Escape to the most beautiful, dynamic capital in Central America
As dynamic as Dubai and as energised as Miami, Panama's capital is a dazzling and multi-facetted mix of modernity, colonial heritage, and tropical rainforest.
Panama. The name resounds with promise. He who has never set foot here knows of the famous canal, which connects the Atlantic by way of the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean. This mammoth feat of engineering, an 80-kilometre shortcut across the Isthmus of Panama, is a major economic asset for the country, and makes it a key player in world trade. This has allowed Panama to develop rapidly, as evidenced by the capital's impressive skyline of gleaming skyscrapers. Despite its drive toward modernity and urbanisation, however, nature remains pervasive. The country has many protected natural parks, such as Soberanía National Park, the tropical rainforest just outside of town.
This spectacular setting gives quick and easy access to a world of toucans, quetzals, and sloths. Back in Panama City, the new Biomuseo, designed by Frank Gehry, will perfect your knowledge of this amazing biodiversity. In the Casco Viejo, the old town, the city's most beautiful colonial mansions have been converted into trendy boutique hotels and restaurants. A few kilometres north of the capital, on the Atlantic coast, the city of Portobelo—a port discovered and named by Christopher Columbus—displays the remains of a defensive arsenal that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Panama is also kilometres of pristine beaches, ethnic groups with ancient traditions, and a richer ecosystem than the Galapagos. It is a destination of remarkable contrasts.
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