If you have driven in or out of Panama City on the Bridge of the Americas you are likely to see a bright building with a multicolored, asymmetrical roof. This unique and iconic building is none other than the BioMuseo in Amador.
The construction of the building began in 2004 and was designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry. Gehry’s wife is Panamanian and he wanted to donate the design to the people of Panama. The building’s design is meant to tell the story of the formation of the isthmus and how it connected two continents and the influence that this had on biodiversity. There are several ongoing projects that will continue to add to Gehry’s design and is expected to be completed in 2020.
The museum has eight permanent galleries that focus Panama’s diversity. These galleries include the creation and geology of Panama, the biology of Panama, the interaction between humans and animals in Panama, and the impact that the land formation of Panama had on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
All of the exhibits are in Spanish and English; the staff is also bilingual. An audio tour is available and is available in three languages: Spanish, French, and English. This museum provides an array of knowledge for children and adults. Although all children are different, this writer believes that the exhibits may be best suited for children 10 years of age and older. All eight exhibits take approximately 90 minutes.
A cafe with indoor and outdoor seating is located at the Biomuseo. There are a variety of food options ranging from sweets to hotdogs and sandwiches. Outdoor seating provides views of the canal and Bridge of the Americas, in addition to the outdoor park which is part of the museum. The menu is in English and Spanish.
Pricing for the museum varies depending on the time of year. The museum also offers a package deal with the Miaflores Locks which is $25 per person (regardless of a child or adult) and allows access to both locations for the day. This option only applies to non-residents. If this is a more cost efficient option for your family be sure to ask for this as it is not listed on the website.
Hours for the museum are as follows:
Getting to the museum is fairly easy. Cross the Bridge of the Americas and take the first right off the bridge following signs for Amador. Parking is free and is located just before you get to the museum. After you visit the museum you can explore other nearby places of interest including Amador Causeway, Casco Viejo, Ancon Hill, and the Miaflores Locks.