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See photos of Patagonia's otherworldly Cerro Torre from the climb that bagged one of alpine climbing's greatest prizes.
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Adventure-approved excursions for right now.   By Costas Christ
Photo: Panama

The Ecotrip

The fact that Panama lies at a crossroads between two continents and two oceans can mean only one thing: astounding biodiversity. The tiny nation has the Western Hemisphere's second largest rain forest (only the Amazon is larger) and more than 10,000 species of plants and animals. Ancon Expeditions, the travel arm of the National Association for the Conservation of Nature, specializes in showing off the isthmus's greatest natural hits. The chart-topper is La Amistad International Park, where a hodgepodge of North and South American species such as the three-toed sloth and the resplendent quetzal overlap. The trip also includes a float through the Miraflores lock of the Panama Canal and dugout canoe tours of the fertile reefs that surround the San Blas islands.
Expect two to four hours of easy hiking each day and no sleeping on the jungle floor at night. Ancon puts its guests up in four-star hotels while in Panama City, smaller inns while touring national parks, and cozy thatch huts while visiting the indigenous Cuna people on the San Blas islands.  
Days: 10

Outfitter: Ancon Expeditions

Cost: $2,195

Photograph courtesy of Ancon Expeditions of Panama

Photo: March Cover

Pick up the March 2006 issue for more secrets of the Southwest, nine Caribbean adventures, the best gear for runners, and our World Class outfitter trips.

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