This southernmost country of Central America, also known as the “Crossroads of the Americas” due to its unique position between North and South America, has become one of the most attractive tourism destinations in the world. The wide array of entertainment and experiences offered by this gorgeous country makes it a must-see place. In recent years, Panama has also become a popular retirement destination and more than a million people visit this tropical country every year.
This country of contrasts benefits from a strong cultural mixture and allows you to enjoy two different oceans and the amazing landscapes created by the numerous mountain chains.
A map of Panama will show you that this stunning country is situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America with coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, with Colombia to the southeast and Costa Rica to the northwest. Panama has some very tall mountains in its interior: the highest mountain, the Volcan Barú, reaches an altitude of 3,475 metres and offers interesting trekking opportunities.
The weather in Panama is characterized by temperatures that are fairly consistent year round, ranging into the 90s during the day time and the 70s at night time. However, you should know that there is a prolonged rainy season from May to November and summer lasts from December to April with its dry and pleasant weather. This is the best time to travel to Panama.
MOST POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN PANAMA
The Panama Canal
As one of the most significant waterways on the planet, this canal is an engineering marvel that stretches 49 miles from Panama City on the Pacific coast to Colón on the Atlantic coast. This impressive canal offers an unforgettable sight of vast tracts of virgin jungle on both sides. An absolute must-see are the Miraflores locks where you can watch huge boats go by in this narrow canal.
This multicultural modern city is reminiscent of Miami and the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America. This vibrant destination is home to many shops, hotels and restaurants and is also a flourishing center for international banking and trade. Full of shimmering glass and steel towers, the residents of Panama City often call it the “Miami of the south”.
Bocas del Toro
This resort town is located on the south tip of Colón Island on the Caribbean northwest side of the country. This area has some phenomenal beaches that provide great opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, surfing and boating. The cuisine of this area shows a distinct Caribbean influence.
This small village on Panama’s Pacific west coast is the main departure point for the islands in the Gulf of Chiriquí. It is a popular sport fishing destination and provides abundant fishing opportunities for marlin, tuna and dorado. Exceptional snorkeling and scuba diving are available in the area, and the Coiba National Marine Park and several islands are extremely popular with travelers.
This small island off the Caribbean coast of Panama is a stunning place full of white sandy beaches. Its friendly people are mostly of African descent and their hospitality will make you feel at home. This place is also popular for being an excellent surfing environment.
This paradisiacal place is spectacularly situated with nothing but the azure ocean and the mangroves around. The small size of the island will immediately make you feel as if you are in a unique and special place. This little heaven is home to only 3,323 citizens. In Santa Isabel you will be able to spend most of your time swimming and snorkeling in the warm Caribbean waters while marveling at its exceptional landscapes.
El Valle de Anton
In the middle of rolling green hills, to the west of Panama City, you will find this charming village that is nestled in the crater of a giant extinct volcano and surrounded by lush forests. Given its particular location, this picturesque town will offer you spectacular sceneries of this mountainous area and the beauty of the valley which is famous for its wide variety of flowers. Known as the land of eternal spring, the valley enjoys a pleasant climate all year round. Nature lovers won’t be disappointed as you will be able to visit its impressive set of waterfalls as well as its botanical garden. This is the perfect place for walking, hiking, bird-watching or even horseback riding.
Visiting Panama will allow you to enjoy the enchantments of this tropical country, learn about native cultures and take advantage of a dynamic life. Moreover, the friendliness of the Panamanian people will make your stay an exceptional experience. The diverse flora and fauna as well as the beauty of its beaches and the contrast of its numerous cities will charm you and make Panama an ideal travel destination.