There are many reasons to visit Panama. You have probably already thought of the Panama Canal, which is one of the world’s most famous feats of modern engineering. Maybe you have considered the exotic jungles or the weather, which is warm year round. But there is much more to discover in Panama!
The Panamanian cultural diversity consists of indigenous tribes who keep their culture alive today to Caribbean and Latin American sub-cultures with influences of the Spanish conquistadores. Today, the country’s population is made up of Chinese, Jewish and Arab neighbors living door to door with retired US citizens, European business people and backpackers from around the world. And everyone adds to Panama’s melting pot, making the country a bit more colorful.
There are an incredible number of animals living in Panama. Roughly 230 types of mammals and 970 bird species. This does not include the numerous reptiles, amphibians and insect species! Many of these animal species are not too difficult to spot. Butterflies as large as your hand freely fly through neighboring rainforests. Iguanas can be spotted roaming open green spaces both in and outside the city limits! Pelicans can be observed catching fish in the Bay of Panama. There are sloths, monkeys, toucans and other wild animals that make their home within the city limits of Panama City. Just imagine what you may encounter in more remote areas of the country… tiny brightly colored frogs, ocelots, anteaters, multicolored birds, you name it!
Different Places to Be
It is quite well known that Panama has rainforests. Jungle excursions are a definite option here. For a slight change of scenery, we recommend visiting the cloud forest in the highlands, where lush mossy trees are covered by the fog and where wild orchids flourish. But this not only what the country has to offer. There are mountains, where world-famous coffee is grown such as the Geisha; mangrove swamps and even a desert in Sarigua, Azuero. And we have coasts on both sides of the country, 2,500 kilometers of it to be precise. Numerous beaches and islands in the Caribbean Sea and off the Pacific Coast are waiting to be explored. Crystal clear waters meet white sandy beaches with the occasional coconut tree, Panama is the place to be! Coral reefs? Panama has those too. And it’s all within easy reach. All it takes is few hours’ drive or a short flight to arrive to a unique picturesque destination! There is even a national park inside the city limits of Panama City!
Things to Do
There are many things to do in Panama. Adventure? There is river rafting, rock climbing and wilderness expeditions in the jungles of Darien, just to name a few. Also there is great kayaking as well, mountain biking, horseback riding and many other outdoor sports. Or maybe you like golf? Tennis? Sailing? There are many great surfing and diving spots that can be found in both oceans and the wonderful beaches on both coastlines. And for those who have had enough activity, there are so many hidden island retreats and luxurious spa options. Panama’s rich culture offers arts, cultural celebrations, great food and drink and local fiestas.
Panama City deserves a visit. Shopping malls, the Biodiversity Museum by Frank Gehry, little art galleries and amazing restaurants await you. Every weekend brings a new event, festival, concert or an exhibition. The beautiful colonial old quarters (UESCO World Heritage Site) known as Casco Antiguo, is always worth a visit. The combination of the old and new Panama City offers traditional crafts and modern art; old buildings set against the backdrop of the modern skyline and the accessible National Parks.
- Capital: Panama City
- Inhabitants: 4 Million (3 Million in Panama City)
- Size: 74,177.3 square kilometers or 28,640 square miles
- Currency: United States Dollar (credit cards are widely accepted)
- Language: Spanish
- Government: Presidential constitutional republic
- Time Zone: UTC – 5
- Visa: Contact your Panamanian Embassy or Consulate in your home country
- Calling Code: +507
- Plug Types: Types A & B (United States, Canada, Latin America)