Central America attracts a lot of budget travelers, most of whom cluster around the beaches of Costa Rica. But far cheaper and less-explored spots abound
, among them Panama City. Here you get city and
beach (via day trip), history and
modernity, and you get it all for a low-low price (if you’re looking). Yes, there’s a Miami/Dubai feel about the city center, and yes, chichi wine bars abound, but head to the older colonial area of Casco Viejo for the cheap dining and shopping and free people watching. To get your nature fix, stroll through the central Parque Recreativo Omar, then take a day trip to Taboga Island for your vitamin sand and sea.