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panama travel and tourism

Biodiversity Museum

panama's biodiversity museum on the amador causeway, panama city, panama

Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and built along Panama City's Amador Causeway, the 43,056 sq. ft. (4,000 sq. m) Biodiversity Museum is a stunning edifice that opened to the public on October 2nd, 2014, after nearly ten years under construction, costing over 60 million dollars.

Overlooking the southern entrance to the Panama Canal, the Biodiversity Museum provides visitors with plenty of historical information relating to the isthmus' formation and how it contributed to the creation of Panama and the entire Central American region.

biodiversity musuem the amador causeway panama city panama

First and foremost, I want to heap praise on the staff. Throughout my visit, the personnel was exceptionally attentive and friendly. The personnel seemed genuinely interested in my experience and deserved an A+ on their report cards.

Overall, the presentation is excellent. The museum is clean, spacious, and open, courtesy of the high ceilings. There are eight permanent exhibition galleries, each with a unique focus. In addition, there are two floor-to-ceiling aquariums with local fish species on display. Throughout the museum, you will find interactive touch-screen presentations, and for the most part, I found them helpful and informative. Throughout the museum, there's a lot of attention paid to detail from start to finish.

In many respects, the Biodiversity Museum resembles a natural or national history museum in that it focuses predominantly on the past. There is little mention of modern-day Panama or its future, but this appears to be their intent.

a view of the biodiversity museum on the amador causeway, panama city, panama
a view of the biodiversity museum on the amador causeway, panama city, panama

Of the museum, their website states:

"It was designed to tell the story of how the Isthmus of Panama rose from the bottom of the ocean and united two continents, divided an ocean, and changed the world's biodiversity."

And the museum does just that, exceptionally well. It closely examines the isthmuses' initial inhabitants and the vast array of animal life that at one time existed.

You should budget between 2-3 hours to see it all, particularly if you enjoy reading and wish to delve into the region's rich history.

Visit their website for more information.

If I had to pick one area where the museum came up short, it would be its lack of physical artifacts. As you walk through the museum, you take notice of the beautiful sculptures, wall art, hanging artistry, etc. No doubt, a lot of effort went into preparing those items. But all too often, there was an over-reliance on illustrations and writings when physical artifacts would have been more effective and better appreciated. As a result, I found myself having to read more than I would have liked, though I realize obtaining or reproducing some of these artifacts is not feasible. It's more a suggestion than criticism. Overall, I was very impressed.

Getting to the Biodiversity Museum

Google Map - Biodiversity Museum Google Map - Albrook Bus Terminal

Metro buses to Amador Causeway depart every 30 minutes from the Albrook Bus Terminal; look for the bus that reads "Amador." They depart from behind/alongside the Metro train station and not where most other buses arrive and depart. From the train terminal, it’s just a few hundred feet away.

panama's biodiversity museum on the amador causeway, panama city, panama

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