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Pocket Guide: Panama

Forming the slim land bridge between Central and South America, Panama is much more than just its canal and straw hats. It’s a country that’s overwhelmingly beautiful, where nature is all around you. Discover the ruins of colonial forts, trek through the rainforest canopy listening to the sounds of howler monkeys, or hang out in one of Central America’s most modern and progressive cities. On the Caribbean coast, hop between deserted islands, learn to scuba dive in jade waters or head to the Pacific for some world class surfing. With English widely spoken and an impressive tourist infrastructure, it’s little wonder Panama is becoming a much talked about destination to book a hotel.

Where to Stay in Panama

Central Panama - This is where you’ll find the skyscrapers and luxury apartments – and top hotels – of the capital, as well as the Colon and Cocle provinces.

Caribbean West - Discover the Mosquito Coast with its beachside hotels, as well as the provinces of Veraguas, Bocas del Toro and Ngobe Bugle.

Pacific West - Many of Panama’s top attractions and best hotels are located here. The southern section of Veraguas, Herrera and Los Santos are rich in wildlife, culture and natural beauty.

Eastern Panama - The large eastern section of the country is covered by swamps and jungles of the rainforest. Off the Caribbean coast you can also find a number of deserted islands to explore.

How to Make the Most of Your Hotel in Panama

Get off the beaten path in Darien, where you can encounter the traditional Embera culture and explore more of the untouched rainforest. It’s one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. Of course, you’ll come across the canal at some point during your travels in Panama, an incredible feat of engineering that spans the whole breadth of the country. Visit the huge waterfall at Santa Fe or discover remote corners such as Guna Yale or the Peninsula de Azuero. Panama is a real mix of cultures, a place where the modern and traditional collide to create a truly unique destination.

Snorkel the pristine reefs at the Bocas del Toro or surf some of the world’s best breaks on the Pacific Coast. There’s barely a soul here, and the same goes for the islands at Guna Yale. Trek through the jungle, sail around the stunning islands on the Caribbean coast or take in the Congo drumming. Swim with sea turtles, take a zip line ride through the forest canopy or go whale spotting. Spend some time in Panama City, with its mix of towering skyscrapers, cosmopolitan attitudes and Latin flavours. Visit a coffee farm, one of the country’s biggest export crops, or go animal spotting in the cloud forest of Chiriqui. From turqouise seas to deep green jungles, the colours of Panama just highlight the scope of activity and adventure on offer.