Ng Traveler: Panama (National Geographic Traveler Panama)

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9781426207150: Ng Traveler: Panama (National Geographic Traveler Panama)
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A small-scale country on the surface, Panama is a Central American giant and gem just awakening to its vast potential. Among its allures are sweeping rain forests teeming with exotic animals and birds; cloud forests cloaking the summits of rugged mountains; vibrant indigenous cultures that predate the conquistadores; and a cornucopia of wildlife wonders that is also brimful of castles and sleepy colonial villages where life revolves on a yesteryear hub. Esteemed travel writer Christopher Baker takes the reader on a journey of this fascinating place in seven fact-filled chapters in this fully updated edition of this comprehensive guide. Beginning in the cosmopolitan, steamy capital of Panama City, the most cosmopolitan metropolis between Miami, Florida and Maracaibo, Venezuela, you move on to the Canal Zone and the central Caribbean, effusively forested and offering world-class birding, hiking, and white-water rafting; Kuna Yala, an island chain and narrow mainland strip administrated anonymously by indigenous Kuna people; the Darien, a biological Eden protecting the largest pristine wilderness habitat in Central America; and Central Panama, a region blessed with tourist attractions of every sort, from fine beaches and magnificent mountain scenery to pre-Columbia sites and important colonial architecture. The Azuero Peninsula evokes a different feel, home to cowboy towns simmering with sentimental allure, the heartland of folkloric tradition beckoning visitors to its festivals and pockets of colonial charm; while Khiriqui spans remote, surf-washed beaches and mist-shrouded volcanic heights; and Bocas del Toro remains the most popular tourist destination beyond Panama City, synonymous with a funky, laid-back lifestyle. As in all the "National Geographic Traveler" guides, the "National Geographic Traveler: Panama, 2nd ed". includes many detailed close-ups, attractive new features, such as Insider Tips from National Geographic and local experts on favourite or little known sites and events. Sidebars highlighting experiences that allow the visitor to truly get inside the local culture--such as sampling fresh-grown coffee in Boquete; getting a jagua juice tattoo in Darien; celebrating the Festival de la Pollera in Las Tablas, where women adorn their big, colourful Spanish skirts (polleras) for a week filled with parades, music, competitions, and more. Finally, there is a hefty Travelwise section, which provides the author's pick of hotels and restaurants, as well as all practical information for making of the trip.

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Review:

"Long the gold standard when it comes to providing explanations of peoples and cultures to interested readers, Baker's Panama volume does a fine job of maintaining that publisher's well-deserved reputation...and as always richly augmented by superb photographs and maps (this is a National Geographic publication after all)." -"The Well-Read Naturalist"

About the Author:

Christopher P. Baker has an established a career as a travel writer, photographer, and lecturer. He has written several guidebooks about Cuba and Havana, as well as ones on Jamaica, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and California. He is author of the National Geographic Traveler: Costa Rica (2000), the National Geographic Traveler: Cuba (2007), National Geographic Traveler: Dominican Republic (2008), and National Geographic Adventure Press's Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling through Castro's Cuba (2000).

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