We’re Having a Panama Moment

14surfacing600 For years now the Central American nation of Panama has quietly been spoken of as the “next” Costa RIca. Yet with its sprawling — and surprisingly sophisticated — capital, pristine beaches, chic hacienda hotels and CHEAP prices, we say it’s Costa Rica that needs to play catch-up. Two new articles help convey Panama’s emerging sense of cool — and value.

The first, in Time International, focuses on Panama City’s historic Casco Viejo (above), where much of the latest Bond flick Quantum of Solace was filmed and which styleizers say evokes the faded glamor of Havana coupled with the mod-cons of San Juan.

Further south is the beach spot of Azueros in the province of Los Santos, a Pacific Coast getaway with rought-and-tumble cowboys, pristine semi-tropical forests, gin-clear seas and a clutch of sleek, cheap resorts. This month’s Budget Travel brings you all the data — without the wallet-damage.

Both are relaxing, easy-to-reach and still relatively undiscovered destinations that prove that Panama is far more than that famous Canal.

Go now!

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