Panama is poised to become Central
America’s next tourism hot spot
anticipated American Trade Hotel, a historic masterpiece in the newly
rejuvenated Casco Viejo district.
As hotels open like wildfire and the Panama Canal expansion
nears its projected 2015 completion date, Panama is poised to become Central
America’s next tourism hot spot. Here are five reasons you should consider it
for your next vacation.
1. High-end stays for
a steal. Tourism hasn’t yet caught up to rapid hotel growth, which means lots
of competition for dollars. Take advantage of this tourism sweet spot by booking
at brand-new luxury hotels like Panama City’s Waldorf Astoria or Trump Ocean
2. Panama City
improvements. With the restoration of the Casco Antiguo (aka Casco Viejo) historic
district, the opening of the Frank Gehry–designed BioMuseo, and an ever-growing
collection of trendy shops, restaurants, and bars making waves, Panama City may
be the coolest metropolis in Central America.
3. Natural bounty. Panama
is small, and even a quick trip from the capital can land you on an aerial
jungle tram tour with Gamboa Rainforest Resort, at the Canopy Tower
bird-watching mecca, or on an EcoCircuitos Panama tour in the rainforests of Darien
4. New beach resorts.
It’s more relaxing than ever to lounge on Panama’s beaches following the
opening of world-class oceanfront resorts like the Westin Playa Bonita, the
InterContinental Playa Bonita (both 30 minutes from the capital), and the JW
Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort in Playa Blanca.
5. Cultural awakening.
Pockets of Panama remain largely untouched by tourism. For insight into the
country’s indigenous culture, take a trip to the beautiful Guna Yala (San Blas) islands.