We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Captain Carl - Panama's Funniest Adventure Guide” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Jungle Land Panama Floating Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Gamboa
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Jungle Land Panama Floating Lodge
Ranked #1 of 4 Gamboa B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Oshkosh, WI
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Captain Carl - Panama's Funniest Adventure Guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2012

If you are looking for a truly original Panama Adventure and you don't have days to trek up the coast and into the jungle you should definitely take a close look at Captain Carl's adventure lodge just outside of Panama City.

A few reasons why we loved our stay.

1) From Casco Viejo, Panama to the jungle lodge it was all of 1 hour travel time.
2) It is ridiculously secluded and beautiful location.
3) Captain Carl is one of the few great adventurers who has exceptional stories, great knowledge of the jungle, and patient enough to share his experiences with anyone that asks (Even though he's been asked 1000s of times i'd guess..)
4) There's plenty to do or nothing to do. Completely your call!
5) He stocks plenty of good rum.
6) He stocks plenty of good rum and drinks it with you and then hunt crocodiles at night!

As someone that has been to more than my fair share of places and had some really cool experiences along the way, our weekend with Captain Carl is on the short list of must do travel. We will definitely be back next winter.

Thanks again Carl! Eric & Kristen

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dealerfire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

117 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    101
    11
    4
    1
    0
See reviews for
41
45
2
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York
Level Contributor
239 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2012

All communications done prior to trip via email. Picked up from hotel in Panama City. Charged $60 (for 5 people) round trip for ~ 45 minute ride each way. Stayed two nights and really appreciated where we were. Took boat ride to lodge. On the way, saw monkeys, learned about area and canal. Visit to Monkey Island was brief and can't walk on island. On boat, give monkeys peanuts and they grab from your hand and then run away. Meals were tasty. Carl was accommodating to our children's "selective eating palates." You can swim in river by boat, feed local monkeys bananas, fish (you can eat what you catch), take kayak tour to small waterfall and can jump in "pond" below, feed and touch animals on his boat which was fun or just lay in hammocks to relax. Night excursion you see caymans, bats, spiders, frogs, birds, LOT of stars. Second day, did some of the same things but still appreciated it. At one point, Carl disappeared on a hike with another family while we were touring with him. We didn't know where he/they went or for how long. Would have appreciated him inviting the grownups (not safe for kids we were later told) along and/or telling us where he was going or for how long. Second night, had a bonfire on a neighboring island that Carl owns and that was nice just sitting, drinking and chatting. Carl joins you in the evenings to chat for a bit. Sleep accommodations are comfortable. Showers are cold in the mornings. Meals were good but would have liked a little snack between lunch and dinner...long time between the two but we brought our own snacks so we filled ourselves up that way. Beverages are included in stay overnight. There were some overnighters and day excursion people with us. Sometimes difficult to set your own time frame touring because with other families and they might want to stay longer/shorter (ie fishing) and you are stuck doing the activity until all agree to leave. Overall, had a great time and glad we did it! Our children had a great time and still talk about it...they thought Carl was nice and that his adventures were the best part of our trip to Panama.

