Panama is a country that blends sophisticated elegance with raw natural beauty. You’ll recognize this theme far & wide but look no further than the Summit Rainforest & Golf Resort. While some might be sidetracked by the luxurious resorts dotted on the Panamanian beaches (and for good reason), we’re here to remind you to look inland as well. Nestled between the Panama Canal & the Camino de Cruces National Park, and on the outskirts of Panama City, exists Summit Rainforest & Golf Resort. For under $100USD a night, you can experience resort-style living in an exciting yet tranquil rainforest setting!
What to expect at Summit Rainforest & Golf Resort…
During your stay, you can enjoy access to an array of great amenities and services. Tee off at Summit Golf Club, a historic and challenging Panamanian golf course with views of Summit National Park. Relax at the infinity pool and explore the butterfly and frog farms. Enjoy a run or hike on one of the Summit walking trails or exercise at the fitness centre. Summit’s location is adjacent to the Pipeline Trail, where over 1,000 different bird species migrate each year as well.
The concierge and tour desk can assist with arranging local tours, activities and visits to Panama City attractions, along with affordable transportation.
Complimentary perks include Wi-Fi, parking, hot breakfast included with all room rates and transportation to the Panama Canal Miraflores Visitor Center, Summit Botanical Gardens, Rainforest Discovery Center, Metropolitan National Park, Soberania National Park, Albrook Mall and Altaplaza Mall. Guests also enjoy room service, pet-friendly rooms and access to an onsite business center.
Accommodations, Food, and Drink
Feel completely at home in bright, airy rooms featuring free Wi-Fi, pillowtop beds, 42-inch TVs, bathrobes and deluxe bath amenities. Most rooms have balconies with rainforest, pool or golf course views, and the spacious suites are equipped with kitchenettes and couches. Choose a room with a bathroom featuring a shower with spa stone flooring or a bathtub. Also offered are rooms for the disabled, pet-friendly rooms and interconnecting rooms. For some reason, if you aren’t fond of your assigned room, the hotel will happily oblige your request for an alternative.
Included in every stay is a complimentary breakfast made fresh from the resort’s very own restaurant called Mulligans. You will also have access to the restaurant for lunch and dinner with a full menu of delicious fish, meat, pasta, and vegetarian dishes.
Golf at Summit Rainforest & Golf Resort
Designed by the American golf-course architect Jeffrey Myers, the 6,626-yard, par-72 championship course overlooks the famous Culebra Cut of the Panama Canal and Camino de Cruces National Park. The course maintains a long history, as it was originally opened in the 1930s and served as a field for residents of U.S. military bases as well as for the workers of the Panama Canal.
The field was built in the Camino de Cruces National Park, which is where the Spanish transported gold in Colonial times. It was only until 1850 when the Panama Canal Railroad Company was built, that the Camino de Cruces was no longer used for transit.
Then in 1999, a family found this abandoned gem and began to build what is now the Summit Golf Club. And aside from being one of Panama’s most challenging courses, the Summit Golf Club’s unique location makes this 18-hole championship golf course both a fun and cultural experience – as you will also encounter wildlife that is not seen anywhere else in the world.
Don’t worry if you forgot your clubs at home, the Pro Shop offers rental gear for men and women for $35.00 + tax, per set. If you’re not an adequate golfer just yet, spend a day in the full-service practice area with contoured putting surfaces and multiple tee boxes. You can also play on the six-hole, par-three course designed for new and young golfers. Or perfect your game on the state-of-the-art golf simulator with private instruction at the golf academy.
Rainforest Exhibitions & Trails
On-property tours include several day-hikes and walking trails, which reach the train tracks of the Panama Canal Railway Company. They also include golf cart tours where you can view alligators, capybara, sloths, coati, and a variety of bird species, as well as adventurous Night Tours in the Summit Walking Trail. On the way you can stop at the Butterfly and frog farms!
From blue morphos to owl butterflies, the flying beauties at the Summit Butterfly Farm enchant children and adults alike. You will observe dozens of insects in various stages of transformation, from caterpillars to butterflies. Then, as you exit the butterfly farm, you’ll be able to lead into the frog farm, where you will be able to encounter various night frogs and day frogs.
You can spot over 1,000 native bird species and other tropical animals on one of Summit’s incredible walking trails as well. The resort features 4 different trails from 30 minutes to 3 hours and ranging difficulties. You’ll get a firsthand glance at some of Panama’s natural trees, flora and fauna. One of the hikes takes you to the highest peak in the area where you can view the Centennial Bridge. Don’t be surprised if you spot monkeys, coati, agouti, and deer.
Monkey & Bird Feeding Area
Watch Titi Monkeys and Coati eat bananas, while Toucans and other bird types enjoy fruits and seeds from the man-made and natural feeding area. This is an epic creation from the resort that’s always visible from the Lobby window.
Monkey Island Tour
If you haven’t heard of Monkey Island, you’re in for a treat! You will navigate about 20-25 minutes through the Panama Canal until reaching the Gatun Lake area to see different types of monkeys, fauna, reptiles, mammals and birds. This also includes a small picnic of fruits and snacks as well as fresh water.
Sloth Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
Visit the country’s first sloth rescue and rehabilitation center. Summit Resort provides a safe and natural space to the foundations of Panama that receive these creatures, to help them recover and release them to their natural habitat. The educational center helps with the preservation of these animals and the environment.
Aside from the ecological activities, the resort periodically plans a host of activities from treasure hunts, aquatic dances, mini-golf, bonfires with marshmallows, bingo nights, karaoke nights, outdoor movie nights, and more!
A resort wouldn’t be complete without a beautiful pool. Enjoy a cocktail in the outdoor infinity pool with rainforest views and the sounds of nature. You can hang out at the pool bar or wait for a server to come around and take your order! There is also a separate pool for children with various depths and plenty of places to lay back and relax. Canopies provide protection from the sun and there are tables to enjoy a great lunch as well!
At Summit Resort, you will be hard-pressed to run out of things to do! You’re minutes away from day tours and local activities, and only 20 minutes from Casco Viejo in Panama City. Gatun Lake, Gamboa Rainforest, and of course the Panama Canal combine to offer rich experiences within minutes from the resort as well.
Not to mention, your hotel rate includes shuttle transfers at scheduled hours to attraction centers like the Panama Canal Miraflores Visitor Center, Summit Botanical Gardens, Rainforest Discovery Center, Metropolitan National Park, Soberania National Park, Albrook Mall and Altaplaza Mall. Feel free to ask the help desk for guidance as they will surely point you in the right direction or help with
Should you stay at Summit Rainforest & Golf Resort?
Absolutely! If you’re living in Panama, here’s a weekend getaway with great value. If you’re not much of a golfer, then perhaps the lessons and golf academy would be a great way to learn! Any frustration on the course can be soothed with a nice margarita by the pool.
Families have a particularly wonderful time here as well! The resort has the infrastructure to accommodate children and their boundless energy while allowing couples or singles to relax at the same time. They even host special events and weddings! For more information, you can visit their website here. We hope you have a chance to mark this one off your bucket list!