Picture huts on stilts and water the color of melted blue popsicles. Now picture cheap airfare and a short drive from the airport to the Caribbean Sea. These are what make Panama one of the hottest destinations for this spring, says Kayak.com
's Turner. Meanwhile, a number of huge new projects—including the soon-to-open Waldorf Astoria hotel, a Frank Gehry–designed nature museum and the transformation of the old quarter (Casco Viejo) into an arts district—are ramping up the offerings in the capital city.