Panama

Panama is a Central American nation situated on the Isthmus of Panama and borders Colombia and Costa Rica. It is home to the Panama Canal, which provides passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and drives much of Panama’s economy. Panama is also a major tourist destination, boasting both a tropical climate and stunning Caribbean beaches. This small country is known for its unique culture, natural beauty, and vibrant nightlife.

Tourism in Panama: A Festive and Vibrant Experience

Panama, a country known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and bustling cities, is a must-visit destination for any traveler. With a festive spirit that permeates the air, Panama offers a unique experience for tourists during this time of the year. From its vibrant festivals to its breathtaking attractions, there is something for everyone in this Central American gem.

The Festive Spirit of Panama

Panama is a country that loves to celebrate, and this is evident in the festive atmosphere that can be felt throughout the country. From traditional parades and street parties to lively music and delicious food, the ambiance in Panama during this time is one of communal joy and celebration.

Unique Tourist Attractions

Panama boasts a wide range of unique tourist attractions that are particularly popular during this time. One of the most famous attractions is the Panama Canal, a marvel of engineering that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Visitors can take a boat tour through the canal and witness the impressive locks in action. Other popular attractions include the historic Casco Viejo district, with its charming colonial architecture, and the stunning San Blas Islands, home to indigenous communities and pristine beaches.

General Overview

Panama has something for every type of traveler. For those seeking adventure, there are opportunities for hiking, zip-lining, and water sports. History buffs will enjoy exploring the country’s rich cultural heritage through its museums and ancient ruins. And for those looking to relax, there are plenty of beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts to choose from.

Important Places

Some key tourist destinations in Panama include:

  • Panama City: The capital city is a bustling metropolis with a mix of modern skyscrapers and historic neighborhoods.
  • Bocas del Toro: A popular beach destination with a laid-back Caribbean vibe.
  • Boquete: A charming mountain town known for its coffee plantations and outdoor activities.
  • El Valle de Antón: A picturesque town nestled in the mountains, famous for its thermal springs and hiking trails.

Activities

There is no shortage of activities to keep tourists entertained in Panama. Some must-try experiences include:

  • Hiking to the top of Volcán Barú, the country’s highest peak, for stunning views.
  • Taking a boat tour through the Panama Canal to witness its impressive locks in action.
  • Visiting the Emberá indigenous community to learn about their culture and traditions.
  • Relaxing on the beautiful beaches of San Blas Islands or Bocas del Toro.

Infrastructure and Transportation

Panama has a well-developed infrastructure and transportation system, making it easy for tourists to get around. The capital city, Panama City, has a modern metro system, and buses and taxis are readily available. For longer distances, there are domestic flights and well-maintained highways connecting major cities.

Travel Information for Foreign Visitors

Visa Requirements

Most visitors to Panama do not require a visa if they hold a valid passport from their home country. However, it is always best to check with the Panamanian embassy or consulate in your home country before traveling. Visitors are typically granted a stay of up to 90 days.

Health and Safety

Panama is generally a safe country for tourists, but it is always wise to take precautions. It is recommended to get travel insurance and to be up-to-date on routine vaccinations before visiting. As with any destination, it is essential to be aware of your surroundings and avoid isolated areas, especially at night.

Local Customs and Etiquette

Panamanians are known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature. It is essential to respect the local customs and etiquette while visiting the country. Some things to keep in mind include:

  • Greetings are typically warm and friendly, with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek for acquaintances.
  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites or rural areas.
  • Do not touch someone’s head, as it is considered disrespectful.
  • Tipping is not expected but appreciated in restaurants and for other services.

Currency and Payment Methods

The official currency of Panama is the Balboa, but the US dollar is widely accepted. Credit cards are also accepted in most establishments, but it is always a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases.

Festive Activities in Panama

Panama has a vibrant culture, and this is reflected in its festive activities. Some unique experiences that tourists can indulge in during this time include:

  • Carnaval: A five-day celebration leading up to Ash Wednesday, with parades, street parties, and traditional music and dancing.
  • Fiestas Patrias: Celebrations of Panama’s independence from Spain on November 3rd, with parades, concerts, and fireworks.
  • Corpus Christi: A religious festival celebrated in June with colorful processions and traditional dances.

These activities are deeply rooted in Panama’s traditions and offer a glimpse into the country’s vibrant culture.

Infrastructure and Transit during the Festive Season

Panama is a popular tourist destination, especially during the festive season. As such, the public transportation system can become crowded and busy. It is essential to plan your trips in advance and allow for extra time to account for potential delays. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also available but may be more expensive during this time.

Tips for Efficiently Traversing Panama

To make the most of your trip to Panama during the bustling festive season, here are some tips for efficient traversing:

  • Plan your itinerary in advance and book tickets for popular attractions and events ahead of time.
  • Consider using a travel app for navigation and language translation.
  • Be aware of peak hours when using public transportation to avoid long wait times.
  • If renting a car, be cautious of road conditions and traffic rules.

Accommodation Options in Panama

Panama offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels, there is something for everyone. Some popular options include:

  • All-inclusive resorts: Perfect for those looking for a luxurious and hassle-free vacation.
  • Boutique hotels: For a more personalized experience, consider staying at one of Panama’s charming boutique hotels.
  • Airbnb: A great option for those looking for a more local experience.
  • Hostels: Budget-friendly accommodation options that are perfect for solo travelers or those on a tight budget.

Advantages of Different Accommodations during Festive Season

During the festive season, some accommodations may offer special packages or discounts, making it an ideal time to splurge on a luxury resort or boutique hotel. Hostels and Airbnb rentals may also be more affordable during this time, making them a great option for budget-conscious travelers.

