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Welcome to Panama, a place where the jungle meets the city and your opportunity to spot a sloth. Panama City’s lush surroundings provide the ideal habitat for sloths, as the country boasts rich rainforests and diverse ecosystems. Sloths live a pretty relaxed lifestyle, only being awake for 4-hours a day and just poop once a week. As you embark on your quest to find these elusive creatures, you must know that they can be difficult to spot in the think foliage of the forest. My biggest tip is to be on the lookout for a think ball of fur in the trees that’s barely moving and to go in the mornings.

Here are the best places to spot a sloth in Panama City, Panama. 

Punta Culebra Nature Center 

The Amador Causeway is great for riding bikes at sunset or catching a ferry to one of the islands, but there is also a little-known area here popular for sloth sightings! The Punta Culebra Nature Center offers two walking trails through a tropical dry forest and is a refuge for sloths, raccoons, iguanas, birds and armadillos, among other animals that visitors can admire as they walk around. There’s also several exhibits where you can learn about the frogs and marine life that make up Panama. 

Operating Hours: Wed, Thurs, Fri from 1 pm to 4 pm and Sat/Sun from 9 am to 4 pm

Cost: Non-Residents $8, Residents $5, Retirees & Children $2

Localización: Ver en Google Maps

Ancon Hill 

Ancon is the highest natural point (199m) in Panama City, was once used as a lookout for pirate ships coming in, and then was part of the Canal Zone. Now it can be enjoyed by anyone and makes an excellent walk for experiencing a jungle in the middle of the city. You must constantly be looking up at the trees but it’s common to spot sloths, monkeys, and toucans here. The views from here are also stunning as the trail wraps around the hill providing views of the Amador Causeway, Casco Viejo, Panama City skyscrapers, and Panama Canal. There are two entrances but it’s faster to use the “Mi Pueblito” entrance and then go up the red stairs. Once to this point it’s about a 30 minute walk each way. The earlier you go, the better for spotting wildlife and avoiding the heat. 

Operating Hours: Everyday from 6 am – 4 pm (must start by 3 pm)

Cost: Free or if you’re interested in a guided tour, check out the “Empanadas, coffee, and Urban Jungle Hike” experience on Airbnb.

Localización: Ver en Google Maps

Metropolitan Park 

Metropolitan Park (Parque Natural Metropolitano) is a 230-hectare park that is one of the largest tropical forests within a city limits. The park is home to SLOTHS, howler monkeys, armadillos, gato solos, 283 bird species, and more. There are 7 hiking trails to enjoy (they all connect) so this is a hike where you can really take your time and enjoy a rewarding view at the top. Like I mentioned before, the earlier you go the better to have a better chance at spotting wildlife and avoiding the heat. 

Operating Hours: Everyday from 7 am – 4:30 pm 

Cost: Non-Residents $4, Residents $1

Localización: Ver en Google Maps

Gamboa Sloth Sanctuary 

If you want to be GUARANTEED to see a sloth, you need to travel to the Gamboa Sloth Sanctuary. This is a rescue and rehabilitation center located in Gamboa (a 45-minute uber ride) where you can get up close to the sloths (but not touch them). You’ll also learn lots of information about the sloths and get to see the butterfly garden and frog enclosure. You can also enjoy lunch at the Gamboa Rainforest Reserve or book one of their activities like Zip-Lining, Aerial Tram, and Hiking. 

Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00am to 3:30pm (Closed on Mondays)

Cost: Adults $20, Children $10 

Localización: Ver en Google Maps

Experimenta Panamá


Soy Joey, un chico de Louisville, Kentucky que hizo las maletas y estudió en el extranjero en Panamá a la edad de 20 años y no ha regresado desde entonces. Lo que comenzó como un viaje semestral a Panamá se ha convertido en más de 10 años viviendo en América Latina y convirtiéndome en un blogger de viajes a tiempo completo. Ahora alterno entre vivir en la ciudad de Panamá, Bogotá y Lima. ¡Sígueme en Instagram @joeybonura para obtener más actualizaciones sobre mi vida en el extranjero!

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