Positioned at the crossroads of the Americas, Panama holidays offer visitors an exciting mix of urban buzz, incredible engineering achievements, pristine rainforests and stunning island beaches. Not to forget the western half of the country, which is dominated by verdant alpine mountains.
Having shaken off years of occupation, Panama is the safest country in the region with excellent infrastructure and the ease of having the US dollar as its currency. Wherever you choose to visit in this surprisingly scenic country, most Panama holidays are likely to begin in Panama City, a dynamic centre of culture and commerce for the whole Central American region.
Here, the evocative remains of Spanish colonialism and pirate raids blend seamlessly with American-style modern city life and well-preserved national parks on the city fringes. Nearby, the Museum of Biodiversity, designed by well-known architect Frank Gehry, tell the story of the isthmus, and is his only work in Latin America.
The Panama Canal changed world shipping and international trade forever and is a must-see, even if you aren’t a transportation buff. You can take a boat trip for its entire length, see it from the train that runs from one ocean to another or visit the indigenous Embera people in the adjacent rainforest by motorised canoe. Exploring the magnificent, modern shipping locks at one end and preserved Spanish forts at the other are contrasting but equally fascinating experiences. At Portobelo on the Caribbean coast you can wander among the ruins of five Spanish forts, built when the town was at the centre of the colonial trade in treasure seized from the Incas.
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