A few years ago I submitted a list of interesting Latin American holiday destinations. In an uncertain economy, travelers from America, Europe or Australia may be seeking a more affordable destination this year. These experiences are sure to be interesting and unique without breaking the bank.
NOTE: The extreme gap between rich and poor in Latin America has created pockets of high crime in some of the following destinations. I am an American and have never had the slightest problem. However, one should always use common sense and read up on areas to avoid when planning a holiday abroad.
10. Chinatown Panama City, Panama
One may be surprised to learn that the oldest Chinatown in the western hemisphere isn’t in San Francisco or New York. In fact, some 20% of Panama’s diverse population is of Chinese heritage. Located in the colonial San Felipe district of Panama City, Barrio Chino is home to an array of Chinese eateries and markets. It may not be the biggest Chinatown in the world, but it’s an especially offbeat and interesting place. Shop for exotic spices in its neon-bathed alleyways and sample Chinese-Panamenian fare at the greasy spoon of your choice. It’s definitely worth a day’s exploration while visiting this fascinating and dynamic city.