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The Birding Mecca Of The World next to the Panama Canal

Bedrooms 4
Separate WC's1
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

4 bedroom, 4 bathroom, full gourmet kitchen with optional guest house.

One of a kind Tropical 'outdoor in' Designed Home featured in many design magazines, gives you a unique experience of life in the wet tropics in the historic township of Gamboa next to one of the modern wonders of the world, the Panama Canal.

Designed by Panama Architect Patrick Dillon, our house features, double height ceilings, state of the art kitchen and huge decks to enjoy the tropical world that is our back yard. Wake up each morning to the 'fly over' of hundreds of parrots. Enjoy your coffee on our deck while the monkeys migrate to their next feeding grounds. Our pool allows you 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 rent a boat and captain and fish for Peacock Bass, Snook and the elusive Tarpon or you can rent kayaks from the Gamboa Resort and paddle up the Chagras River. Gamboa is host to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute with quick access to Barro Colorado Island.

Our home is a 25 minute drive from the beating heart of Casco Antique, the old historic town of Panama, that teams with small outdoor restaurants and unique cultural venues. We are a 15 minute drive to either the Pan American Hwy that will take you west to the expansive and rocky Pacific Coast or north to the Transistmian Hwy that will deliver you to blue waters and Captain Morgan Pirate enclave of the Caribbean Coast. Enjoy beautiful sunsets and a cool Gin and Tonic from the master bedroom balcony while watching the large ships transit the canal.

The ground floor houses three bedrooms each with trundle beds for 'kids' complete with pool table, ping pong table and foosbol. Two full bathrooms one with a bath and another with double showers finishes the area. Master suite bedroom has queen memory foam bed with views out over the canal, luxurious master bathroom with a double head shower. We have two large teak decks complete with BBQ for outdoor dining with a 30 foot pool and also a Japanese bath. We also can offer our guest cottage located on the property that sleeps six comfortably. Guest cottage comes with two full baths, three bedrooms, fully furnished with complete kitchen. Our house and cottage is a wonderful base to have a family reunion and to enjoy Panama.

More Details

Chimene Longwater
Member since: 2014
Speaks English, Spanish
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
8 March, 2017

About Chimene Longwater

Hi, I'm Chimene Longwater. I was born and raised in the beautiful coastal town of Savannah Georgia. My husband and I moved to Panama 25 years ago when he became a staff scientist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Our three children were all born in Panama and raised in Gamboa and consider themselves lucky beyond belief to have been given the opportunity to call Panama and especially Gamboa their home. I would love others to see the beauty and enjoy the uniqueness of my house that I helped to design with my best friend Beth Coates and Arq. Patrick Dillon.

Chimene Longwater purchased this villa in 2009

Why Chimene Longwater chose Panama

Gamboa is a historical gem preserved in time located 20 minutes from Panama city. A fantastic place to enjoy the beauty of the tropics with all of it's lush and exuberant wild life juxtaposed against the historic Panama Canal. A stay in our house will create life experiences that you will not forget.

What makes this villa unique

Gamboa is the last canal zone town mostly unchanged built in the 1930's. It has the luck of being situated halfway up the Panama Canal nestled amongst Soberania National park. The Canal borders to the west, the Chagras River borders to the North and the rest is forest. Wildlife flies over day and night, and interesting encounters with forest animals is a likely experience.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday villa in Gamboa in Corregimiento de Cristóbal

Property Type:
  • villa
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 5000 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy 10
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets not allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • rural
  • village ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 12 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • 1 Separate WC
  • Master Bathroom - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Bidet , double shower
    Kids Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Bidet
    Kids Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , double shower
    Guest Half Bath - Toilet
    Deck Showers - Outdoor Shower
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Master Bedroom - 1 Large Double Bed
    Georgia's Bedroom - 2 Single Bed , one bed is a trundle
    Sam's Bedroom - 1 Single Bed
    Sara's Bedroom - 1 Single Bed
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Table Football
  • Game Room
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Pool Table
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Bicycles
  • Boat ...
  • Terrace
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Barbecue
  • Tennis ...
  • 2 bicycles
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool
  • arboretum
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • forests
  • marina
  • pond
  • rain forests
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • Basketball Court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • pier fishing
  • bay fishing
  • swimming
  • tennis


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(8 traveller reviews)

The Birding Mecca Of The World next to the Panama Canal
average rating of 5.0 based on 8 reviews

Unique house and experience

  • 5 of 5

This house is a truly unique experience as it is open to the environment, creatures sounds and all! We had a great time here experiencing and it is perfect for those that love nature. From the moment we arrived in the pouring rain we saw an agouti and as the sun came out so did all the birds! Chimene, who owns the property was very helpful from the off. She put us in touch with a private guide who took us on a boat onto Lake Gutan where we experienced close up the ships going up and down the canal, the local wildlife and local Indians.

