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Gamboa Rainforest Hotel creates sanctuary for endangered frog species

The Gamboa Rainforest Hotel, located in the heart of the Panamanian rainforest, has set up its very own frog garden housing three different types of the poison dart frogs. The garden is known as the "Land of Frogs" and is now a permanent exhibition at the hotel for nature loving guests to enjoy while on their Panama holidays.

Gamboa Rainforest Hotel creates sanctuary for endangered frog species

Sergio Bustamante, a dart frog breeder in Panama has donated three types of poison dart frogs to the Gamboa Rainforest Hotel.

The frogs, whose natural habitat is under threat as a result of human activities, are now the main attraction at the hotel’s permanent “Land of Frogs” exhibition, which is on display for hotel guests to enjoy while visiting Panama.

On how the frogs got their name, Gamboa Rainforest Hotel’s activities director, Jose Soto, explained:

"[Poison dart frogs] are distinguished by their small size and the bright color of their skin, which contains toxic alkaloids warning predators about the animal's bad taste or poison… the chances of dying because of a poisonous frog are minimal and there are only two ways: either you eat it or you handle it and the poison enters through an open wound."

Guests booking a stay at the Gamboa Rainforest Hotel need not worry since the frogs, who only produce the poison when their diet consists of insects, ants and beetles, are fed on rotten fruit and as such do not produce their infamous poison.

The exhibition has been a six month labour of love for the Gamboa Rainforest Hotel with every detail carefully thought out to ensure the frogs’ survival. The frog garden aims to replicate the frog’s natural habitat and contains 25 plant species including the bromelia plant which is key for the dart frog’s survival. In an effort to maintain optimum moisture levels in the soil, a specially designed hydration system sprays a mist made up of cane and mud five minutes each hour.

Initiatives like the Land of Frogs exhibition will certainly help the Gamboa Rainforest Hotel stand out among other Panama hotels particularly among the more eco conscious holidaymakers. Eco tourism has been a key driver of the tourism sector for Panama’s regional peers like Nicaragua and particularly Costa Rica -one of the few countries to meet all five of the UN’s requirements for environmental sustainability. With its location in the heart of Panama’s rainforest and CSR initiatives like the frog garden, the Gamboa Rainforest Hotel is certainly a top choice for nature lovers.

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