• South and Central America

An Unforgettable Amazon Adventure

Immerse yourself in one of the world's most amazing destinations -- The Amazon. See spectacular sights, stay in exotic lodges, explore indigenous tribes and enjoy adrenaline-pumping activities.

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Isla Taboga
Isla Taboga

Isla Taboga

Isla Taboga, aka Island of Flowers, is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Panama that has become a bustling tourist destination. Local companies provide hiking, nature walk, snorkeling, sightseeing, whale watching and fishing tours. The island has beautiful beaches, but Isla Contadora, Playa Bonita and Play Veracruz are a couple alternative spots to go. 960 1280

Adam Reeder, Flickr  

Metropolitan Cathedral Casco Viejo

Metropolitan Cathedral Casco Viejo

Located in Panama City’s suburb of Casco Viejo, the Metropolitan Cathedral -- built between 1688 and 1796 -- is an example of the country’s religious colonial architecture. After a $4 million dollar renovation in 2004, the cathedral will be remodeled to house a museum that will follow the construction, function and future of the Panama Canal. 960 1280

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Panama Canal

Panama Canal

Completed in 1914, the 48-mile long Panama Canal is a major international trade route, connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. So it’s no surprise that the American Society of Civil Engineers declared the canal one of the seven wonders of the modern world. 960 1280

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Plaza de Francia

Plaza de Francia

Take a stroll around Plaza de Francia while chomping on a raspado or Sno-cone. Toursists should head down Calle 1a. It turns into the lovely Paseo Esteban Huertas, a walkway on top of las bovedas (the vaults), which originally functioned as a Spanish dungeon and later as a jail, storehouse and offices. 960 1280

Daniel Escobar Paz, Flickr  

La Piedra Pintada

La Piedra Pintada

Hop on a bus in Panama City to visit La Piedra Pintada, a 15-foot boulder with ancient petroglyphs carved underneath it. It’s a simple remnant of El Valle’s pre-Columbian culture, and a great spot for history buffs. 960 1280

Hector Romero, Flickr  

Downtown Panama City

Downtown Panama City

Panama City is the capital and the largest city in Panama. A political, administrative, international and commerce hub for the country, Panama City is also the largest city in Panama. The city has a dense skyline of mostly high-rise buildings, surrounded by a large belt of tropical rainforest. 960 1280

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Monkey Island

Monkey Island

Take an eco-friendly journey along the Panama Canal with stops in Sounds of Silence and Monkey Island (pictured), where tourists can see 4 different species of monkeys and other wildlife, all within 40 minutes of Panama City. 960 1280

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Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Surrounded by 19th-century architecture, Plaza Bolivar is a great spot for locals and tourists to congregate for drinks and dinner at various cafes located around this popular social spot. Street musicians perform tips near a monument built to honor Venezuelan general Simon Bolivar -- located in the center of the plaza. 960 1280

whl.travel, flickr  

Albrook Mall

Albrook Mall

Albrook Mall is the largest amusement mall in Panama. The magical atmosphere -- filled with balloons, bright decorations, music, an Italian carousel and more than 400 stores -- is perfect for the whole family. Artesanias Panama Bahia, Flory Saltzman Molas, Avenida Central Mall, Galeria Arte Indigena and La Ronda are a few other spots to shop in Panama City. 960 1280

Rogelio, Flickr  

Ceviche

Ceviche

La Marea, Segundo Muelle, Ego, Machu Pichu and Mercado de Marisco are all restaurants to sample delicious ceviche. Panamanian ceviche is usually made with Squid, shrimp, octopus, lemon juice, chopped onion, celery, habanero pepper and sea salt. Most local restaurants serve ceviche de corvine (white sea bass) as an appetizer. 960 1280

Carlos Casas, Flickr  

Los Diablicos

Los Diablicos

Part of Panama’s rich culture and folklore, the Diablicos Sucios is a religious-themed celebration that often includes a lively devil dance that portrays the age-old battle between good and evil. Dancers, donned in devil masks and multi-colored clothing, usually perform the devil dance as a method religious conversion. 960 1280

