Never has a country been so defined by its location. From the summit of Volcán Barú – Panama’s highest peak – it’s possible to watch the sun rise over both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, light slowly spreading across the water to reveal two glittering archipelagos. For centuries this slender isthmus has provided an invaluable shortcut between the two seas; you can witness it yourself, tramping the old mule trails of the Spanish conquistadors or gliding past forested islands along the world’s most famous canal. Panama is a “biological corridor”, too, linking the vast land masses of the Americas, and harbours tremendous biodiversity within its cloud-forested highlands, glorious palm-fringed islands, vast mangrove tracts and towering rainforests. The country also boasts Central America’s most ebullient capital city, and if you’re after riotous partying, be it at a small village festival or throughout the hedonistic marathon of Carnaval, you’re in the right place.