The Jewel of Panama: Soberania National ParkPanama | admin | May 26, 2010
Soberania National Park is situated to the north of Panama City, around 15 miles away and approximately 48,287 acres of rainforest land is protected. The park is not only close to the Panama City, which has many outdoor frivolous activities, plus this national park offers several chances to see wildlife as well as also plays an important role in the purpose of the Panama Canal and to protect habitat and wildlife around it.
In 1980, long stretch of land including Soberania, Parque Natural Metropolitano and Parque Camino de Cruces along to the Canal’s eastern border, it was announced protected areas. Soberania National Park is a part of this foundation which guarantees continuous water supply from the canal and plus sure to find wildlife movement.
The passage movement is very important for birds in this park. For a long time, Panama has been recognized as a birdwatchers paradise. Panama is believed to be one of the world’s excellent birding sites as it has about 940 avian species. in the western hemisphere The Panama Canal stands for one of the top nomadic way for birds as well as the guarded areas passage guarantees the protection and safety of this unique flora and fauna.
Apart from being a biological protected sanctuary, great wildlife sightings and hiking trails are the part of the Soberania National Park. Pipeline Road trails is the more popular trail of the park. The trail stretches about 17 miles, which offers unbelievable chance for wildlife. The park is home to more than 380 types of birds as well as it’s common to spot slothes, monkeys and the rare reptile. There are also many other array of tracks in the park from easy to difficult to hike. The park is also great to hike on a historic Camino de Cruces trail, which is 6.2 mile long. In 16th century, the trail was made by the Spanish to transfer gold and merchandize among the two oceans. While hiking you will come across a wrecked village, which also has historic significance, it makes an excellent place to rest too.
Panama Rainforest Discovery Center is built along the Pipeline Road. You will get map and trails information the Soberania National Park here. Even the Discovery Center has entrée to some attractive trails, but to use them they charge 15dollars per person. If the rates are too high for, then forget it and head towards other interesting free trails through the forest and enjoy the natural beauty.
Entering the Park
Between 6:00 a.m. – 4:00 pm, the park office is open every day. Per person is charged five dollars; you can even ask for a nice map may, if it’s available they will provide you with one. There is no strict timing to visit or to leave the forest as door next to the ranger office is never locked. To stay overnight in the park, you will be charged extra ten dollars per person.
How to Get to Pipeline Road
Alongside the Panama Canal is a town named Gamboa, which is 40 minutes away from the Panama City. The route is the same way to the Albrook Airport, just keep heading straight down this 2-lane highway. After getting to Gamboa, you come across a bridge (Chagres River) and again continue the expedition on the paved main road for a few minutes, later on the left side you will pass a huge crane. The road then split and from there take a left and continue your journey on the dirt/gravel road and enjoy the left hand side view of the Panama Canal. Little further, a right turn will come which you should not miss. After few minutes later, you will see a sign pointing to Pipeline Road and you have reached your destination. There is ample space outside to park your vehicle.
From the Albrook Bus Terminal in Panama City buses depart to the Gamboa. It do reach the town but not to the entrance of the park. The bus will drop you at the huge crane and from there its only twenty minutes walking distance. The bus ride approximately takes 45 minutes. From Monday to Friday, bus to Gamboa departs at every one-hour interval frpm 5am to 9 pm
buses leaving for Gamboa also go by Summit Gardens so don’t miss your chance to visit the Summit Gardens as well.