canopy crane

TOUR DESCRIPTION Experience the incredible unity of a metropolitan city adjacent to a lush rainforest from a 360 degrees perspective. This unique tour can only be experienced with Ancon Expeditions of Panama and is very rewarding. While exploring the canopy of Metropolitan Nature Park, you will be fascinated by the beautiful view over Panama City, its bay, the Panama Canal and the expanse of the national parks that protect the canal´s watershed.

**note that the weight limit per vessel is 700 lbs for passengers + guide (usually 3 adults + guide)**
**48 hours in advance reservation required**

US$195 per person + 7% tax (2 persons)
US$300 per person + 7% tax (1 person)

INCLUDED Bilingual naturalist guide, water, crane and park fees, transportation from/to your hotel in Panama City (please note that a $35 per person roundtrip surcharge based on 2+ persons must be added to day tours beginning and/or ending at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Canopy Tower, Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort or hotels near Tocumen Airport)

DISCLAIMER Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however they are subject to change due to weather or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.


The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) rainforest canopy crane at Metropolitan Natural Park is 42m tall with a 51m long arm. The gondola has a maximum lift height of 34m and a work radius (from center of tower) of 48m.

The crane lifts nature enthusiasts above the forest in a comfortable gondola and then lowers them at the desired observation sites within the canopy. In this way, the crane allows safe, easy and three-dimensional access to the forest.

The crane operator, who receives orders by radio from the Naturalist Guide on where to position the gondola, controls the crane movements. The gondola can easily accommodate up to four visitors and their guide standing up.

The upper rainforest canopy at Metropolitan Natural Park is 25-35 m high with emergent trees reaching 40m. The park receives an average of 1850 mm of rain per year. The meteorological year is divided into two parts: a pronounced dry season (approximately from mid-December to the end of April), and a wet season (May to mid-December).

Weight limit per vessel: 700 lbs (317 kg)



The ride on the research crane’s gondola will last approximately 30 minutes and will be complemented with 2-3 hours of nature observation along the trails of Metropolitan Natural Park. Tours are offered several times during the day, please ask your Sales Representative for available schedules. Recommended are early departures (6:00 a.m. or 6:30 a.m.) to take advantage of the early morning bird and wildlife activity. Most hotels do not serve breakfast that early so it is recommended to bring along snacks to be ready for the early morning tour and hike. The canopy crane operador has a strict time schedule so an optional stop along the way to grab breakfast is unfortunately not an option.

  • For security reasons children of 12 years and under are not allowed on the crane
  • Weight limit per vessel: 700 lbs


  • Binoculars (available for rent at Ancon Expeditions of Panama)
  • Camera
  • Cap or hat
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Insect Repellant
  • Light clothing
  • Light raincoat
  • Good traction footwear


Ancon Expeditions is Panama’s top eco-tourism operator. Our Natural & Cultural History Guides are the country's finest. Due to frequently asked questions from our clients about suggested guide & staff gratuities, we would like to provide you with the following universal tipping guidelines:

  • Naturalist guide/Tour leader: US$10.00-US$20.00 per person/day
  • Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person/day
  • Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
  • Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day


"The day with Hernan was the best of all. The Canopy Crane was fascinating, but the trail at Metro Park was even better. Hernan brought his professional scope and tripod, and I was able to see some amazing animals up close. The highlight of the day for me was seeing a three-toed sloth. I can't say enough good things about Hernan. He is so knowledgeable, personable and enthusiastic! Our animal- and bird-spotting on the trail was thrilling and I thoroughly enjoyed Hernan's company every step of the way. I am sure tomorrow's tour will be a wonderful ending to my time in Panama. Thank you!"

Pamela J. Macleod, USA

"Ancon Expeditions of Panama underpromised and overdelivered on the quality of the guide and logistics!"

Mitch Cheney, USA

"The tour was perfect and we were very happy! Espacelly our guide ivan was very nice and knew a lot about the nature and animals!"

Sandra Gächter, Switzerland

"Just a quick note to thank you for arranging our wonderful trip in January 2010 to Panama. The surprise experience (and highlight!) for me in Panama was the biologist's gondola trip above Panama City's Metropolitan Park at dawn. It was incredible. Ancon did a great job for us - we really liked Roberto as a guide."

Karen Eckman, USA

“Ancon Expeditions of Panama did an outstanding job of creating a tour just for the four of us that allowed us to see the best of Panama in a short time. You guys did a great job of customizing a package for us at a reasonable price, and the quality of the guides and drivers was outstanding. Everything was so professional and well done, we will recommend Ancon Expeditions of Panama to our friends. Great job, especially Melanie.”

Jerry Ribnick, USA