Famous for its canal, which has a museum worth visiting, Panama is developing its tourism sector, which benefits from an increasingly safe low crime environment in most areas.
The country has many fine beaches, including some for surfing. Its coast is home to old Spanish forts and indigenous groups. The newly restored railway can take you from one side of the isthmus to the other.
The Balboa is the official currency and you will find coins in Balboas; however, all paper money is in US dollars. The language spoken is Spanish.
The capital, Panama City, has its neon casinos, a wide range of restaurants, a well-restored historical centre and the ruins of the old city, destroyed by English pirates.
Though the country has high humidity levels, in the dry season, from December to April, this drops. The Caribbean coast is noticeably wetter, though none of the country is liable to hurricanes.
Consider diving, snorkelling, sport fishing and white-water rafting. Panama has much land given over to national parks and has many of the attractions that Costa Rica has, though frequently at a cheaper price.