Room Tip: I heard he is renovating in the future but for now, request one of the two top rooms because they ha...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sojourn3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A SPECTACULAR AND SAFE EXCURSION INTO THE CANAL THEN CHECK OUT JUNGLELAND WITH CAPTAIN CARL
I just came back from a trip to Panama. The highlight of the trip was an excursion into Jungleland with Captain Carl including a boat trip along the Panama Canal including the Chagres River and Lake Gatun. We were picked up on time at our Panama City Hotel and bussed with others from other hotels to a makeshift dock near Gamboa. Captain Carl met the bus at the dock with his boat pretty much on time. The boat is open but covered with a shade. From the dock, the boat traveled into the Chagres River and then Lake Gatun with stops to observe wildlife and Canal Operations. Birds were abundant. We also saw monkeys in the trees along the shoreline. This is no nature reserve or park but the edge of the jungle. All of this was in the shadow of traffic on the Canal route. To bring alive this experience and place it in historical context, I strongly recommend reading David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914. This is the story of the French and American efforts over several decades to dig the Panama Canal which was completed at a cost of upwards of 25,000 lives and hundreds of millions of dollars over a period of 30 plus years. The final destination of the boat is Carl's houseboat/lodge moored in a secluded cove on Lake Gatun. It has been expanded and houses perhaps 5-6 rooms for overnight stays. We regretfully took only the day trip which ran from about 8:15 to 5:00 p.m. The houseboat/lodge has several decks capable of seating dozens. I enjoyed a beef dish for lunch with rice and vegetables that was really good. After digesting the food I was offered and took a kayak trip up a very narrow channel that opened into a waterfall including a pond and swimming area. That was the best swim of my life and something out of Brooke Shield's Blue Lagoon. It was amazing in its tranquility. After a relaxed swim we paddled back and to the houseboat and I had a second swim from the houseboat area complete with multiple high- dives off the deck. After a change of clothes we transferred from the Houseboat to the boat for the trip back first stopping at Monkey Island. It was there that I got unbelievable pictures of monkeys literally jumping into the boat.
Imagine what is necessary for an American setting up a tourist business in the middle of the Panama Canal surrounded by jungle some hours outside of the relative comfort of Panama City and you would imagine someone fighting the environment, the Panama Canal Commission, and whoever else except that Captain Carl already exists. He is a great entrepreneur, knowledgeable about the jungle and his operation, and very interesting with lots of stories and comments. He is a real character in the best sense. His day long trip is spectacular if you want to see and be part of for even one day the Canal, Lake Gatun, and the edge of the real jungle. This pleasure is easily worth $95.00 per person. The trip runs all week long unlike competitors that offer trips but without anyone as unique as Captain Carl. I strongly recommend this excursion and can't wait until I can go back and do an overnighter or more.

Room Tip: Stay overnight in any room
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 391Happytraveler391
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whitehorse, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2012

Highly recommend!
Thank you carl for a fantastic day~
This was definetly an experience
got to see monkeys...baby aligators, birds ect
I didnt get to see my sloth but thats life
yummy lunch and great boat rides
LOVED how hands on it was
I ended up flipping my Kayak as it was filled with water
but to say the least I have a great story to tell haha!
Come visit us in the Yukon carl if you want some adventure!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cheeryukon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Frances, Canada
Level Contributor
110 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

This was our second stay at the Jungle Land Floating Lodge on Lake Gatun. It was and still is our children's favourite place in Panama.
The houseboat sits in a beautiful spot in complete isolation. You won't hear any cars or see any signs of humanity - it's glorious. Your host is the owner, Captain Carl, who gruffly looks after his guests and accommodates his guests' needs without too much fuss. It's your choice, whether you want to swim, kayak, go fishing or go on a nature-watching tour on one of the motor boats. Our kids absolutely love jumping off the special deck on the houseboat's roof.
The top floor has hammocks hanging everywhere and is a fantastic place to relax.
We swam for hours and hours and saw crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas and turtles, all at close range. Capt Carl also has a fantastic collection of 'pets' on the boat that he has rescued and releases back into the wild. The sound of the monkeys hollering in the morning is a sound you wo'nt forget.
On our last night, the staff took us to a little island where they had built a bonfire, which we all sat around in the quiet jungle night with a few beers. Lovely.
There are two newly built rooms on the top floor with their own bathrooms and balconies. The five of us stayed in one of those rooms and they were extremely comfortable.
I strongly recommend you stay the night although you can do day trips from Gamboa. We stayed for two nights which was perfect. It is $125 a night for adults and $56 for children aged 6-12. Children under 6 are free. Included in the price is a boat tour, all food and drinks (incl. beer and wine), kayaks, life jackets, fishing gear.
Food is fresh and good but we also took some snacks such as chocolate, cheese and biscuits and special drinks.
This is not a luxury holiday. Do not expect to be waited on hand and foot, but it is one of the most enjoyable family holidays we have ever had. The kids are free to do what they want (with lifejackets) and never complained ONCE. I cannot recommend the Jungle Land Lodge highly enough.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the two rooms on the top floor. They have their own bathrooms, a private balcony and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CaramutJane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2012

We made agreements with Captain Davis to pick us up at 4:00 P.M. He had forgotten us but did remember the other two people waiting for him that day. So make sure you call him the day before to confirm. We were lucky that he was expecting the other two people otherwise we suspect that the boat would have never showed up to pick us up.

