Family tours showcase nature


SEATTLE -- Wildland Adventures created two Panama nature tours for families.

During the seven-night Kids on the Isthmus adventure, families traverse the Panama Canal to explore the protected rain forest there and then choose from a variety of activities.

The tour spends three nights at the five-star Gamboa Rainforest Resort, located on the Chagres River in the middle of Soberania National Park.

Activities include a Panama Canal jungle expedition and a visit to the Tiger Island Primate Sanctuary; a ride on the canopy aerial tram; fishing; or a visit to the Harpy Eagle Aviary.

The next three nights are spent at the Bocas Inn in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, where families travel by boat to Swans Cay to see such wildlife as dolphins, spotted rays, monkeys and three-toed sloths.

A full day can be spent snorkeling and exploring the wildlife in Zapatilla Caye and Bastimentos National Marine Park.

Accommodations on the final night are at Country Inn Amador. While staying here, participants have the chance to visit the Smithsonian Institute's marine center and the craft markets selling colorful Kuna Indian molas appliques.

A slightly different itinerary is available for the Christmas season. The eight-night Panama Family Adventure, departing Dec. 20, features two nights at the Caesar Park Hotel resort in Panama City, including a full day in Soberania National Park.

Guests then spend two nights in the Chiriqui Highlands, visiting a dairy farm and taking a bird-watching hike in the forests of La Amistad National Park.

Then there are three nights in Bocas del Toro, where tour participants can take boat trips among the islands, go on nature hikes, fish, snorkel or swim.

For the final night, they return to Panama City, where there still is time to visit the Smithsonian Institute and the outdoor markets.

The cost of both trips is $2,095 for adults and $1,095 for kids age 11 and under; customized elements can be added.

The programs include accommodations; domestic land, air and water transportation; all excursions; most meals; and all transfers.

For information and reservations, contact Wildland Adventures at (800) 345-4453; e-mail [email protected]; or visit

To contact reporter Carla Hunt, send e-mail to [email protected].

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI