Collected by Collette Sayles
Calle 4ta, Panamá, Panama
As is the case in many countries, Panama's modern-day artisans are looking for ways to honor centuries-old craft traditions while allowing contemporary influences to inform their work. The results of these efforts vary, but at Papiro y Yo, a...
San Felipe, Panama City, Panama
Walking the narrow, cobbled streets of Casco Viejo—Panama City’s colonial quarter—is, these days, like exploring a vibrant art gallery. The neighborhood has suffered a bad reputation as dangerous since it became inhabited by undesirables after the...
Calle 8 Este con, Av. B, Panamá, Panama
Casco Viejo (the old city) is currently undergoing a massive revitalization. Everywhere you look new construction and remodeling is underway. Already a major attraction of Panama City, this charming, colonial location will soon be able to host...
Vía Veneto, Panamá, Panama
You’ll see fluttering molas—colorful blouses handcrafted in the tradition of Panama’s Kuna community—hanging in shop windows all over the city. Skip the modest selection at your hotel’s gift shop and make your way to Flory Saltzman Molas, which...
Av. Samuel Lewis & Calle 54 Este, Panamá, Panama
Gold is a dominant theme in Central American history, and Panama’s pre-Columbian metals rival those of anywhere else in the world. The founders of Reprosa, a Panama City metal workshop, decided that rather than mourn the loss of traditional...
Calz. de Amador 136, Panamá, Panama
Slowly but surely, the Frank Gehry-designed BioMuseo is evolving into its shape in Panama City. The opening's delay can be forgiven when you consider that the museum is dedicated to billions of years of evolution—not exactly a modest...
0265, Goethals Blvd, Panama
Yes, the Panama Canal is a popular destination for some of the world’s biggest cruise ships. But navigating the 50-mile isthmus that connects North and South America in a smaller vessel gives you the opportunity to get a front-row seat for each of...
Osa Peninsula, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
Set on Costa Rica’s verdant Osa Peninsula, the Corcovado National Park is one of the most bio-diverse spots on the planet. The 161 square miles here encompass old-growth lowland rainforest, mangrove swamps, cascading waterfalls, and 23 miles of...
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
The Nicoya Peninsula, on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, is lined by some of the country’s loveliest golden-sand beaches. Surfers love them for their gnarly offshore waves, but wilder species converge here, too—including several endangered sea turtle...
Isla de Coiba, Panama
The miniscule, idyllic island of Granita de Oro (meaning “little grain of gold”) is one of 38 small, wild islands that comprise Panama’s Isla Coiba National Park, in the Gulf of Chiriqui. The cyan-blue waters here swarm with a jaw-dropping array...
Calle 4ta, Panamá, Panama
When Panamanians go out for a glass of wine, they say they're going to have "una copa." One of their favorite places to have one in Panama City is at the wine bar, DiVino Enoteca. In addition to pouring copas, staff at DiVino hosts wine tasting...
Av Samuel Lewis, Panamá, Panama
For nearly 40 years, the family behind the jewelry store Reprosa has been making and selling reproductions of fine pre-Columbian jewelry and other historically and culturally significant pieces. Founder Frank Santomenno wandered into the business...
Plaza Herrera Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama
If you're looking for a great place to spend the night, head to the American Trade Hotel, which has an exceptional cafe, restaurant, bar, pool and jazz hall. Also, the rooms are beautiful and extremely comfortable. On my last night I treated...
Bocas del Toro Province, Panama
Of the many boat excursions available in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, the trip to Playa Estrella stands out for its numerous multicolored starfish residing in the tranquil, crystal-clear waters. The beach is truly an "oasis" of calm and the...
These little red frog are the namesake of a beautiful stretch of sand on Isla Bastimentos, an island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The island is easily reached by water taxi from Bocas del Toro and has a few good trails...
La Loma, Bahia Honda Isla Bastimentos, Bastimento, Panama
As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, I live in what might be the birthplace of foodie-ism. Surrounded as I am by world-class restaurants and beautiful local food, I still dream about the meals I experienced at a secluded treehouse on a...
Charleston, SC, USA
Johns Island is home to the Angel Oak, a live oak tree that may date back as far as 1,500 years. Its enormous limbs branch out nearly 200 feet in all directions, creating a canopy that is absolutely awe-inspiring. The free park includes restrooms...
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