Details: Birding in Panama
Getting there: The Canopy Tower (1-800-930-3397 from the United States and Panama, www.canopytower.com) is in the Gamboa area of the former Panama Canal Zone, about a 40-minute drive from downtown Panama City and an hour from the airport. The lodge will pick up guests downtown or at the airport. A taxi to or from downtown is about $20; from Tocumen International Airport, it's about $50.
Staying there: The cost of a stay varies with the season – rates are lowest in the “green season” (rainy), from May through September. Panama's rainy season can be very, very wet. There's a shoulder “migration season” in October and November. High (and dry) season is December through April. In the dry season, there's a three-night minimum, and the basic Canopy Room costs $175 plus tax per person per night, double occupancy, including admission to surrounding Soberania National Park, meals (including wine at dinner) and one bird tour. In December, we chose a three-night package that included two bird tours per day, plus transportation to and from the city, for $664 per person, including tax. (Bird tours purchased a la carte would have cost quite a bit more.)
What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes, comfortable outdoor clothing, a decent pair of binoculars.