Panama/Costa Rica frontier reef conservation area
Having spent some time in both Belize and Honduras on the barrier reef as a teen diving, this jewel of a spot in NE panama remains relatively untouched of Western development. The marine conservation parks of Panama are well policed and we came on the shoulder season to hike and boat around the archelpogos, explore the mangroves and see some sloths. (saw 7 in total ). Adventures around this rich and biodiverse jungle, mangrove and reef ecosystem were inexpensive and provided by knowledgable indie locals. Panamanians are warm and generous souls, happy to interract with eco-tourists. Stilted huts surround the townships and many private islands, often off-grid with irrigation systems and solar power gennies. You can eat fresh catch of the day snapper and rice in watertaxi criss cross of family run restaurants. Spanish speakers will thrive over local coffee and creole influences of the Carribean jerk smokers of bbq and cold beer. Stop over in Panama City for a colonial cultural walk about the old town + roof top cocktail bars.