Mario Urriola, a biologist who runs the Serpentario, is an excellent nature guide, and he heads a group of bilingual bird-watching guides and conservationists who can put together hikes and other outdoor activities. Birding tours cost $25 (£13) per person for a half-day; hiking tours cost $30 (£15) for a half-day for up to five guests (tel. 6629-3722;

The Panama Explorer Club operates out of the Crater Valley Adventure Spa , where they have an "Adventure Center" with a rock-climbing wall and obstacle course, plus bike rental and organized tours available to the general public (tel. 983-6942 in El Valle, or 213-2330 in Panama City to talk to someone who speaks English; Their half-day excursions include rappelling down a waterfall ($20/£10), mountain-bike tours ($10-$33/£5-£17), and kayaking and rafting nearby rivers ($88-$116/£44-£58), one of which is Class I and suitable for kids.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.