The Canopy Tower was built in the Sixties by the US Air Force as a radar base for the protection of the canal. Today, it is an eco-lodge, hosting nature lovers and guests with a keen interest in conservation.
The original 'golf ball' radar-housing remains and rises out of the rainforest where it now acts as a perfect observation station for guests. This vantage point gives views above the tree canopy to Panama City and even offers glimpses of the canal. Blue cotingas and green shrike-vireos can both be observed here.
Accommodation is in a 30ft metal structure where 12 rooms are arranged over two treetop levels and accessed by an internal flight of stairs. Room furnishings are sparse, but double rooms and suites have private bathrooms and all rooms have ceiling fans. There is a dining room and bar on the top floor and hammocks are strung between steel columns.
The main activity is bird and wildlife watching and the observation tower has a UV light and screen available for nighttime viewing on request. There are guides on hand who are passionate about the surrounding wildlife and happy to share their knowledge.
Why we like it
This quirky and eccentric eco-lodge is a link to Panama’s recent past when America occupied the Canal Zone. Razor-wired gates adorned with emphatic “keep out” messages, an industrial corrugated iron shell and the huge tower-top radar ball add to the atmosphere and make this a unique lodging option. The viewing platform offers an unbeatable glimpse into the wildlife and birdlife of the tree top canopy.