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Panama named as 2016 destination for world's richest travellers

Luxury travel magazine Virtuoso has named Panamas as the top destination for 2016, and the best place for expats who are looking to retire. The country has received an increase in interest from rich travellers who are looking to visit during the winter and spring months to make the most of its untouched natural landscapes.

Panama named as 2016 destination for world's richest travellers

Panama has been named as the top destination for the world's wealthiest travellers in 2016, by a luxury travel magazine.

Virtuoso revealed that Panama was the best place for retirement for expats, and it has seen a 107 per cent increase in bookings between January and March, 2016, compared to the same months in 2015.

Panama, Thailand and Switzerland recorded the highest growth in bookings for high-flying jetsetters.

Compared to its popular neighbours in Central America, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Panama has remained off the radar for holidaymakers but that looks set to change as more travellers are keen to visit its magnificent untouched natural landscapes.

The country is home to 50,000 US expats, and it was the top destination in the International Living's Annual Global Retirement Index for 2016, due to its cheaper and healthier living conditions.

In 2015, Travel + Leisure magazine named Bocas del Toro as the top destination for 2016, offering some of the "purest natural beauty in Latin America".

The nation's transport system is also improving, and in 2014 Central America's first subway was opened in Panama City. There are plans to add a second line that will connect Panama City to Tocumen International Airport, which is in the process of having a new second terminal built, so it can double its capacity in 2017.

In the capital Panama City, holidaymakers can visit "Casco Viejo" (old town), and stroll through grassy areas to visit the 16th-century ruins of the first European settlement. The cathedral is well preserved and tourists can climb up 72 feet in its bell tower for panoramic views.

Adventure-lovers can head to Gamboa Rainforest Resort, a half-hour drive from Panama City, and take the aerial tram 280 feet above the rainforest floor for stunning views of colourful flowers, trumpet trees, mountain figs and balsa trees.

The nation is also home to the famous Panama Canal, which is more than a century old, 77 kilometres long, and connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

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