Just a short plane flight away, Panama is an international business center with its capital, Panama City, at the hub. It is the fastest growing economy in Central America. But that is just one face of this small nation with big attractions. Miles of isolated beaches, spectacular mountains and highlands, accessible rainforest and a wealth of cultural experiences welcome travelers. Its coasts brush up against both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and hundreds of islands huddle just offshore. That means that all manner of nature-based activities are available, including sport fishing, diving, rafting, kayaking, birding, historic tours and rainforest walks. Seven indigenous cultures, whose traditions long pre-date the arrival of European explorers, invite travelers to learn about their lives and traditions. Panama is also home to more than 900 bird species in the old growth trees in tropical rainforests and highlands as well as a host of other creatures. And, of course, it possesses one of the most famous ditches ever dug, the Panama Canal. With its many attributes, today’s Panama makes an ideal location whether for a quick getaway or a complete luxury vacation escape.