Gap year or looking for a place to go have fun with friends. Panama will win your heart. With the two coasts accesible in a matter of 2 hours (in a car, driving within speed limit), tens of National Parks well-maintained trails for hike, fearless birds and exotic animals, plenty of diving spots, supermarkets that can sell everything you would possible need.
Panama has a rich offering for hand crafted souvenirs made out of a special red wood called Coco Bolo. Toucan is endemic to this region. This very costly souvenir has no joints and has been crafted from one piece of wood. Every time I look at it, if feels like the Toucan will fly away. A few month later, after the hole in my pocket has been repaired, I love looking at this one.