Dreaming of an idyllic tropical getaway that will not only offer you an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life but will not break the bank, either? This lesser-known Latin American country is the place to be.
It may not be as hugely popular as Colombia, as world-renowned for its traditional European-style architecture like Argentina, nor have beaches as iconic as Brazil’s ‘Marvellous City‘ of Rio, but its nature is just as astonishing as these other countries, and the cultural wealth equally vast.
This fall, it’s time you give the seriously overlooked Panama a chance:
Why You Should Visit Panama
Spanning the Northernmost tip of South America, as well as the Southern tip of North America, Panama is the natural link between both continents.
Though it is rarely acknowledged for its value as a travel destination, it is one of the most underrated countries in the Tropics.
As it sits on the Central American isthmus, home to a large percentage of the world’s biodiversity, Panama has a diverse topography in spite of its small size of only 75,417 km2 and a nature so abundant and diverse it is hard to categorize.
Needless to say, it is the ideal destination if you’re looking for an escape into the verdant jungle, with spots like Boquete, famous for its coffee plantations and relaxation retreats, and the paradisaical San Blas Islands all listed as up-and-coming wellness destinations.
Panama’s affordability is also unmatched, with four-star The Inn in bucolic Boquete, set amid the lush green scenery and with impressive amenities, such as a sumptuous breakfast buffet and an infinity pool, setting you back by a mere $107.91 per night.
Backpackers and adventurers on a budget have all the more reason to rejoice, as the small mountain town, the most popular gateway into the Central American wilderness, has a high concentration of hostels and cheap guesthouses, starting at just $38.50 per night.
Stunning Beaches To Pick From
If nature trails and hiking are not your forte, and you would rather just relax in a coastal environment instead, you have a myriad of options to pick from, as Panama has over 2900 beaches split between its Caribbean and Pacific coastlines and more than 1400 islands.
For a peaceful beach getaway, head to San Blas, an archipelago comprising at least 49 inhabited islands, lying off the North Coast of the Panamanian isthmus.
Whether it’s rustic, straw-built private lodges with nothing but the turquoise ocean around you or well-frequented youth hostels that make your heart beat faster, rest assured you will find your peace of mind, and some truly gorgeous swimming spots in San Blas.
Similarly to San Blas, the Boca del Toro province, which includes a mainland settlement and an archipelago of nine islands, is yet another stunning beach resort awaiting discovery.
As it is not as remote or scattered, it can be more developed than San Blas.
Accommodation options are also varied, with guests welcome to stay in the exclusive, incredibly modern tree-house style Nayara Bocas Hotel on an all-inclusive deal if they’re not afraid of splurging, or the budget-friendly five-star Oasis Beach Bluff, with overnights selling from $143 this fall.
Other trendy beach getaways include Taboga Island, a volcanic island in the Gulf of Panama, and Coiba Island, the largest one in Central America.
Panama is 63.4% forested, the most forest cover out of any Central American state, but the thriving nature is not its only appeal:
Panama Is The Bridge Between South And North America
The capital and largest settlement in the country, Panama City is a vibrant city with a cobblestoned old center framed by clusters of futuristic skyscrapers and is highly sought-after for its epic nightlife and social scene.
The manmade Panama Canal, an artificial waterway running for 82 km and linking both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is a popular tourist attraction as well, as it facilitates maritime trade and essentially serves as a bridge between South and North America.
When it comes to affordability, Panama is certainly not as cheap as Colombia or Argentina, but you can get by on $78 on average per day on your vacation without feeling the pinch, according to BudgetYourTrip.
In general, food and tourist activities are very cheap, with tourists spending on average $23 on meals per day, but accommodation, especially in remote areas of the country where tourist facilities are limited, may bring costs up.
On the brighter side, Panama is not at all crowded, unlike its main competitor, Costa Rica, hosting roughly 2 million visitors per year only, with an all-time peak of 2.5 million pre-pandemic.
This means you have all this nature, all these pristine Caribbean and Pacific beaches, and all the cobbled colonial towns and world-class museums (almost) all to yourself.
Panama Is Easy To Travel To
Lastly, Panama is easy to get to, as it serves essentially as a conduit for South-North American travel and trade. Using Tocumen International Airport as its operation base, Copa Airlines offers nonstop flights to a host of U.S. cities, including the following:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New York-JFK
- San Francisco
United Airlines also operates from Tocumen, offering service to and from Houston-Intercontinental and Newark.
With zero tourist visa requirements, no digital entry form to be completed ahead of departure, and numerous flight options available, Panama is one of the easiest countries for Americans to visit in Central America.
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A’s happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
easy entry requirements