Bird House is a one-of-a-kind tropical 'outdoor in' home featured in design magazines in Europe and the Americas. Our home in the historic Panama Canal town of Gamboa provides our guests a unique opportunity to experience tropical nature next to one of the modern wonders of the world, the Panama Canal.
Designed by Patrick Dillon, Bird House features double height ceilings, a fabulous kitchen and and an expansive deck connected to a 10M pool from which to enjoy the tropical world that is our back yard. Wake up each morning to the 'fly over' of hundreds of parrots. Enjoy coffee from our Boquete farm on our deck while listening to monkeys howl from the adjacent Cerro Pelado jungle. Or end your day with cool drinks enjoyed from the master bedroom balcony while glimpsing huge ships transiting the Panama Canal.
Our pool is a great place to cool down after a day hiking or biking the trails around Gamboa, or birding on the world-famous Pipeline Road. We are a 15-minute walk to the public dock where you can hire a boat and a captain for a morning or day of fishing for peacock bass, snook and the elusive tarpon. Rent kayaks from the Gamboa Resort and hope that manatees roll under you as you paddle up the Chagras River, while searching for caiman on the river banks. Gamboa also hosts the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and is the take-off point for crossing the Panama Canal to the world-famous Barro Colorado Island and Nature Monument (access with advance reservations only).
Bird House is a 25-minute drive (longer with traffic) to the beating heart of Casco Viejo, the historic center of Panama City. The Casco teems with small outdoor restaurants, unique cultural venues and wonderful views of Panama Bay and modern Panama City. We are a 15-minute drive to the Pan American Highway that will take you west to the beaches of the Pacific Coast (and our Rio Mar Surf Platforms in San Carlos - 70 minutes), or east to the Transisthmian highway, and then north to the coral reefs, blue waters and Captain Morgan's pirate enclave on the Caribbean Coast.
Our tropical house brings a new design to the former Canal Zone territory of Gamboa. This three-story house is a one-of-a-kind space, designed to respond to the natural and cultural attributes of Gamboa.
The home features an environment-friendly design constructed in concrete and plantation teak louvered walls. The ground floor has A/C while the first and second floor do not; the oversized eves shade the sun and the louvered walls and large screen doors direct the airflow of prevailing breezes, keeping the 1st and 2nd floor well ventilated. The open layout of the house permits an inside-outside approach to living with nature that accentuates the sounds, smells and views of the surrounding tropical forest and Panama Canal.
Bird House has three floors (second, first and ground)
* The second floor features a master suite with a balcony that overlooks the interior courtyard, the pool, and views of the Panama Canal. This room was designed to take advantage of the daily path of the sun and natural site air movements to create a bedroom with wonderful light and natural ventilation. There is a walk-in closet and beautiful high-end finishes are featured in the double bathroom.
* The first floor has a modern open style kitchen with large marble countertops connecting to a spacious living and dining room with a 25ft ceiling. The kitchen is well equipped and a delightful space for cooking and entertaining. The dining/living room has a family table with bench seating and end chairs for 8, and beautiful custom-made couches and chairs, designed by the owner. Two large decks open off the kitchen and living area via large sliding wooden doors. When opened, there is a seamless connection between the outdoor and indoor spaces, creating both visual and physical expansiveness.
The larger deck overlooks the interior courtyard and features: built-in bench seating, a 10-meter swimming pool, a Japanese style shower house, deck furniture and a gas BBQ. This is an ideal place to relax by the pool, watch hummingbirds dance around the interior courtyard and enjoy dinner with views of the tropical rainforest.
*The ground floor is the only space in the house with A/C. The ground floor has three single bedrooms, each approximately 10’x12’. Each room has a built-in bureau, closet, desk and relaxation nook with views into the interior courtyard. Each room opens into a large, 20’x30’ air-conditioned space with a pool table and day beds that are great for lounging. The ground floor bathroom area has three sinks adjoining two bathrooms, one with a toilet and bathtub and the second with toilet and two showers.
Rio Mar Surf Platforms: One of the many unique features of Bird House is opportunity to use our Rio Mar surf platforms in San Carlos. Located about 70 minutes from Gamboa near a beautiful Pacific beach, our platforms permit our guests a wonderful beach experience to complement their Panama Canal and jungle adventures. Guests who book Bird House for a week or more are offered one night gratis at our Surf Platforms (midweek, depending on availability -- we will do everything possible to ensure availability).
Your stay at Bird House: Guests have access to the entire home, pool and grounds. Our house will be yours to enjoy as you wish. You will have complete privacy, although there is opportunity to arrange for maid service and/or a cook if you so desire. We ask our guests to pay staff directly as we do not take a percentage of their service. We will let you know how much staff expect to receive for their service.
More on Gamboa: Gamboa is a green, walkable community bounded by the Chagres River, the Panama Canal (Lake Gatun) and Soberania National Park. Gamboa is 25 km outside Panama City and a one-hour drive to both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.
Gamboa offers world-class birding. The town is the entry point to Pipeline Road, a wonderful walk through the jungle and some of the best birding in the world. The species list for Pipeline Road exceeds 400, and if you know your birds you can see or hear 100 species in a morning’s walk, not to mention monkeys, anteaters, sloths, etc. Gamboa is also a launching point for fishing expeditions on Gatun Lake or kayaking the Chagres River. This house offers itself to spending time enjoying the sounds of the Panama Canal and the rich Panamanian tropical rainforest.
Local things to do and amenities:
This house is centrally located. You are:
* 2km away from the entrance of Pipeline Road—a historic road that is a world-class destination for bird watching.
* 4 km away from the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center.
* 650 m (7-min walk) from the only convenience store in Gamboa.
* 5 min walk to views of the Panama Canal.
* 1 km from the Gamboa Resort.
* 1.6 km from the public dock where tour boats and fishing boats depart.
* A five-minute walk to free, first come, first served, tennis courts
Getting around: We have contacts for transportation to and from the airport as well as touring Panama and the surrounding areas. We can also help connect you with one of the best tour/birding guides in Panama. Again, we do not charge for these services, and ask you to pay the service providers directly. We will help you negotiate rates.