Darien Montanez, Flickr  

El Nispero Zoo

El Nispero Zoo

El Nispero is not your typical zoo. Most of the animals found here are former pets that were donated or confiscated from their owners by government authorities. Tapirs, collared peccaries (wild pigs), jaguars, white-face capuchin monkeys, macaws, Asian golden pheasants and white peacocks are just a few animals tourists will spot while taking a leisurely stroll through this zoo. 960 1280

Orban Lopez Cruz, Flickr  

Chorro de Macho

Chorro de Macho

Take a canopy tour over 85-foot tall Chorro El Macho, the most famous waterfall in El Valle. If a zip-line tour isn’t your thing, then we recommend a hike along the trails in the surrounding forest near the falls or taking a dip in the swimming pool located at the base of the towering waterfall. 960 1280

Chuck Holton, Flickr  

Sancocho

Sancocho

Sancocho de gallina is Panama’s national dish. It’s made with chicken, cilantro, yuca, mazorca and otoe. Yellow squash is added to create a regional version of the dish called Sancocho chiricano. Rumor has it that this delicious dish is not only used as a metaphor for the country’s racial diversity, but it’s also a great remedy for a hangover. 960 1280

remo del orbe, Flickr  

Glover's Atoll Belize
Glover's Atoll Belize

Glover's Atoll Belize

Divers and snorkelers will find an abundance of marine life at Glover’s Atoll, a protected reef system and the southernmost and smallest of Belize’s 3 atolls. Divers frequently encounter dolphins, turtles, sharks and manta rays there. 960 1280

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Whale Shark in Belize

Whale Shark in Belize

Catch a glimpse of the largest fish in the world – the whale shark – from Placencia, Belize. The gentle (believe it or not) creatures are typically found within only 20 feet of the water’s surface, and congregate in Belize each year to feed on fish eggs. 960 1280

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Carocol in Belize

Carocol in Belize

Belize has the highest concentration of Mayan sites of all the countries in Central America, and archeologists suggest that Carocol, believed to have been one of the most important political centers of the Mayan civilization, was home to more than double the number of people that currently live in Belize City, the country’s largest metropolitan area. 960 1280

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Laughing Bird Caye

Laughing Bird Caye

Laughing Bird Caye is one of the beautiful islands that make up the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site. 960 1280

Victoria Reay's, Wikimedia Commons  

Stingray

Stingray

A stingray is one of the impressive creatures you may come across on a snorkeling trip in Belize. Be careful not to walk along the ocean floor -- you wouldn’t want to step on one! 960 1280

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Actun Tunichil Muknal

Actun Tunichil Muknal

Actun Tunichil Muknal -- one of Belize’s many Mayan archaeological sites -- houses the skeleton of a teenage girl, dubbed “The Crystal Maiden” because of the sparkling, crystalized appearance of her bones. To reach the cave, visitors must embark on a 45-minute hike, followed by a swim to the inside of the cave. Visitors can also get a look at the remains of the 13 other humans that now share the cave with the Crystal Maiden. 960 1280

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Belize City

Belize City

Boats are anchored in the harbor of Belize City, the largest city in the small Central American country. 960 1280

anoldent, Flickr   

Sea turtles

Sea turtles

Belize is home to one of the world’s most endangered marine species, the sea turtle. Green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles can all be found between the coast and the barrier reef. 960 1280

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Blue Hole in Belize

Blue Hole in Belize

The aptly named “Blue Hole” is a large collapsed sinkhole near the center of Lighthouse Reef. Explorer Jacques Cousteau named the hole one of the top scuba diving sites in the world. 960 1280

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Red-footed booby in Belize

Red-footed booby in Belize

Visit Half Moon Caye to get a look at one of the island’s 4,000 red-footed boobies. 960 1280

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Silk Cayes in Belize

Silk Cayes in Belize

One of the Silk Cayes – tiny, serene, white-sand islands on the Belize Barrier Reef. 960 1280

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Red lionfish

Red lionfish

The exquisite red lionfish. Watch out for them -- it’s their large venomous spines that make them resemble lions. 960 1280

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Half Moon Caye in Belize

Half Moon Caye in Belize

The sun rises over Half Moon Caye in Belize. 960 1280

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Antillean Manatees in Belize

Antillean Manatees in Belize

Antillean manatees can be found in the rivers, lagoons and coastal areas of Belize. Because of their slow metabolisms, they prefer shallow, warm water, and can be spotted in water only a few yards deep. 960 1280

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