Some years ago we visited Panama and an island off its coast called Bocas del Toro.
We travelled independently and it was quite an adventure for us. Panama itself is interesting with its colourful buses, great selection of restaurants and excursions on the canal. Quite a thrill sitting in a small canoe right next to a supertanker in on its way through the canal, a very strange feeling looking up at the ship towering over us ! We visited Monkey Island which is in the canal waterway and is where the US and Panama signed their handover f the running of the canal.
We flew to Bocas in a tiny aeroplane over the mountains and jungle , landing at the airport once the local animals had been cleared off. We stayed at the only hotel which was surprisingly well appointed. The rear of the hotel was on stilts in the water and several locals arrived offering boat taxis to see dolphins, visit ever smaller islands and even a restaurant in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight. We secured the services of a very large boatman who spoke reasonable English and was very laid back, he picked us up daily and found us new wonders to see every day of our 4 day trip. The whole experience ended with a return trip on the plane ( after the strip had been cleared of local dogs) back through the thunderstorm that had arrived in the mountains. It was pretty scary as the turbulence was incredible , although locals with livestock in baskets on their knees seemed to take it all in their stride whilst we were hanging on for dear life.
A holiday that we will never ever forget, what an experience!