Panama was great! Great weather (even though their rainy season is from May to December, it is a lot less hot and humid than in Mexico). There’s great food (rich seafood, succulent coffee, safe drinkable water, and superb vegetables & fruits), rich history, super nice people (a melting pot of Americans, Europeans Chinese and Indians) and fabulous unspoiled nature! It was all I could wish for and more.
With non-stop flights from LAX to Panama City (6.5 hours), this destination can definitely be considered as a viable getaway for your clients, comparable to Costa Rica, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
I spent four nights in Panama, at two properties in Panama, one by the Pacific ocean and one in the Highlands, for a perfect combination. See my posts for Cala Mia and th Panamonte Inn.
I believe Panama has great potential to become a popular destination for Americans who are looking for a yet unspoiled and quite authentic destination. We only visited the Chiriqui region, but Panama has a lot more to offer! I can't wait to check out the Caribbean side of the country - the region of Bocas Del Toro and the beautiful San Blas Archipelago.
Those visiting the southernmost region of Panama (Darien), can meet with local Indian tribes and share a lunch with them. I still have a lot to discover about this country and I look forward to go back there soon.
Panama i good for those expecting 4-star service, but not those requiring 5-star services. Families looking for great educational activities would love it. Honeymooners looking for an exotic but different destination would be delighted as well. It is an easy destination to go to, and one that will definitely give you the feeling to "get away from it all".