Panama

The Central American country of Panama is well off the usual tourist trail, and offers something a little different to those that decide to make the most of this undiscovered land. Pacific and Caribbean coastlines harbour glorious golden sands, whilst the mountains, rainforest and historic ruins make this beautiful country more than your typical beach resort destination.

The populations that inhabit this exotic land from the indigenous people to the Spanish settlers have all left their mark on this diverse terrain, tribal life exists even till today, with the fiercely proud jungle communities that inhabit the rainforests, almost untouched by outside influences. This unspoilt way of life cannot continue forever as more people discover the allure of Panama – the opportunity to visit this unique land should be seized and relished, before it disappears forever.

Panama City has a huge array of accommodation, although with the new tourism influx these do sometimes seem to become booked up quite quickly; the coastal resorts also boast a wide selection of hotels ranging from luxurious complexes to very basic campsites, currently the prices remain low throughout the country (although this may be set to change) allowing a few extra pounds to go a long way.

The five star Bristol Hotel in Panama City has extra touches that set it apart from the more mundane, heat sensors detect if the rooms are occupied, this along with 24 hour butler service and opulent surroundings make this hotel a stunning place in which to enjoy your stay in the vibrant capital of Panama.

The cities of Panama have a diverse food culture with most global cuisines being represented, but away from these cosmopolitan areas there tends to be much more reliance on local produce and techniques; seafood and beef are particularly popular and Caribbean influence abound.

This is a country where the best experiences are often the most unexpected, so open your mind and enjoy the amazing natural bounty that the country offers.

The profusion of coastline offers excellent scuba diving and snorkelling, opportunities to see the Whale Sharks of the Pacific, the brightly coloured marine life of the vibrant reefs and to surf high octane breaks are too good to miss, and for those that prefer something a little more sedate, this is a land of deserted beaches and turquoise seas where all you are expected to do is relax and enjoy the paradise that surrounds you. Other water activities include deep sea fishing which is popular amongst tourists due to its reputation as being one of the best places in the world to fish for Marlin, bookings should be made well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Panama is fast becoming known as one of the world’s premier coffee producers, showcasing the great plantations and coffee producing techniques are the estates of Ruiz, where you can enjoy a tour and then a coffee tasting session that will change how you think about this previously everyday drink – these tours support the local economy which adds to the relevance of the coffee regions of Panama.

The rainy season in Panama is lengthy with hot and steamy weather being somewhat uncomfortable for those unaccustomed to the climate, the rain is not without breaks though and the sunny weather that follows can be quite pleasant.

Those wishing to avoid this rainy season should travel between December and April when the conditions are at their most clement – this period often includes the Mardi Gras carnival which is held in the days prior to Ash Wednesday, but be prepared for huge crowds and booked up hotels as the festival gets underway, particularly in Panama City.

$54 p/n (from)
$38 p/n (from)
$31 p/n (from)
$29 p/n (from)