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Cosmopolitan and historic Panama City, currently celebrating its iconic canal’s centenary year, is one of Latin America’s hottest up-and-coming destinations.

Beyond the world’s most famous short cut and the classic brimmed straw hats (which are actually from Ecuador), most peoples’ knowledge of Panama is probably fairly limited. But travel to Panama City is booming, as it rapidly becomes one of the favourite stops on the newest backpacker bucket list route of Central America.

Indeed, while the region’s capitals are often to be avoided (a weekend in Managua or Guatemala City, anyone?), Panama City is a genuine highlight – beautiful, cultured and keen to party.

Previously written-off by many as simply too American, plus lacking the colourful markets and Mayan ruins found further north, Panama is now enjoying a serious renaissance. While the economy grows faster than anywhere in Latin America, the wealth of sights in the capital ranges from the World Heritage-listed old town, or Casco Viejo, to the Miami-esque modern city, all via one of mankind’s greatest engineering feats, the Panama Canal. Just beyond that famous waterway, meanwhile, is a country slightly smaller than Scotland, a nation as wild, varied and unexplored as any on the continent, complete with Caribbean islands and impenetrable jungle.

Panama City


Destination: Panama
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