|If you are having trouble reading this email, please click here.|
Greetings from the Canopy...
We are happy to announce that the Canopy Tower (for the third year in a row!) and Canopy Lodge have been awarded the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. We thank you all for your reviews, we could not achieve this without your support. You continuously provide us great feedback and motivation to keep doing our best, and for this we cannot thank you enough!
Best wishes, and I hope to see
Raúl Arias de Para - President/Founder
Canopy Family News
Celebrating 15 Years: A Brief History of the Canopy Tower
In 1965, the US Air Force constructed a tower to house a powerful radar along the banks of the Panama Canal and to be used in its defense. In 1969, this radar station was jointly used by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Panama Canal Commission as a communications tower. In 1988, it received an important new assignment: It was activated as Site One in the Caribbean Basin Radar Network, and was used by the US Government to detect airplanes suspected of carrying drugs from South America until 1995, when it was closed and left vacant. Truly a structure of many uses! In November 1996, the radar tower and Semaphore Hill site, approximately 35 acres of rainforest within Soberania National Park, were transferred to Panama under the Torrijos-Carter Treaty.
Meanwhile, economics major, politician and writer Raúl Arias de Para, was getting in touch with nature and entered into the field of ecotourism. He was motivated to protect and conserve a waterfall close to his heart in El Valle de Anton, on his family’s land. Raúl installed an entrance gate, instituted a fee and hired locals previously engaged in slash-and-burn agriculture and trained them as guides. The Canopy Adventure is now a safe haven for many birds and animals, and is a retreat for visitors to enjoy and appreciate nature. The following year, Raúl began to look for a place to build an eco-lodge in the forests surrounding the Panama Canal and in August 1996, came across the Semaphore Hill Radar Station.
“I fell in love with a building,” Raúl states in a speech he gave during the International Conference on Heritage Tourism for the Next Millenium in December 1998. “It defies logic. In any event, it was love at first sight, not only with the tower but also with its location, right in the center of Soberania National Park.” In August 1997, Raúl signed a long-term contract with the government of Panama to transform the old radar station into an ecolodge and tropical nature observatory. The transformation took two years, and Raúl calls it “the ultimate recycling project”. In January 1999, the Canopy Tower was inaugurated and the rest, as we say, is history.
Celebrating 15 Years with Special Anniversary Offers!
While the building is actually much older, we honor the Canopy Tower for 15 years of excellence in its "best use" as a world-class birding eco-lodge. Save 20% on our Birds of the Canopy Tower, Birds of the Canopy Lodge and Birds of Canopy Camp Darien on select dates this year. Save up to $449 per person through this great offer! Click here for more information.
NEW! Mountain Bikes for Rent at the Canopy B&B
We have two new high-quality mountain bikes available for rent at the Canopy Bed & Breakfast. They are a perfect way to access and explore Pipeline Road, or great for a leisurely ride around the historic canal town of Gamboa.
Over the past 15 years, we have watched our staff grow in their abilities and roles within the Canopy Family. On June 7, we had a celebratory lunch for Danilo Rodriguez Jr. (below, right), who has worked as the lead staff at the Canopy B&B for the past 3 years, as he is now leaving his role at the B&B to follow in the footsteps of his father as a bird guide at the Canopy Lodge and Canopy Tower. Congratulations, Danilo!