For most of us, Panama is associated with the Panama Canal and its importance in opening up access from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Panama Canal is an astonishing marvel of engineering and a wonder to see…but what are we missing?
Panama is situated in Central America, is bordered by Costa Rica and Colombia, and is the country in the isthmus that connects North and South America. It has a tropical climate, though the mountains do see frost. It has the most diverse wildlife in Central America, supporting species from both North and South America.
Beaches Panama has both beige sandy beaches and black sand beaches, and two coastlines. The Caribbean side tends to be a bit rainier but is much acclaimed for its lush beauty and small beaches with swimmable shores. The Pacific side is known for larger waves and surfing. Options are a good thing!
Rain forests Explore the rain forest and see the many birds and the wildlife of this ecologically rich region. You can do a zipline, visit sloths and, a bird- watching tour all the same day!
The city Panama City and its suburbs are very diverse. The original city, known as Panama Viejo, was settled by the Spanish in the 1500s’ and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site with ruins not to be missed. In the 1600s’’s the old city, known as Casco Viejo was formed - here you can visit charming shops and restaurants while you enjoy colonial architecture. The new city sports high-rises and the high-end shopping you would expect of Rodeo Drive. Panama City has become an international center of banking and commerce and as such has a vibrant nightlife scene and great restaurants.
The Panama Canal You don’t have to be on a cruise to travel the Panama Canal. You can do a day excursion via boat through the canal, or you can visit the site and watch from shoreside.
If you choose to, you can even do a day excursion (it’s a fairly long day) from one ocean to the other!
All in all, Panama has become known as a diverse and enticing destination. The climate is warm and the beaches inviting, but they are not all there is to see!
When to go: January to mid – April is known to be the driest season, but if you don’t mind rain this is an inviting climate anytime. Panama is not in what is known as the hurricane belt
Language: Spanish, but English is widely spoken
Currency: Balboa, but the US dollar is widely accepted
Framed by the Pacific Ocean and Panama Canal, Panama City is a must visit for any world traveler. Whether you decide to visit the historic cobble stone streets of Casco Viejo, visit the Miraflores Locks, explore the local biodiversity or sip rum at Pedo Mandinga, you will not be disappointed!
Fun fact! Panama is the only place on earth where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic!