Plan
Your Visit

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Note: The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is now open for research. Our facilities are available with capacity limitations to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. All scientific visitors will need to register through the Visitor Services Office (VSO) before planning travel.

If you are an academic or scientific program partner interested in resuming courses or field trips to a STRI facility, please submit your request via the VSO. We are working with our partners to ensure that courses and field trips to STRI facilities can resume safely.

General public visits to Punta Culebra Nature Center, Barro Colorado Island, Galeta Marine Station and Bocas del Toro facility will resume at a future date. Please continue to check this website for further updates.

Days Visits Hours
Tuesday 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday - Sunday 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Visitors are asked to be at the Smithsonian dock in Gamboa half an hour before departure. STRI's boats adhere to a strict schedule.

General Admission Rates Cost
Foreign adult $100.00
Foreign student $70.00
Panamanian adult $50.00
Foreign with Panamanian residency status $50.00
Local student $25.00
Panamanian retiree $40.00

We accept VISA, MasterCard and American Express credit cards. 

 

Advanced Booking for day Visits

Due to the high demand for visits and limited capacity, we encourage you to book your visit well in advance. To make a reservation, please complete the Visitor Request Form. Once we receive your registration form, a representative from the visitor office will contact you to plan your visit.

Days Visits

A day visit includes boat transportation, a guided tour and lunch. The trip begins early in the morning, departs from Gamboa at 7:15 a.m. on weekdays and at 8 a.m. on weekends and arrives at BCI 30-45 minutes after departure. It is extremely important to be on time to catch the boat. If you miss the boat, you miss your visit.

Upon arrival, the guide will provide visitors with information concerning the natural history of the island and lead the group on a hike through the forest. The hike takes between 2.5 and 3 hours. The trails are about 2 km long and may be quite steep in places. There will be rest stops to enjoy the sights and learn more about the natural history of the island.

Following the tour, you can proceed to the dining hall for a cafeteria-style lunch (a vegetarian option is available). The boat to Gamboa departs from BCI at 3:40 pm on weekdays (4:10 pm arrival in Gamboa) and at 2:30 pm on weekends (3:15 pm arrival in Gamboa).

Group Visits

All groups, regardless of size, must reserve a visit to the BCI Research Station. Please fill out the Request Form, and we will get back to you soon regarding your request. Due to high demand, it’s recommended you submit your registration form well in advance. 

What to Wear and Bring

Long pants, long-sleeved shirts, hats and comfortable shoes, hiking boots or rubber boots are recommended. Bring binoculars and plenty of water.

Getting here

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)

Our location

Barro Colorado is a 1,560-hectare island located in the middle of the Panama strict schedule. You can board one of the boats at the STRI dock, located in the town of Gamboa about one kilometer north from the Panama Canal’s dredging division dock.

Laboratories

Barro Colorado Site Map

Amenities

Cafeteria

Cafeteria

A cafeteria-style lunch (with vegetarian options) is served until 1 p.m. in the cafeteria. Lunch is included as part of your visit to BCI. Water, juice, coffee and tea are served with lunch. 

education_bci_plan_your_visit_storage

Storage

There are lockers for storing items you do not wish to take with you on your forest walk.

Contact Us

Office hours

Mon - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

The office is closed during weekends and Panamanian holidays.

Phone

+507 212-8951
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