Punta Culebra Nature Center- Smithsonian Institute

Punta Culebra Nature Center

After a few years, I went back to visit the Punta Culebra Nature Center, which I previously met through the Marine Exhibition Center.

It is located on the Calzada de Amador, also known as the Causeway on Naos Island.

The Nature Center is an initiative of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute with the goal of tropical science and education.

The place has exhibits of frogs, turtles, sharks, tropical fish and two trails, it also has pools where you can see the starfish.

Sloth
Sloth.

Frog Exhibition

In the Frog Exhibition, you can see them in an environment very similar to the natural one, in addition to having an area where it is observed when they are newborn (tadpoles) and another when they are out of their tadpole stage, but they have not yet finished growing.

Booking.com

This room is accessed every 30 minutes, a maximum of 25 people per tour and the exhibition is guided.

I advise, when arriving at the Punta Culebra Nature Center, first see when the next tour begins before visiting the rest of the Visitor Center.

Did you know that in Panama there are almost 200 species of frogs?

Incredible, right? However, they are being tied up by the chytrid fungus, the Smithsonian Institute is conducting research to immunize frogs and prevent this fungus from disappearing them.


Among the frogs that can be observed are: glass frog, Pirre harlequin frog, common rain frog, green frog with red eyes, among others.

Frog Exhibition de Ranas at Punta Culebra Nature Center
Frog Exhibition.

Tropical Fish Exhibition

In it you can see fish from both the Caribbean and the Pacific, and even from rivers. Corals, red clownfish, yellow snapper, among others, are observed.

Tropical Fish Exhibition
Tropical Fish Exhibition.

Trail through a dry tropical forest

It is a small forest that has 2 trails, in which, if we are lucky and there is no noise, you can see iguanas, toucans, sloth, raccoon, among others.

The Punta Culebra Natural Center is a place of much observation, so we must be vigilant, a little animal may be in front of us and we may not see it or scare it away.

In my case, I was able to observe some raccoons, an Iguana (very large) and a sloth.   One of the trails goes through some atta cephalote houses.

Raccoon on the trail
Raccoon on the trail.

This Nature Center has views of the ships that pass through the Panama Canal, part of the Calzada de Amador and the Arenosa Beach.

Prices

Residents

  • $4.00 adults.
  • $2.00 children under 13.
  • $2.00 retirees.

Non-residents $7.00.

Hours

It is governed by the Panamanian school vacation calendar.

School year: March to November

  • Tuesday to Friday: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays and Sundays: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

December to February

  • Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Ticket office closes at 4:00 p.m.

Punta Culebra Nature Center has its own parking lots. It can be reached by public, private or own transport.

How to get to Centro Natural Punta Culebra?

By car: go to Amador, you can do it either by crossing the Bridge of the Americas from Panama Oeste to Panama, or if you are in the capital you can do it by the maritime way of the Cinta Costera, Avenida de los Martires or by Ancon.

Pending the signposting in order do not to miss the entrance to Amador, once there continue the entire section (it is a single street), until you see the signposting of the Punta Culebra Natural Center, follow the directions, they will take you to the parking lot. 

You can also use Google Maps.

By bus: you must take the C850 bus, you can take it at the Albrook Terminal and get off at the Smithsonian R stop.

Then you must enter the street on the right and walk until you reach the Punta Culebra Natural Center

More information here.

Updated: 2020.

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