Central + South America Panama White Beaches, Rugged Mountains, untouched islands, colonial plazas, exotic rainforest Panama has developed into a very fashionable destination, which is still largely undiscovered. For such a small country Panama can offer a staggering array of landscapes, from dense rainforests, rugged mountains and beautiful white sandy beaches to hundreds of untouched islands. It is a very densely packed country, therefore the travelling time is reduced- so it is perfect if you are slightly pushed for time. If you have slightly longer, Panama can be very easily combined with Costa Rica. You can fill your days with all of the variety that Panama has to offer. Discover the colonial plazas of Panama City’s historic quarter, explore the beautiful Darién rainforest or soak up the Caribbean vibe at Isla Bastimentos. For many years Panama has lagged behind neighbouring Costa Rica in terms of development. However, Panama’s accommodation is continually improving and of late there is a far wider selection of boutique eco-lodges and we have a few secret spots up our sleeves. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. EXPLORING PANAMA CITY’S FISH MARKET On a research trip to Panama, Sophia Constant was taken to Panama City's bustling fish market for lunch by a private guide. A lover of seafood, Sophia was quick to try out the seasonal delicacies and take in local life passing by. Find out more Discovering the Panama Canal Before visiting Panama Sophia Constant was eager to learn more about the history of the fascinating Panama Canal and while on a recent research trip she was able to see first-hand the logistics of its operation. Find out more Panama – Truly Breathtaking Anna Blunden visited Panama and found some of the best places to venture out after a busy day sightseeing and where to get the best views to see the towns from above. Find out more Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. Cala Mia Located on Isla Boca Brava, one of the largest Islands in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Cala Mia is perched on the tip of the islands east coast. Rustic Cala Mia has a small amount of bungalows created by their Italian Dutch couple owners who, having lived in Costa Rica for years deemed it too developed for their taste and relocated to this secluded hideaway and we agree that this feels like Costa Rica used to. While parts of Panama’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts are starting to crowd up with resorts, this sliver of coastline is sparsely populated and untouched Find out more Las Clementinas Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo or San Felipe all refer to the same place, the old walled city, made up of 16th and 17th Century Spanish Colonial Architecture. Las Clementinas is a hidden gem in the heart of the old city, perfect for those looking to experience Panama City at a slower pace. The hotel is made up of six suites which can sleep up to four people, all presidential in size, layout and comfortably furnished. They are all beautifully decorated with high ceilings, rich hardwoods, old maps of the city and sporadic splashes of colour. Find out more Panamonte Inn Panamonte Inn is a haven of peace, pitched in the cool Chiriqui Highlands at the foot of the Baru Volcano. It exudes European flair and an elegant atmosphere whilst remaining unpretentious and graceful. The service here is flawless and personal and the rooms are extremely comfortable with an antique charm about them. Panamonte Inn provides the perfect base for exploring the surrounding highlands, as a warm and friendly Inn welcoming you home with a huge wood fire, divine drinks and simply fantastic food. Find out more The Bristol The Bristol is located in the heart of the financial and commercial district of Panama City. It embodies the new generation of Panamanian hotels which celebrate and highlight this unique city. here you will find a beautiful spa, a fantastic restaurant amidst a wonderful blend of luxury, elegance and unparalleled personalised service. At The Bristol, you are perfectly positioned for exploring this dynamic city, visiting the fashionable shopping areas and sampling some of the culinary delights that Panama City now offers. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. Panama City For many years Panama City was not a destination, but a stop off point for flights connecting on to other holiday destinations. Of late Panama City has thrust itself into the lime light and announced itself and the country as a destination in its own right. The city can be broadly split into two parts, Casco Viejo (the UNESCO World Heritage site) and the ‘Little Miami of the South’ and this is what we love so much about Panama City, there is such a wealth of diversity in which to explore and immerse yourself in. Find out more The Panama Canal The Panama Canal is both an engineering marvel and one of the most significant waterways on the planet. When the canal officially opened on 15th August 1914 it shaved weeks off the journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific and this year the country is celebrating the centenary of its opening. Nowadays it sees around 14,000 vessels travel through it every year and because of its global significance people flock to see it. It is a magnificent feat of engineering and thus any trip to Panama would not be complete without a day trip here. Find out more Location We know Panama better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit Panama Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go The best time of the year to visit Panama really depends on what you plan to do, but generally speaking Panama’s peak season runs from mid-December to mid-April. Panama combines well with Costa Rica and there is also a direct flight to Cuba which we think will be a popular way to combine two very different countries in the region. Meet the Team Central + South America Johnny Milly Chris Sarah We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.