Lately, it seems like everyone’s talking about Panama’s blissful beaches, cosmopolitan cities, verdant rainforests and friendly locals. What’s more, this Central American country landed in the No. 1 spot on The New York Times’ ‘Top 45 Places to Go in 2012.’ So when we featured the Highlights of Panama tour on Jetsetter last fall (which also happens to be on sale now), I had to see what the buzz was all about.
The trip packs a lot in to eight days and gives travelers (as the name of the tour suggests) a great taste of Panama – with opportunities to traverse the famous canal, trek through the jungle, see the Miraflores Locks and tour the historic Casco Viejo district of Panama City.
Here are some snaps of my winter trip (captions are from left to right, top to bottom):
1. View of the Chagres River from my private balcony (and hammock) at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.
2. Since there are only two seasons (wet and dry), there’s always something in bloom in Panama.
3. The Embera’s dugout canoes take travelers up the Chagres River.
4. Panama City’s charming Casco Viejo district from afar.
5. A baby crocodile suns itself along the banks of the Panama Canal.
6. The ever-changing Panama City skyline and Pacific Ocean from my 10th floor guestroom at the Miramar InterContinental Hotel.
7. Part of the canoe tour is a visit to a waterfall (bring your bathing suit) deep in the rainforest.