Soberania National Park, Panama

Soberania National Park is 25 kilometers from Panama City. A road from Panama City leads to the Madden Dam and crosses through the parks humid tropical forest. The park was established in 1980 and is a strip bordering much of the eastern side of the Canal.

There is a park headquarters with rooms for meetings and audiovisual presentations, a store, orchid site, and natural trails. In Aguas Claras there is a checkpoint and a forest ranger facility. There are three natural trails: the Charco, the Camino de Plataciones and Camino de Cruces. In the protected area there is a camping area. There 105 species of mammals, 525 species of birds, 79 reptiles, 55 amphibious and 36 species of fresh water fish, so the park is an important wildlife refuge.

The Soberania National Park covers 19,341 hectares and is located in the hydrographic basin of the Panama Canal. The Chagres River, whose waters are used for the Canal, crosses the National Park near Gamboa.

The jewels of the park are Trail el Charco in Gamboa and the bird observation sites along Pipeline Road ( Camino del Oleoducto). The Camino de Cruces also crosses the park. This was the road that the Spanish used to transport gold overland from the Pacific to their ships in the Caribbean. Part of the paved section has been restored.

The annual mean temperature is 28º C the Caribbean slopes of the park. Rugged undulating hills and steep slops prevail, with a maximum height at Cerro Calabaza (85 meters above sea level).

The Park is made up of humid forest with its impressive trees like, cotton tree (ceiba), cuipo (Cavanillesia platanifolia), mahogany and guayacan (Tabebuia guayacan). The forest contains lots of lianas, epifitas and orchids and the royal palm tress, fruit trees nance (Brysonima crassifolia), and wild plums.

Birds are particularly noteworthy here. On its best known trail, the Pipeline Road, the Audubon Society has for 19 years held consecutive world records in the annual census it organizes. 525 species of birds were recorded on just one day in 1996. Among the outstanding ones are the endangered crested eagle, the spectacular rofous-ventaul, ground- cuckoo, and colorful tragons like violaceous tragons.

Among the mammals you will fid jaguar, the white-tailed deer, ñeques, raccoons and herds of wild pigs. Various species of monkeys occupy the forest canopy, including the small mono titi and the evasive jujana.

Reptiles such as the babilus, the warty snake, amphibians such as the common toad or the salamander and fresh water fishes like the sabalo, pipon or the barbudo are to be found here

There is a Canopy Tower eco-lodge (a five-story former radar tower) in Soberania National Park, where you can wake up eye to eye with purple-throated fruit crows.

Gamboa Rainforest Resort is in the National Park Gamboa Rainforest Resort is a luxury destination resort located on the Panama Canal, in the heart of the Panamanian rainforest. The resort has been designed to provide a variety of educational and adventure experiences. Exploring the rainforest has never been easier. For a bird's eye view of the Soberania National Park and Panama Canal, climb aboard the specially designed aerial tram and glide quietly through the rainforest canopy where you'll encounter plants and animals rarely seen by visitors on the ground. A first class marina provides tours of the Chagres River and Lake Gatun, sport fishing trips for peacock bass and other exotic freshwater species (catch and release only), kayaking trips, and tours to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island.

Hotels are located near the park in Panama City.


Panama National Parks