On the day that the Darwins were sentenced for their "Back-from-the-dead" fraud, Journey Latin America reports a huge growth in sales to the country of their dreams, Panama. Bookings have more than doubled in the past 12 months, thereby bucking the supposed "credit crunch slowdown" trend towards shorter, cheaper holidays.
Canoe-wife Anne Darwin was quoted in saying that their slice of paradise in Panama “had much more to offer than I originally thought…with streams, ravines, beautiful butterflies and poison dart frogs…”. And she wasn’t wrong – as Panama is undoubtedly now one of Latin America’s hottest destinations for its tropical mix of rainforest, wildlife and stunning Caribbean and Pacific coastline.
FROM SECRET LIVES TO SECRET AGENTS...
And this dramatic increase is set to continue, thanks to the much anticipated UK release of the new BOND film, Quantum of Solace (31 Oct), part of which was filmed there.
The atmospheric colonial streets of Panama City’s Casco Viejo (Old Town) supposedly served as the location for both Panama and a fictional Andean town; while the ruins of Noriega’s notorious “Officers and Troops Club” were transformed into a glamorous venue for a cocktail party. At the other end of the Panama Canal, filming took place in the precarious, old wooden buildings of Colón (representing Haiti) and on a private island off the Caribbean coast.
HOW TO GET THERE?
** Our new “BOND IN PANAMA” itinerary includes 3 nights at the Canal House (where Daniel Craig stayed), tour of the Casco Viejo, half-day transit of the Canal; and time at “Bond-style” lodges on the Caribbean and in the rainforest. 8 nights from £2372 pp including flights.
** With a few more days to spare, stay at a new boutique beach hideaway called CALA MIA - a secluded 11-room lodge located on a private island off the Pacific coast. Set within the Chiriqui Archipelago, the surrounding National Park comprises over 100 untouched islands, with endless remote beaches backed by virgin rainforest and abundant wildlife, from howler monkeys and tropical birds to marine turtles and whales. 3 nights from £651 pp.
** Hotels don’t float your boat? Then our new “JOURNEY BETWEEN THE SEAS” expedition cruise onboard the new luxury catamaran, Discovery, may well do. Set off from Panama City and sail out into the Pacific, visiting the Pearl Islands and exploring the wild Darién coast. Cross the isthmus, journeying along the Panama Canal and sleeping two nights on the Canal itself; before arriving at Portobelo, with its colonial Spanish forts and palm-fringed Caribbean coast. Sail in true style onboard the Discovery – a first-class catamaran for 24 passengers, with expert local guides and excellent cuisine. 7 night expedition cruise from £2927 pp + flights.
JOURNEY LATIN AMERICA
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