Most Americans know Panama for its canal, which links two oceans as the narrow isthmus links two continents. That makes this country a hub of biodiversity, and it’s beginning to exploit its rainforests and tropical coastlines for eco tourism. Alberto Vallarino, who is currently the Panamanian minister of finance, recently completed the 1000-acre community of Buenaventura with a resort hotel as its centerpiece, an hour’s drive southwest of Panama City. “It’s designed in the style of a Spanish hacienda,” says project director Fernando Duque, “with open-air courtyards and a breezy floor plan that give uninterrupted views of the Pacific.” All the buildings—from the hotel to the villas and the privately commissioned houses—employ the same recycled roof tiles, soft-toned stucco, and other stylistic details.
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