Crane’s-eye view in Panama

This item appears on page 104 of the May 2008 issue.

Panama City’s Metropolitan Park, the only protected rainforest in a city, is home to sloths, monkeys, 42 other mammal species, iguanas and more than 250 kinds of birds. London-based Cox & Kings now offers, either on a group tour or custom itinerary, the chance to get an up-close view of wildlife in the rainforest canopy by riding in a wire-screen-enclosed gondola manipulated by a construction crane.

During the 45-minute ride, passengers are lifted up to 112 feet. The accompanying naturalist guide directs the crane operator. The crane is quiet and the animals aren’t disturbed by it.

Crane rides take place 6:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. year-round and cost $110 per person with a minimum of four people (higher price with fewer people). Cox & Kings USA (800/999-1758,