The skinny isthmus of Panama is best known for the giant Panama Canal linking the Pacific and the Caribbean, one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century. But the republic is also host to magnificent tropical scenery, including some of the world’s most untouched areas of rainforest. There’s a diverse wildlife population, with bird and mammal species found nowhere else on the planet. Fringing the jungle are 3,000km of beautiful coastline with coral reefs, islands and undeveloped beaches. There are also plenty of vestiges of the country’s wild history of pirates and smuggled gold: colonial forts, shipwrecks, cannons and towering city walls tell a colourful story.