If you desire that perfect combination of thrills, pure relaxation, and few tourists then Panama is the perfect spot to head for your next cycling tour. This beautiful country offers up such treats as stunning turquoise waters, alluring forests high up in the clouds, fragrant coffee farms and a whole host of wild and wonderful animals. So what are you waiting for?
There are a whole host of must-visits in Panama, but anyone who ventures to Central America has to head out to the Bocas del Toro islands. Only then can you say you understand the meaning of paradise. Marvel at the palm-shaded white beaches and glistening water before opting to snorkel, scuba dive or surf at this idyllic spot. Prefer to explore the island? Then grab your bike and pedal the serene 32km (20 mi) round trip out to the exquisite beaches of Boca del Drago.
High up in the clouds in Panama there is much to be appreciated too. For instance, the stunning Lago Fortuna lake in the Fortuna Forest Reserve, set against stunning rainforest valleys is reason enough to venture up into the mountains. But it is made all the better with an exhilarating downhill ride that provides sweeping views, multiple river crossings - this is wild, nature-filled, thrilling cycling at its best.
Panama is full of contrasts and some of the most fascinating cycling routes are in rural regions such as the Veraguas Province. Here you can tackle tricky hills, but also intriguing backroads that introduce you to sugar plantations and dry tropical forest.
However, no visit to this delightful country would be complete without checking out the diverse and fascinating capital, Panama City. Cycling into the city via the famous Panama Canal is quite the experience as you can watch the lowering and raising of ship traffic on this world-famous shipping route. The Miraflores Lock Visitor Centre does a great job of shedding further light on this famous feat of human engineering.
Much like the country, Panama City also packs plenty in. Soberana National Park is on the city’s doorstep and this provides a great chance for some more tropical forest cycling, wildlife spotting, plus the unique experience of relaxing at Lake Gamboa and watching as the ships pass by on the canal. Back in the city, it is recommended to ride out to the historic district of Casco Viejo to take in the gorgeous Spanish architecture, listen to some Salsa and reflect on an incredible adventure in Panama.