On what was probably the most “touristy” day I have had, I visited Summit Zoo and the Miraflores Museum. “Los Miraflores” are the locks in Panama that are closest to where I am staying. The museum was quite fancy and upscale, with 4 levels of exhibits and fine dining on the upper levels. It also offered bleacher seating for viewing ships as they passed through the locks.
Summit Zoo was really good for what it was – a small rescue zoo in Soberania National Park. They had many animals that typically are not seen in the rainforests around Gamboa, like jaguars, Baird’s tapirs and a harpy eagle. The harpy eagle was the star attraction of the zoo and there was an entire air-conditioned center dedicated to harpy eagles. The harpy eagle is actually the national bird of Panama, which is one reason why the eagle was so popular. The Panama amphibian rescue and conservation project (PARC) is also still based in Summit Zoo at this time, but unfortunately, the frogs are not on public exhibit. All in all, for anyone visiting Soberania National Park, I would definitely recommend visiting Summit Zoo, or Parque Municipal Summit. It is a great place for an outdoor picnic, with lots of nice open spaces, beautiful trees and plants that are nicely labelled, and some very friendly animals.