Gamboa: Where active folks meet sloths

SOBERANIA NATIONAL PARK, Panama -- The Gamboa Rainforest Resort here features a package and amenities designed for clients traveling with children.

The three-night Gamboa Family Getaway plan is priced at $405 per person, double, with additional nights available at $99 per person.

Rates are valid through Dec. 15 and include buffet breakfast for two adults and two children; an upgrade to a deluxe room; and access to all resort amenities, including kayaks, boats, bicycles, tennis courts and gym and spa facilities.

Children age 12 and under stay free in parents' room. Children under age 5 eat all meals for free while kids ages 5 to 12 eat for 50% off the menu price.

Age-appropriate children's activities also are covered and include cooking classes, bike tours, kayaking and pedal-boat excursions on the Chagres River; evening jungle walks; local-culture dance classes; and hikes with qualified naturalists.

In addition, a variety of guided trips, ranging from day trips to three- and four-night retreats, are bookable from Gamboa.

Some of the most popular ones are: Gatun Lake/Panama Canal, a kayaking and hiking adventure along the lake and the historic Las Cruces Trail; the Wildlife Tour, an expedition into some of the world's best birding areas. (I saw a handful of older kids enjoying this, especially spying sloths in the treetops); the Panama City Tour, a visit to Casco Viejo (old Panama) as well as the Canal Museum.

The resort pays 12% commission on overnight and package bookings.

Contact Gamboa for prices and related information.

Meanwhile, the Gamboa Kids Program runs daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and until 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Baby-sitting also is available for $10 per hour, per child.

Owner Herman Bern said his entire family depends upon travel agents and tour operators for business, and especially to guide and educate clients about the kinds of experiences Gamboa offers.

Travel agents and tour operators are entitled to a special nightly rate of $50 per room in the villas. Deluxe rooms are priced at $75, about a 66% discount off the $225 nightly rack rates.

For additional information about Gamboa Rainforest Resort, call (877) 800-1690; visit www.gamboaresort.com; or e-mail [email protected]. -- K.S.

For more information on Gamboa Rainforest Resort, read Kaleel Sakakeeny's report:Resort offers adventure Indiana Jones-style.

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