takes around 45 minutes. Buses depart once every hour.
The bus travels alongside the canal, and you can get off for a closer view at the Miraflores or Gatun Locks. Be warned, however, that you may have to wait a long time to get back on a bus to continue your journey to Soberania. We were content to just see the massive barges travelling through the canal from our bus window.
Upon arrival at the park, you must pay a $5 entrance fee, and the staff will explain (in Spanish or English) the routes available to you. Click here for a map of the park.
We lucked out and got a lift with a park ranger who was driving to the Tower trail. Otherwise it’s a 3km walk along the road to reach the start of the trail.
The 13km trail is flat and easy enough to walk, but it’s incredibly hot and humid. Be sure to bring enough water, and also some snacks. We hadn’t eaten all day, and there was nowhere to buy food. By the time we returned to Albrook Mall we were starving, and dug into some pizza at the food court.
Once we’d walked back along the road to the park entrance, we hiked along our second trail- a short 1.5km looped trail that begins and ends behind the visitors centre.
We kept our eyes peeled throughout for the impressive range of animals that can be spotted in the park. We managed to see a couple of vultures, a toucan, some turtles, massive butterflies, a squirrel, and a bundle of fur high up in a tree that we assumed was a sloth. We heard the creepy calls of howler monkeys, but didn’t manage to spot them.
Overall, Soberania wasn’t exactly the exciting jungle adventure filled with wildlife encounters that we’d hoped it would be. But it did make for a nice day trip- we got our first taste of Central American rainforest, and got to see the famous Panama canal.
Looking for more trekking in Panama? Then try the Three Waterfalls hike– a refreshing mountain trail in Boquete.