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Punta Culebra Nature Center

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Address: Marine Exhibition Center | Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama
Phone Number:
+507 212-8793
Book In Advance
More Info
USD 100.00*
and up
Panama City Sightseeing Tour Including Miraflores Locks
More Info
USD 191.99*
and up
Parque Natural Metropolitano and Ancon Hill Tour from Panama City

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 154 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 30
  • 36
    Very good
  • 9
  • 9
  • 1
Thought provoking exhibits

A small but well planned display of sea turtles, frogs, and sea critters plus a forest complete with a sloth and iguana. Canal-side location just outside Panama City offers a... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 9 February 2016
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154 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 85: English reviews
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2016

A small but well planned display of sea turtles, frogs, and sea critters plus a forest complete with a sloth and iguana. Canal-side location just outside Panama City offers a great place for a picnic lunch (bring it with you) and wonderful view of canal ship traffic as the pilot boats meet them to enter the canal passage. Easy walking,... More 

2 Thank southernyankee
Panama City Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
56 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2016

The tour we booked, on our 2nd day in Panama, had the Nature Center of the Smithsonian on the itinerary. I guess since this was included with the price of our tour, we can't complain too much, but my husband and I would have skipped it all together if we had the option. It's very small, if compared to something... More 

2 Thank April N
Varese, Italy
Level Contributor
273 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 206 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2016

This is a really small kind of “zoo”, in reality a Smithsonian research center. This island (plus the other three) were part of former Ft. Grant, when walking you may notice some railways and some batteries of former military use; in the cold war days railroad guns were used in this area, easily transportable from coast to coast and movable... More 

2 Thank Tualie
Bedford, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
43 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2016

We were here late in the afternoon. We saw a two toed sloth up close and personal in the parking lot! They have tanks of fish and turtles. The exhibits in the building were all about frogs and toads and were really interesting and fun. Small enough so that we didn't have time to be bored!

2 Thank Elaine S
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2016

The Punta Culebra Nature Center is an active research institution. It is on a scenic location and features an interesting number of attractions: exotic frogs, turtles, fish, sloths and iguanas. You can catch a metro bus back to the city after your visit, or dine at one of the local establishments.

2 Thank josephmbryant
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2016 via mobile

Went here with a tour of the city. We saw a sloth in the first tree we looked at, before almost tripping over a huge iguana. The fish tanks were cool, the views spectacular, the frog room fascinating and the turtle and sand shark tank also really cool. Well worth the trip.

2 Thank Scott S
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
104 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2015

A decades old collaboration between Panama and Smithsonian Institute to study animal and sea life in Panama. Provides a short outdoor walk through a living laboratory that offers views of both animal and marine life typical to the region. Inexpensive and informative. Especially good for kids.

2 Thank rgbob
PuntaCulebra, Program Coordinator at Punta Culebra Nature Center, responded to this review

Spot on description, rgbob! Thank you for the review! More 

Wasilla, Alaska
Level Contributor
76 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2015

After lunch at Mi Ranchito, we took a short walk. Found some sloths and iguanas. Pools to touch starfish and watch sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Small aquariums that show some fish. Large pool with turtles.

2 Thank 1snowangel50
Level Contributor
69 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2015 via mobile

We visited this center as part of a tour with barefoot panama. The center is small and can easily be seen in 30 minutes. They do have several sloths to see in the trees. They have some fish, a couple of nurse sharks and several iguanas. If you want to see sloths go here!

2 Thank Cada51
PuntaCulebra, Program Coordinator at Punta Culebra Nature Center, responded to this review

Thanks for your review, Cada51! In fact, we've taken a census of our sloths, and Culebra has over 20! Some even have adorable little babies now. More 

San Mateo, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2015

I will premise this by saying that the Rana exploration exhibit was closed when I visited, so maybe with that building open the Center would be worth the visit. I also should reveal that I live very close to a world class aquarium in Monterey, CA, so I'm a bit biased. The exhibits here consist of 1) a pool with... More 

1 Thank snickelfritz76
PuntaCulebra, Coordinator at Punta Culebra Nature Center, responded to this review

We're sorry that you were disappointed with your visit. We did have the frog exhibition closed for a couple of days due to an air conditioning problem, but it has since been fixed and we hope that you will come back to give us another chance. The exhibition is really well-done and features some awesome frogs! More 

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Phoenix, Arizona
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