Welcome to The Canopy Tower

Awaken to a tropical chorus of motmots, toucans, and fruitcrows…Your bedroom is at treetop level, no more than 40 feet from the birds.

The Canopy Tower is a prime location from which to observe the birds and other wildlife of the forest canopy. Because the birds and mammals are at eye level, it is common to get fantastic views otherwise nearly impossible from the ground, making this one of the best places for birding in Panama, and perhaps the entire world.

You don’t have to leave the Canopy Tower to find birds, you don’t even have to leave your bedroom! Tanagers and Tityras can be seen right from your window, and you don’t have to worry about the rain. The dining area and the roof of the tower are better for finding elusive canopy birds, as well as Mantled Howlers, Geoffroy’s Tamarins and other mammals and birds, as you can scan in all directions.

And all this without having to venture away from the Tower! This really is one of the best birding vacation spots anywhere in the world.


The Canopy Tower is located in impressive rainforest atop Semaphore Hill within Soberanía National Park, 35 miles north of Panamá City in the Republic of Panamá right in the center of the New World— and just 2½ hours from Miami! It’s one of best locations for birding lodges in Panama.

Panamá’s shape creates a natural funnel, concentrating migratory birds on a narrow isthmus— land that the birds desperately need for rest and to refuel before continuing their long journey. At peak times of the year, this migration is a spectacle rivaled by none in the World! An incredible 970+ species of birds have been recorded from this country that is not even the size of South Carolina!

Canopy Tower FAQs

What is unique about the Canopy Tower?

The Canopy Tower is one of the most unique lodges in the world, dedicated to birding and wildlife watching in the heart of central Panama. Located on the banks of the Panama Canal, the Canopy Tower was originally constructed in 1965 by the US Military – a radar station, set in the middle of the vast lowland rainforest. It was used in the protection of the Panama Canal from 1965 to the early 1990s. Left abandoned by the mid-1990s, local Panamanian and nature lover Raul Arias de Para came across the metal structure and immediately saw its potential as a premier birding lodge.

Surrounded by the lowland rainforest of Soberania National Park, the Canopy Tower sits on the highest hill in the region. An observation deck circles around the giant geodesic ball that still sits on top of the Tower, and birders come from all over the world to enjoy the spectacular views from the top over the vast rainforest canopy. Twelve rooms are placed strategically in the floors below, offering great views of the midstory and lower canopy from every room. The third floor lounge and dining room at canopy level invites great wildlife sightings of birds, mammals, lizards and more right outside the windows.

What species can be seen commonly around Canopy Tower?

At dawn on the observation deck, dozens of species can be seen at eye level as they forage in the canopy. Keel-billed Toucan, Golden-hooded Tanager, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Black-breasted Puffbird, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Blue Cotinga, Scaled Pigeon, Mealy Parrot, Red-lored Parrot, Short-tailed Hawk, Gray-headed Kite, Tiny Hawk, Collared Forest-Falcon, Red-capped Manakin, Thick-billed Euphonia, Palm Tanager, White-shouldered Tanager, Slate-colored Grosbeak, King Vulture, Black Hawk-Eagle. At the hummingbird feeders, White-necked Jacobin, White-vented Plumeleteer, Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Long-billed Hermit and Blue-chested Hummingbirds are common. Mammals are commonly seen, including Mantled Howler, Geoffroy’s Tamarin, Brown-throated Three-toed and Hoffmann’s Two-toed sloths, and after dark, Kinkajou, Olingo and Panamanian Night Monkey are regularly seen. Green Iguanas are common visitors to the treetops just outside the dining room windows.

What tour packages include a stay at the Canopy Tower?

Birds of the Canopy Tower; Birds of Central Panama; Birds of Central Panama & Darien Lowlands; Birds and History; Tamarin Tour: Mammal and Birding Adventure; Panama’s Hawk Migration Spectacular; The Birds & Nature of Panama and Trinidad; Panama’s Brilliant Butterflies; Herpetology at the Isthmus; Panama’s Incredible Flora; Introduction to Tropical Biodiversity

For more answers to FAQs, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.