Welcome to Panama!
Panama is an interesting and exciting combination of differing cultural influences. With its position between the North and South American continents, it has been of strategic importance throughout the centuries. It is a fabulous place to visit, with lush jungles, tropical beaches, varied wildlife, quality Panama hotels, historical sites and great shopping and restaurants. One can see that Panama will be attracting visitors for quite some time to come.
Panama offers a stable economic and political system, first class amenities, gorgeous natural surroundings, friendly people and low prices - what's not to love?
In the Panamanian language, 'Panama' means 'abundance of fish and butterflies'. It is a country that lives up to its name. It possesses an abundance of wildlife and sunshine, and is perfect for the adventurous spirit. Sometimes Panama is also called “The Bridge of the World”, for it is a place where the primeval beauty of nature thrives in modern cities, and where you can always discover something new.
Panama is synonymous with the Panama Canal, which runs across the Isthmus of Panama in Central America and connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The building of the canal is considered as one of the biggest and most challenging engineering projects ever attempted. The canal has had a stupendous effect on shipping between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. It has made it possible for ships to avoid the long and dangerous route through the Drake Passage and Cape Horn, which is located on South America's southernmost tip. Taking a Panama Canal tour is a highlight of a trip to Panama.
Although Panama is most well known for its canal, it is also becoming rapidly known as a holiday spot for eco-travellers and there is a lot to see and do. The country offers an incredible choice of diverse places such as volcanic peaks that tower 11,000 feet, the Caribbean archipelagos of San Blas – home to the Kuna people, Bocas del Toro, as well as the Darien Gap Jungle with its Embera settlements. You can find many unique wildlife species on the isthmus, which is a corridor between South and North America.
A vibrant country, Panama displays a marked Caribbean influence. Its warm tropical climate and friendly inhabitants make it a great holiday destination for anyone. Panama City, the capital of Panama, offers great value Panama hotels, as well as fabulous restaurants, shopping and nighlife. There is also a variety of attractions within the city, especially in the narrow, cobblestoned streets and colonial buildings found in the old part of the city, Casco Viejo.
The Isthmus of Panama has 471,000 hectares of nature reserves, national parks and wilderness areas and is an ideal place for a Panama tour. Panama has much more land designated as protected area than any other country in the Caribbean or Central America. Nature lovers from all over the world flock to Panama for its hundreds of species of animals, and its thousands of plant species.
An astounding 10% of the world's species of birds inhabit the isthmus, making it a paradise for bird watchers. Each fall, migrating birds from North America pass through the isthmus in their millions on their way to South America. It is a treat to watch songbirds, hawks and particularly the shorebirds as they migrate in huge numbers, flying over the beach or gathering in the thousands at high tide.
If you're looking for the perfect beach vacation, look no further for serene beaches and turquoise seas. You will be fascinated by the contrast between the laid back villages and towns and the modern cities of Panama with their multicultural population. Use our map of Panama to choose your hotel in Panama based on its location and make sure you stay close to what you wish to visit.
Every province of Panama has its own wealth of folklore, celebrated in its music, dance and food. In the staunch Catholic provinces of Herrera, Cocle and Los Santos, churches have been built in the main town square or plaza, in accordance with Spanish tradition. The oldest church in America is in the colonial city of Nata.
One of the biggest carnivals in the world takes place in Panama City. The four days of celebration before Ash Wednesday involve a huge parade on Shrove Tuesday and dancing and music. Panama City and Las Tablas hold the most festive carnivals. Equally well known are the Semana Santa or Easter Week celebrations on the Península de Azuero at Villa de Los Santos. Portobelo holds The Festival of the Black Christ on October 21st when a large black statue of Christ is carried in a parade. The festival draws pilgrims from across the country.
Panama is becoming known as one of the finest places for retired people and eco tourism, and also for its cosmopolitan lifestyle. The best thing about Panama perhaps is the many kinds of activities it offers tourists. It is a country that constantly surprises travellers with its numerous scenic sights. There is much to discover here – from tropical beaches, national parks and a cosmopolitan capital to casinos.
This website will enable you to find the best local accommodation in Panama. Go to our Panama Accommodation page to see what cities or regions we currently offer accommodation in. In-depth information about Panama can be found in our Panama Country Guide.
From: USD 231
The Canal House, originally built in 1893, is an authentically restored Spanish colonial mansion in the heart of Panama City's historic Casco Viejo neighborhood. This unique boutique hotel offers the finest Panamanian experience, service, and comfort.[more info]
(assuming 1 travellers)
Wonderful Bocas del Toro islands are located in the province of the same name, in the northwest corner of the country. This trip is co-organized with the Bocas del Toro Sustainable Tourism Alliance (BSTA). BSTA is a Destination Management Organization composed of Bocas del Toro's many tourism-based enterprises. [more info]
From: USD 50
Ivan's Bed and Breakfast is a good choice if you want to explore the rainforest and the surroundings of Panama City. Well located in Gamboa, this small family-run hotel offers a peaceful environment close to bird watching spots - the famous Soberania National Park and Pipeline Road. [more info]
Welcome to Panama!
We invite you to come and see all the beauty that Panama has to offer and we have accumulated all the necessary information for your travels to our country. All our sites in Panama are locally owned and operated by professionals that are passionate about sustainable travel and want to see the industry develop in a responsible manner. Feel free to send us a message if you have any questions and we hope to see you in Panama soon![more]
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