Ancon Expeditions Creates Varied Panama Trips

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. --- Ancon Expeditions of Panama is sending visitors on adventures that range from a half-day tour of Panama City to a 14-day transcontinental expedition.

Destinations include the San Blas Islands, the Panama Canal Watershed, the Chiriqui Highlands, Bocas del Toro, the Pearl Islands and the legendary Darien Jungle.

This new full-service tour operator manages five lodging field stations in the Panama Canal Watershed, Bocas del Toro, the Pearl Islands and the Darien. In the rest of the country and Panama, Ancon Expeditions uses top-class hotels.

The parent organization of Ancon Expeditions of Panama is the National Association for the Conservation of Nature (whose Spanish acronym is Ancon), a private Panamanian conservation association. Founded in 1985, Ancon has worked for 13 years in close alliance with Panama's scientific community, as well as with international organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, to fulfill its mission to conserve the country's natural resources and biodiversity.

Because of Panama's wealth of natural wonders and cultural diversity --- including seven indigenous cultures that still thrive --- travelers can choose from a menu of tours that feature natural history, culture, conservation, sophisticated birding trips and demanding jungle trekking.

Although many group programs are offered with fixed departures throughout the year, the company also offers customized itineraries.

Monthly departures are available for the Best of Panama, a 10-day tour visiting Panama City and the Panama Canal; Soberania and the Metropolitan Nature Park; the Smithsonian's Barro Colorado Island Nature Monument; the highland cloud forests of Chiriqui, and the San Blas Islands. The cost per person, based on double occupancy, is $1,698.

Other group tours include the Panama Native Trail; the Birds of Panama; the Birds of Central and Eastern Panama, and the Trans-Darien Expedition.

The 10-day Panama Native Trail is priced at $1,925 per person. It features visits with different tribes: the Guayami, who are Ngobe natives of the Veraguas province, as well as the Guayami of Salt Creek; the Teribe, Naso natives of Bocas del Toro; Choco, the Embera natives of the Darien, and the Kuna of the San Blas.

An eight-day Birds of Panama tour is available, priced at $1,220, as is the 11-day Birds of Central and Eastern Panama, priced at $1,698.

The 14-day Trans-Darien Expedition is designed for the truly adventurous traveler and is priced at $2,399 per person. The itinerary retraces the route of Spanish conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa when he became the first European to reach the Pacific coast in 1513, after a trek through the Darien wilderness.

Custom tours, short adventures and day tours available include full and partial Panama Canal transits and visits to the Pipeline Road in the Soberania National Park, Las Cruces Trail and Portobelo.

For further information, call the company's U.S. representative at (888) 888-4106.

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