The 80km Panama Canal, transporting 12,000 ships a year between the two great oceans, is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest engineering feats. While the canal put the country on the map, there is another Panama few know about: sandy-beached islands on both coasts, steamy jungle rainforest cut by pristine waterfalls, and cool, misty mountain valleys spread with coffee plantations and framed by volcanoes. The narrowest point of a land bridge between North and South America, Panama shares the biodiversity of both, making for world-class birding and wildlife viewing. Steep, rugged mountains mean the white water is wild. And when you come up for air, Panama City may surprise you. Both the canal and a thriving international banking industry brought prosperity, and the formerly US-controlled Canal Zone can feel more like Miami than Central America.
Cycle Central America (CNGP)
This trip gives you a piece of magic; aboard your bike, you’ll pedal through the lush countryside of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, past gleaming lakes, enormous volcanoes, colonial towns and sunny beachfronts across the Caribbean. These are iconic destinations and seeing them on two wheels gives a unique perspective on the region. The ride of your life is waiting to begin. All that’s missing is you.
Highlights: Cycling from Nicaragua to Panama, enjoying downhill cycling on Volcano Irazú, rafting through the lands of the Cabecar indigenous tribe, chilling on Caribbean isles, cycling through coffee plantations
Best of Panama (CPPQ)
Panama has been a destination on the cusp of the mainstream for ages, but somehow still remains a secret. More greatness for us to enjoy, we say. This 8-day trip opens the lid on the natural splendour of this overlooked gem of a country, giving travellers the chance to hike cloud forests, snorkel the Caribbean and even discover where that delicious morning cup of joe comes from at a coffee plantation. Panama is spectacular, and the best way to promote it is by word-of-mouth. Tell your friends!
Highlights: Snorkel in the crystal-blue Caribbean waters in Bocas del Toro, take in the crisp air of the lush green highlands in Boquete, explore the Panama Canal, learn where your morning coffee comes from on a tour of a local plantation.