Gamboa is 20km (13 miles) from the Miraflores Locks

This is one of the most exciting natural areas to explore in Panama, if not in the Americas, and most of it is less than an hour's drive from the city. North America meets South America here in a confluence of hyper-diversity and, accordingly, the bird-watching is epic and easy to access in places like Soberanía National Park. There are also a birder's ecolodge, a recreational park and zoo, spots for white-water rafting, and opportunities to visit with Emberá Indian tribes. Gamboa, formerly an American Canal Zone residential area for workers in the canal's dredging division, is also the name for a full-scale resort here. It sits on the shore of Gatún Lake, home to the Smithsonian's Barro Colorado Nature Monument, where visitors can learn about the rich biodiversity of this area. Travelers either lodge here or simply visit the region's highlights by tour, taxi, or rental vehicle.