We received directions to the docks a week before our arrival. We used our GPS and additionally purchased panama maps to get to the assigned location at the Gamboa locks. We did not follow the Captains directions and followed the GPS that directed us via the Highway that runs along side of the canal. The captain had given us directions following a secondary road that follow the canal as well. We were picked up on time and brought to the boat house. The Capt. was waiting for us with refreshments, beer and wine.
Capt. Davis has a very comfortable set up and directed us to our appropriate quarters then gave us a tour of the facilities. There was a deck full of hammocks and we lounged the rest of the evening..
Later that night we took the alligator safari (which was included on the overnight price of the stay) we took canoes and spend a couple of hours seeing alligators in their habitat. It was exciting and fun.

The boat had 4 large rooms with 8 beds in each room. Two beds can be put together to make a very comfortable King size bed. The rest of the bunks can be secured and raised so that the room is left with the number of beds required. In our case we had a King bed and a double for our daughter. The shower and bathrooms are not built in the rooms and they are shared by the community. There was only one shower available but plenty of places to change.
The dining room is very large and the whole set up is more like a hostel set up than a hotel but a bit more comfortable than a hostel. The food is good the stay included dinner our first night, breakfast and lunch. Drinks were available but snacks were limited to a delicious pack of cookies. I recommend that if you travel with children you bring plenty of snacks of your own. The captain is very friendly and can keep you entertained with very pleasant conversation. He also has an array of pets that he brings out, and introduces to you throughout the visit.

We woke up to the sounds of Holler Monkeys and a very pleasant cool morning. The breakfast was sufficient and good. The captain invited anyone who wanted to go to the docks to pick up the day visitors we all rode with him. On the way we got to see many large ships crossing the canal and on the way back we got a tour of the canal, we got to visit the different islands inside the canal and got to visit with the different types of monkeys of the area (this tour is also included on the overnight package). We had a great, great time. We got back to the lodge took a small break visited with some more of the animals housed on the boat and took pictures. After the break we all got into kayaks and kayaked to a nearby island to swim at some waterfalls. We again had a wonderful time and returned to the boat house to pack and get back to the city of Panama.

We recommend the trip to JungleLand. The captain is a very good man. I would not hesitate to plan another trip and the next time we will stay an extra day. Don't forget to check with him the day before you arrive. If you suspect that you will not have access to a phone while in Panama, make arrangements for a family member back home to call him.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank worldhopper123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Gamboa
29.4 km away
The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
31.7 km away
Grace Panama
Grace Panama
#1 of 116 in Panama City
4.5 of 5 bubbles 584 reviews
17.7 km away
Radisson Summit Hotel And Golf
Radisson Summit Hotel And Golf
#22 of 116 in Panama City
4.0 of 5 bubbles 823 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
26.7 km away
Melia Panama Canal
Melia Panama Canal
#1 of 9 in Colon
3.5 of 5 bubbles 550 reviews
31.6 km away
Le Meridien Panama
Le Meridien Panama
#8 of 116 in Panama City
4.5 of 5 bubbles 814 reviews
31.6 km away
American Trade Hotel
American Trade Hotel
#6 of 116 in Panama City
4.5 of 5 bubbles 419 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Jungle Land Panama Floating Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Jungle Land Panama Floating Lodge

Property: Jungle Land Panama Floating Lodge
Address: Lake Gatun, Panama Canal, Gamboa, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Colon Province > Gamboa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Gamboa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our floating lodge is the most unique all inclusive in Panama. A stay with us includes all meals, beverages, touring, and activities on the lake. Activities include swimming, fishing, kayaking, and hiking, .. or you can just relax in the hammock lounge. The lodge is anchored in a secluded cove of lake Gatun of the Panama Canal. We are surrounded on all sides by a tropical forest teaming with exotic birds, plants, and animals. Huge ocean going ships transit the canal not far away. Come live a true adventure in the cross roads of the world. ... more   less 

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing