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Panama: Central America Confidential

National Geographic Adventure picks the 25 best new outfitted trips.
Text by Bonnie Tsui

Chile  |  El Salvador  |  Panama  |  Peru

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Go Luxe
"Panama is what Costa Rica was ten years ago," says Austin-Lehman Adventures trip planner Richard G. Edwards. "It's only beginning to blossom as an adventure destination." Your first stop on Lehman's new lodge-to-lodge tour: the open spaces of El Valle de Antón, in the western mountains, and El Valle's Canopy Lodge, a sophisticated, minimalist break from ubiquitous thatch, set on the caldera of an extinct volcano and on a snaking network of bike trails. From there it's a short shuttle to 3,000 feet (914 meters) above sea level and the cloud forest of Boquete and Finca Lerida, a colonial ranch and coffee plantation, where resplendent quetzals and sabrewings squawk a soundtrack to forest hikes. The final three days are spent on the Caribbean beaches and cerulean bays of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, home to two national park gems. Tranquilo Bay, an ecolodge of eight private cabanas perched on the island of Bastimentos, is your seaside base camp.


Outfitter: Austin-Lehman Adventures (

Price: $2,990

Length: Nine days

Departs: Year-round

Chile  |  El Salvador  |  Panama  |  Peru

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