Though it’s just 30 minutes from Panama City, this peaceful resort feels a world away thanks to its lush setting near the Chagres River and Soberania National Park Rainforest. Along with a charming main building, where tall windows showcase all the greenery, the property includes an Orchideary (orchid greenhouse), numerous gazebos, a two-level pool, riverboats and even an aerial tram running into the rainforest — making for plenty of indoor and outdoor wedding choices. Popular spots include the Grand Ballroom, topped by an ornate domed ceiling, and the Los Lagartos restaurant, which overlooks Chagres River (it’s particularly lovely in the evening). Buffets can be prepared for up to 250 people, seated meals for up to 350; the brunch buffet option, with pasta, ceviche, carving, seafood and dessert stations, is one of the most requested. Activities like a group boat ride to Monkey Island (home to mischievous capuchins) or chilling in the Clarins Spa are awesome wedding weekend additions (wedding packages start at $8,000 and include site fees, a cake, champagne, limo transfers, some spa services and ice sculptures, a night in the honeymoon suite and more. Buffets start at $29.50 per person; gamboaresort.com).
Photo courtesy of Gamboa