NEW YORK -- Panama offers a wide variety of attractions. They
include coral reefs for divers and snorkelers, highland cloud
forests and lowland rain forests that are home to a variety of
flora and fauna and opportunities to play golf and enjoy deep-sea
Following is a sampling tour operators' programs in Panama. Prices
are per person, based on double occupancy:Sunny Land Tours of Hackensack, N.J., is offering Friday
departures on its nine-night Panamanian Treasures program, as well
as one group departure a month (with the exception of February)
escorted by a naturalist guide.
The itinerary starts with two nights in Panama City, a day trip
to the Soberania National Park, the Panama Canal and the Canopy
Tower observatory. The trip also takes in Barro Colorado Island,
the mountain town of Boquete and the San Blas Islands for a
two-night stay among the Kuna Indians. The last day is spent in
Panama City, with a farewell dinner and an overnight stay.
The tour cost starts at $2,265, based on departure from Miami,
and includes international air and domestic air to Panamonte and
the San Blas Islands.
Sunny Land also offers a two-night extension with hotel and
meals to the island of Bocas del Toro on the northwest Caribbean
coast; the town, with its gingerbread buildings, has a population
predominantly of West Indian origin. Attractions here include
Bastimentos National Park, a sea- turtle refuge. The price is $365,
Phone: (201) 487-2150 or (800) 783-7839, Web: www.sunnylandtours.com.Bahia Tours in Dania, Fla., has scheduled departures on Feb. 6,
March 13, May 15 and July 17 of its nine-night Panama Native Trail
Tour. The itinerary includes Panama City; the colonial town of Nato
de los Caballeros; Indian villages in the Chiriqui highlands; a
flight to Darien, and a two-night stay on Dolphin Island. The land
price is $1,925.
Phone: (954) 929-0090 or (800) 443-0717, Web: www.aventuras.com.Field Guides in Austin, Texas, operates birding tours
worldwide, including one to the lowland forest of the Darien.
Winter departures are Jan. 16 and Feb. 20. Birding and wildlife
areas include the heights of Cerro Pirre and the forests on the
lower slopes around Cana, site of one of the world's most
productive gold mines. Company cofounder John Rowlett accompanies
this 10-day tour, which is priced at $2,550.
Phone: (512) 327-4953 or (800) 728-4953, Web: www.fieldguides.com.Mountain Travel-Sobek in El Cerrito, Calif., introduced a trip
called Kayaking with the Kuna Indians. Traveling about four hours a
day from island to island by sea kayak, adventurers will call at
villages and learn about the Kunas' traditions. Travelers will see
frigate birds and various birds of prey, and, underwater,
snorkelers will be treated to views of coral reefs.
Some sea-kayaking experience is required on this 14-night trip,
which begins and ends with a day in Panama City.
Departures are Jan. 11 and 27 and Feb. 12 and 28. For eight to
10 people, the land cost is $2,590; for five to seven people,
Phone: (888) 687-6235, Web: www.mtsobek.com.