Trip Planner:   Central America  /  Panama  /  Nature  /  Barro Colorado Island
Barro Colorado Island, Panama
(4.7/5 based on 35+ reviews on the web)
Barro Colorado Island is located in the man-made Gatun Lake in the middle of the Panama Canal. The island was formed when the waters of the Chagres River were dammed to form the lake in 1913. When the waters rose, they covered a significant part of the existing tropical forest, and the hilltops remained as islands in the middle of the lake. It has an area of 15.6km2.The island was set aside as a nature reserve on April 17, 1923 by the U.S. Government. Initially administered by the Panama Canal Company under the direction of James Zetek, since 1946 Barro Colorado Island has been administered by the Smithsonian, together with five adjacent peninsulas, as the Barro Colorado Nature Monument . The BCNM has an area of 54 km2. It is among the most-studied areas of tropical forest in the world. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has a permanent research center on the island, dedicated to studying tropical forest ecosystems. Because the Island's diverse ecosystem has been very little altered by humans, Barro Colorado has been studied for over eighty years within a great variety of biological disciplines. Only the larger fauna disappeared from Barro Colorado after the lake was flooded in 1914. Many scientific studies have been conducted to document the changes in the species composition of the island.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Since I took the transportation to go to the island, until I returned I had excellent care. The opportunity of being in direct contact with nature, learning and the experience itself are totally gratifying and it is really worth the price. I recommend go prepared if it rains and I know that the trails will be in a completely natural environment once started, take water and comfortable clothing is essential.
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  • Before booking you should be aware that you will be walking along jungle trails for a few hours in high temperatures (34c whilst we were there), high humidity and at times steep sections. We visited d...  more »
  • Great experience, remain immersed in the rainforest with the company of nature alone was an unforgettable experience. The organization is perfect. Upon your arrival you will be greeted by coffee and bananas and a brief, but valuable, presentation of the research project enabled on the island. Then the beginning of the round, a nice walk in total immersion in nature with consistent and accurate explanation of the Guide. The spectacle of nature won't disappoint. Us the morning we were very fortunate, but we were amply rewarded in the afternoon with two beautiful hours of observation of spider monkeys and howler monkeys, a bit like living a live documentary. If you add your contribution to a research project of the Smithsonian totally amazing, you will understand that it is really a must.
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