Population 4,034,119 (2016)
Coordinates: 8 58 N, 79 32 W
Area Total: 75,417 sq km
Capital: Panama City
National Holiday: November 3
Currency: Balboa (PAB)
Costa Rica, Colombia
Panama Travel Guide Overview
Panama is located in Central America, bordering with Costa Rica in the West and Colombia in the East. The capital of Panama is Panama City. Panama has two oceans: the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. Panama's tourist season is during the dry season from around mid-December until May. During the rainy season from May to November, the weather can be hot and steamy in the lowlands when the humidity makes the heat more oppressive than otherwise. Rain in Panama tends to come in sudden short downpours and is usually followed by sunshine.
If you'll be doing any long, strenuous hiking, the dry season is the most comfortable time to do it; the Darién Gap can be crossed only at this time. If you like to party, try to be in Panama City or on the Península de Azuero for Carnaval, held each year on the weekend before Ash Wednesday. Panama City's Carnaval celebration is one of the world’s largest. Carnaval is celebrated over the four days preceding Ash Wednesday and involves music, dancing and a big parade on Shrove Tuesday. The celebrations in Panama City and Las Tablas are the most festive. The Semana Santa (Easter Week) celebrations at Villa de Los Santos, on the Península de Azuero, are equally renowned. The Festival of the Black Christ at Portobelo on October 21 includes a parade of the famous life-size statue of the Black Christ, and attracts pilgrims from all over the country.
Attractions and Activities
Panama takes up an area of 75,417 square kilometers and is home to just over 4 million people. It is located in Central America and includes 7 different Indigenous groups. You will find beautiful islands, charming towns full of local life, modern shopping malls, rainforest, beaches, rivers, and a lot of Nature. The most known feature of Panama is its Canal. Visitors can reach the Miraflores Locks and Visitors center within a short distance from the Capital Panama City.
Bocas del Toro
The archipelago of Bocas del Toro in Panama is situated on the northwestern coast of Panama in and around the Lagoon of Chiriqui. Bocas del Toro offers the perfect combination of Caribbean charm, nature and history with cultural traditions. Due to its variety of aquatic species, coral reefs, mangroves, tropical forest, beaches with crystal clear water and undisturbed jungles the main attractions are snorkeling, diving, hiking and bird watching. The main town is called Bocas del Toro or "Bocas Town" and is located on Colon Island, the largest island of the archipelago.
Chiriqui has emerged as one of the hottest travel and retirement destinations in Panama. It is home to an amazing variety of attractions including beaches, islands, rivers for white water rafting and kayaking, high altitude mountains for hiking and climbing, lush tropical forests which host exotic flora and fauna. Chiriqui is located in the western part of Panama between Costa Rica, the Pacific Ocean and the Province of Veraguas and its main city is David. Because of the proximity to the ocean and the mountains, it has become a preferred outdoor adventure destination and its particularly unique terrain gives Chiriqui an ideal climate for agriculture. The highland areas, including Boquete and Volcan, are gifted with fertile soil. All of these factors contribute to an abundant harvest of coffee, oranges, strawberries and vegetables every year. Cattle farms are also very common in Chiriqui. Visitors will also find a wide variety of hotels in Chiriqui, from simple guesthouses to deluxe resort hotels.
Colon is one of the most important ports of the Caribbean. Founded in 1850 by Americans who were working in the construction of the Panama Railroad, its name was originally “Aspinwall”, after one of these builders. The name “Colon” was given by the Hispanic community in honor of “Cristobal Colon”, which means Christopher Columbus in Spanish. In 1953 it was made a free trade zone and nowadays it is the world’s second largest duty-free port, connected to Panama City by air, road, rail and the Panama Canal. Colon is also the main city of the homonymous province, which includes many destinations like Portobelo and its national park, Isla Grande and part of the Chagres National Park, shared with the close Panama province.
The province of Darien is primarily an Adventure Tourism destination! With its 16,000 sq. kilometers of extension it includes many rivers, tropical rainforests, paradisiacal beaches, the highest peak of all Panama, rich flora and fauna, and various indigenous tribes. It is also famous for being the interruption of the Interamerican Highway.
Beside being the central gateway for tours going anywhere in the country, Panama City is a fascinating tourist destination in itself. It is also Central America's most attractive Capital City and a curious blend of old Spain, modern America and the bazaar atmosphere of the East. Best known for the Panama Canal, this lively Latin American city also borders one of Central America’s richest rain forests. The International airport "Tocumen" (PTY) is the main connection between the America's and the Caribbean Islands. Other attractions are the Old Spanish center, Amador Causeway, the historical ruins of the 16th Century capital, Metropolitan National Park and the Shopping malls.
Veraguas is located in the center of Panama and it is the only province with access to both the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. The capital of Veraguas is Santiago, founded in 1636, the fourth largest city in Panama. Most of the people in this attractive region are dedicated to farming - Veraguas it one of the largest producer of grain and has numerous coffee and sugar plantations and its livestock is said to be Panama's finest! Santiago and its surroundings are among the fastest growing areas at the moment, mainly due to real estate development and a vast potential for tourism. Santiago is also a possible halfway point between Panama City and David and you will find a modern bus depot with buses that go in both directions; and decent hotels to spend the night.
Location and Map
Panama is located in Central America between Costa Rica (North) and Colombia (South). The main airport is Tocumen (PTY) just outside of Panama City.