We stayed out of season, but even in season there is little in the way of restaurants, so you must bring food with you or eat in the local hotel up the road. The house is equipped with everything you could possibly need to cook though, it really is home from home. Don't stay here is you don't like bugs or the odd bat flitting about, this house is about as close to nature you can get but still be inside!!

  • Review Submitted: Oct 2, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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1 0

Spectacular Home in the Jungle!

  • 5 of 5

Our family has traveled all over the world (50+ countries), and we've never stayed in a house quite like this one. We really wanted to get out of Panama City and be closer to the jungle, canal, etc. The home provided a perfect base for 5 nights of our trip in Panama. The architecture and design is very unique, the location is in a nice part of the quiet town of Gamboa, and the Gamboa Rainforest Resort is only a 10-15 minute walk away. We did a sunset boat cruise, the aerial tram tour, the ecological exhibits (butterfly garden, orchid center, and frog house), and the new wildlife rescue center on property. All were pretty good. We cooked most of our meals ourselves in the fantastic kitchen, but we did have a couple meals at the Resort which were actually pretty good. For a family of 6 (2 parents, 2 grandparents, and 2 young children), the house was perfect. The open air design made us feel like part of the jungle, and we enjoyed hearing and seeing birds from the house and decks. Even when it was hot outside, the house always felt very comfortable with all the air flow (and the basement level is air conditioned). The toys, board games, and books were a great hit with our kids, and there were many interesting books upstairs for the adults. We used the swimming pool daily, and we even played a little on the pool table and ping pong table. Chimene, the owner, was delightful to work with and was available before, during, and after our stay to make sure everything went smoothly. I also walked to an ATM and a little convenience store in town and had no issues finding anything. We've been raving about this place to friends and family since we returned, and I expect we will tell anyone visiting Panama it is a "must do" part of their trip. I've rated other vacation houses that were perfectly nice 5 stars....this truly perfect house deserves more like 7 stars.

  • Review Submitted: Jan 22, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jan 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0

Fabulous house in a great location

  • 5 of 5

The house is unique and a special experience. There is plenty to do in the area for day trips but our family also enjoyed hanging at the house where we could read on the deck, watch the parrots fly across the sky, and our college age boys could play ping pong or pool. The kitchen was great and we cooked in for all but one lunch in Panama City. We highly recommend it and the owner, Chimene, was very helpful and considerate.

  • Review Submitted: Jan 12, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0
Panama PA


  • 5 of 5

I rented this house with 10 friends for the weekend and we had an amazing time.

The house provides an amazing outdoors feeling with the open living room and kitchen design connecting to the nature outside.

The swimming pool and deck is amazing and the "kids" play room are perfect for hanging-out while playing pool.

On of the best surprises was the FULLY equipped kitchen (as a real home and not as rental house).

Even though on the top level there isn't air conditioning, the open design provides a fresh breeze during the day (complemented by fans).

If you are looking for a house with lots of contact with nature and to hang out with comfort, this is the perfect house.

Be aware: nature = bugs + mosquito

The host was very thoughtful and organized. Everything was very well coordinated.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 2, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0

Amazing House for Those Who Love the Outdoors

  • 5 of 5

This house in Gamboa was perfect for me - I loved how it makes you feel like you're living in a tree house. However, it is in the jungle so anyone who wants all the creature comforts without the creatures should probably look elsewhere.


- The house is beautiful and clean.

- There are tons of beds in the house so while on a girls trip, no one had to snuggle.

- The pool and deck are amazing. I had great plans to hike on day one, but instead I could not tear myself away from the amazing facilities in the house itself.

- Nature. There are SO MANY birds that come to the house, humming birds, toucans, etc.

- Host. The host is amazing and did a fabulous job facilitating my visit, arranging a guide to lead us from the airport to the house after dark, helping us find a grocery, and arranging for the housekeeper to also cook us local food.

- AC. The main levels of the house are not air conditioned (which I love in the tropics) but the basement where the small bedrooms are located had two AC units and fans. I loved that I could have the humidity and breezes of the tropics during the day, but could retreat to AC to sleep at night.


