Stylist Magazine picks Panama for their 2012 Travel Hotlist

Following in the footsteps of National Geographic and the Financial Times, the team at Stylist Magazine are the latest travel lovers to declare Panama as the place to be in 2012.

In the magazine’s inaugural Travel Hot List, Panama comes highly recommended as a destination boasting the rare combination of a ‘laid back beach lifestyle’ and ‘urban zones of world-class city standards’.

Panama relies mainly on the revenue brought in by traders using the Panama Canal, which Stylist names as ‘one of the most amazing pieces of structural engineering in Central America’. As a result, the country has not had to depend upon high tourist numbers like neighbouring Costa Rica, and the most popular places, such as Panama City, the San Blas Islands and the Bocas del Toro archipelago, are never overrun with visitors and the locals are always welcoming and keen to share their culture.

And what a culture it is. On the Caribbean side of Panama, life centres around the golden sandy beaches of Bocas del Toro, and visitors can partake in unparalleled diving, ‘eat fresh fish cooked in spicy Panamanian sauces, and snorkel among the sta. It’s also easy to see why nature and wildlife enthusiasts flock to Panama every year, as ‘more bird species than the US and Canada combined inhabit the verdant rainforests surrounding the canal.

And for those seeking a thriving metropolis, Stylist also praises the ‘split personalityof the country’s capital, Panama City. The luxurious contemporary hotels and gourmet restaurants of the cosmopolitan district sit harmoniously alongside the Old Town, Casco Viejo, which is now home to a handful of charming boutique hotels and local watering holes housed in atmospheric colonial buildings.

Without a doubt ‘this year is a great time to visit Panama’ and discover what the country has to offer. And what could be better than having your very own slice of the Panamanian lifestyle? The residences at Pearl Island cater for all tastes, as the private island location offers tranquillity and seclusion, while the buzzing Panama City is just a 20 minute boat ride away. Why not take a look

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