An explosion of wildlife, adventure, culture and relaxation
From swimming with turtles in translucent blue seas to trekking through some of the world’s best rainforests, roaming captivating cities to visiting one of the seven indigenous groups. Panama is an explosion of wildlife, adventure, culture and relaxation all on a narrow stretch of land.
Sitting as the narrowest point between North and South America and flanked by the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, Panama has long been a melting pot of cultures – even before the construction of its colossal canal. A pre-Columbian history through to the Spanish colonial era, along with influences from Africa, India, China, France and indigenous cultures, have led to one of the most fascinating and welcoming cultures in Central America.
The name Panama means ‘an abundance of fish and butterflies’ in the indigenous language and as home to the largest rainforest in the western hemisphere outside of the Amazon, it’s a concept visitors are quick to discover for themselves.
As a land surrounded by sea, the country is far from short of beaches, but some of its best lie on the numerous islands off the main land. The Gulf of Chiriqui marine park is also a great spot for whale watching.
Because of its unique geographical location and its famous canal, the country’s capital is a buzzing, sociable hub and is one of the most advanced cities in the region.
Being the financial hub of Latin America Panama City is a modern business epicenter. The competing skyscrapers dominate the horizon, you could easily mistake the capital’s skyline for one in the states. Excellent restaurants are popping up through the city making it the perfect base to see the canal, which is not to be missed. However what stuck me the most was that we could drive for a couple of hours out of the city, take a canoe ride and then reach the middle of the rainforest to meet the Embera Indians. It’s the clashing of two extreme worlds which makes Panama fascinating.
Where to go
Need to Know
is the local time
US Dollar is the local currency
Panama City is the capital city
Sancocho de gallina is Panama's national dish
When to go
Panama is separated with two major seasons, the wet and dry. The dry season, between December and May is perfect for those visiting the pacific coast. The shoulder months of April and September through to November are very mild, yet rains are still common. The wet season, between May and August isn't recommended to visit.