- From the photos I was not 100% clear on the layout. Essentially, there are no completely private areas in the house. This was not a problem for my group, but is something to keep in mind if planning a romantic couples get away. The master bedroom is open to the rest rest of the house, though it is raised above the kitchen. The architecture is AMAZING but may not lend itself to privacy. The basement has 3 bedrooms, all of which have "windows" to the common area, so none of the bedrooms are completely sealed off. 3 beds are located in the common area, which makes going to bed a group effort if they are all occupied.

- Animals. The host left the family dog & cat at the property. The pets had caretakers so they were not a problem for my group, just a bit of a surprise. If you are allergic, have that discussion with the host and I'm sure there will be no problems.

Negatives (if one considers them negative):

This house is OPEN AIR in the main levels. There is no glass, there is no AC. There are only screens. It is in the tropics, it will be warm. And bugs/wild creatures may arrive in the house. While not always ideal, this is what one should expect in a house such as this. If you accept this, the house is for you :)

Overall, I loved the house & recommend it to anyone looking for an amazing, outdoor experience in Panama.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 12, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5 0

Amazing, unique place to stay

  • 5 of 5

My extended family of 8 stayed at the Bird House in Dec 2014 for six days. Our group consisted of my wife and I, our 2 children (ages 8 & 11), and our 4 parents. The house is a wonderful, unique experience for those looking for something very different from regular hotels. There is plenty of space, the full amenities of home (including very reliable wifi), and amazing decorations that had my wife (a graphic designer) buzzing with ideas. You truly can see the tops of ships on the canal from the deck and there really are birds everywhere. We didn’t catch sight of any monkeys around the property, but there were plenty along pipeline road (5 minute drive away), and there are agoutis and coatis hanging out in the park across the street.

Look at the pictures on the site closely to understand how the house is laid out - the exterior walls on the main floors are giant, slatted, sliding panels with screens to keep the bugs out. This means the house feels almost more outdoors than indoors. Our group loved it, and we never felt like our privacy was impinged upon since there is a fair amount of distance to the neighbors, but if you are not an outdoors lover it may feel strange to you to have all the noises from the world around you in your living space. Obviously, there is also no air conditioning, but numerous fans throughout the house keep it quite pleasant.

Chimene, the owner, is the perfect “remote host.” She helped us extensively with planning activities prior to our stay in Gamboa and also gave us advice for things to do in other parts of Panama. She had tremendous patience with me as I pinged her with loads of emails. Later in our trip we ended up staying at her treetop “beach platforms” in Rio Mar as well which was a whole other type of cool experience.

  • Review Submitted: Jan 8, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0


Chagres River
Soberanía National Park
Summit Municipal Park
Camino del Oleoducto
Nearest Airport
27 Miles
Tocumen International Airport
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Miles
Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Nearest Golf
7 Miles
Radisson Summit Golf Course
Nearest Motorway
8 Miles
Pan American Highway or Transisthmian
Nearest Restaurant
0.5 Miles
Gamboa Rainforest Resort or Radisson Resort
Nearest Beach
54 Miles
Gorgona (Pacific), Portobelo (Atlantic)
Car: recommended

Located halfway up the Panama Canal in the historic Panama Canal Zone town of Gamboa. Home to world class birding. World famous Pipeline and Rainforest Discovery Center 1 mile easy hike from our door step. Situated in the heart of the Smithsonian Tropical Research facility in Gamboa. Science and scientist abound as does the pick up point to visit Smithsonian's Barro Colorado Island. 20 minute walk to the public dock where you can get a guide and fish for peacock bass or go sight seeing up the Panama Canal or up the Chagras River. We are a 10 minute car drive to the Pan American Highway that crosses the Panama Canal and heads west to the best Pacific beaches. We are a 10 minute car drive to the Transisthmian Highway that travels north and takes you to the mysterious and beautiful caribbean coast. Alternatively you can drive into the heart of Panama City in 25 minutes for dinner in Casco Viejo. We have two local resorts close at hand. The Gamboa Rainforest Resort and the Radisson Summit Golf Resort. Both have nice restaurants and bars for a change of pace.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday villa in Gamboa, Central & South America

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add £32 per night, per additional guest

Additional pricing information

Property Damage Protection £79
Cleaning Fee £160
Tax Rate 15.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing

Partner Offers

Portable wifi hotspot

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