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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. Esteemed travel writer Christopher Baker takes the reader on a journey of this fascinating place in his fully updated edition. Beginning in the cosmopolitan, steamy capital of Panama City, you move on to the Canal Zone and the central Caribbean, with world-class birding and rafting? Kuna Yala, administrated anonymously by indigenous Kuna people? the Darien, a biological Eden? and Central Panama, blessed with fine beaches, mountains, pre-Columbia sites, and important colonial architecture. Among the guide's special features are mapped walking and driving tours including a walk around Panama City's Casco Antiguo and a drive across the Continental Divide? and special two-page entries on topics such as the Panama Canal and parrots and macaws. National Geographic and local experts provide insider tips on favourite or little known sites and events, and dozens of sidebars highlight experiences that show you how to truly get the most from your trip, including how to assist archaeologists uncover ancient artefacts at Panama Viejo and white-water rafting in the Highlands. This comprehensive guide includes essential background information and the author's pick of hotels and restaurants.