Shopping and Souvenirs in Panama

Panama is a shopper’s paradise, with a variety of options for purchasing unique souvenirs and gifts. Some popular shopping districts and markets include:

  • Calle Uruguay: A street lined with high-end boutiques and designer stores.
  • Albrook Mall: The largest mall in Latin America, with over 700 stores.
  • Casco Viejo: A historic neighborhood with charming shops selling local handicrafts and souvenirs.
  • Mercado de Artesanías de Balboa: A traditional market where visitors can find handcrafted items and souvenirs.

When shopping for souvenirs, it is essential to look for items that embody the country’s culture, such as handmade textiles, Panama hats, and traditional artwork.

Tips for Finding Unique Souvenirs

To find unique souvenirs that truly represent Panama’s culture, consider visiting local markets and supporting small businesses. Look for items that are handmade or locally sourced, as these will have a more authentic feel.

Technology and Connectivity in Panama

Panama has a good internet infrastructure, and most hotels and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi. However, if you need to stay connected while on the go, it is recommended to purchase a local SIM card or rent a portable Wi-Fi device. Some useful apps for travelers in Panama include:

  • Google Maps: For navigation and finding nearby attractions.
  • Google Translate: For translating between English and Spanish.
  • Ticket apps: To purchase tickets for events and attractions in advance.

Eco-Tourism and Outdoor Adventures in Panama

Panama is a paradise for eco-tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. With its diverse landscapes, from lush rainforests to pristine beaches, there are endless opportunities for eco-friendly travel and outdoor adventures. Some activities to consider include:

  • Hiking in the cloud forests of Boquete.
  • Visiting the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center to spot exotic birds and wildlife.
  • Snorkeling or diving in the crystal-clear waters of the San Blas Islands.
  • Zip-lining through the treetops of Gamboa Rainforest.

Responsible Tourism Practices

As with any destination, it is essential to practice responsible tourism in Panama. This includes respecting the natural environment, supporting local communities, and being mindful of your impact on the places you visit.

Local Festivals and Events

In addition to the major festivals mentioned earlier, Panama also has a variety of smaller local festivals and events that take place throughout the year. These events offer a unique insight into the country’s culture and traditions. Some examples include:

  • Festival del Manito Ocueño: A celebration of traditional music and dance in the town of Ocú.
  • Feria de la Caña de Azúcar: A festival celebrating sugar cane production in the town of Pesé.
  • Fiesta de Santa Librada: A religious festival honoring the patron saint of Las Tablas with colorful parades and traditional dances.

Practical Advice and Tips for Visiting Panama

Here are some practical tips to keep in mind when planning your trip to Panama:

  • Research the best time to visit based on your preferences and budget.
  • Set a budget and plan accordingly, taking into account potential price increases during the festive season.
  • Be aware of the country’s climate and pack appropriate clothing and gear.
  • Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun when participating in outdoor activities.
  • Be respectful of local customs and practices, including dressing modestly in religious sites.
  • Learn some basic Spanish phrases to facilitate communication with locals.
  • Keep emergency contact numbers handy in case of any unforeseen situations.

A Comprehensive Tourist Guide to Panama

If you’re planning a trip to Panama, here is some essential information to help you make the most of your visit:

Schedule for Country Events

The major festivals and events in Panama take place throughout the year, with Carnaval in February, Fiestas Patrias in November, and Corpus Christi in June. It is recommended to plan your trip around these events if you want to experience the country’s vibrant culture.

Ticket Acquisition and Venue Locations

Tickets for popular events and attractions can be purchased online or at the venue. It is advisable to purchase tickets in advance, especially during the festive season when there is a surge in tourists. Most venues are easily accessible by public transportation or taxis.

Optimal Period for Visiting

The best time to visit Panama depends on your preferences. The dry season from December to April is popular among tourists, but the rainy season from May to November offers lower prices and fewer crowds. It is essential to consider the weather and any major events or festivals when planning your trip.

Not-to-be-Missed Events and Activities

Some must-see events and activities in Panama include:

  • Carnaval: A five-day celebration with parades, music, and dancing.
  • Visiting the Panama Canal to witness its impressive locks in action.
  • Exploring the historic Casco Viejo district.
  • Relaxing on the beautiful beaches of San Blas Islands or Bocas del Toro.

Suitable Attire for the Country Climate and Festive Occasions

Panama has a tropical climate, so lightweight and breathable clothing is recommended. For festive occasions, it is best to dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing clothing. It is also a good idea to bring a rain jacket or umbrella during the rainy season.

Dos and Don’ts in Panama

To show respect for the local culture and customs, here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when visiting Panama:

  • Do greet people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek.
  • Don’t touch someone’s head, as it is considered disrespectful.
  • Do dress modestly when visiting religious sites or rural areas.
  • Don’t litter or damage the environment.

Language Assistance

While Spanish is the official language of Panama, English is widely spoken in tourist areas. However, learning some basic Spanish phrases can be helpful for communicating with locals. Here are a few useful phrases:

  • Hello: Hola
  • Thank you: Gracias
  • Excuse me: Disculpe
  • How much does this cost?: ¿Cuánto cuesta esto?
  • Do you speak English?: ¿Hablas inglés?

Emergency Contact Numbers

In case of any emergency, here are some vital contact numbers to keep in mind:

  • Police: 104
  • Ambulance: 911
  • Tourist Police: +507 511-9265

In conclusion, Panama is a vibrant and festive destination that offers a unique experience for tourists. With its diverse attractions, rich culture, and warm hospitality, it is a must-visit for any traveler. By following these tips and recommendations, you can make the most of your trip to this beautiful country

Panama: A Country of Rich History and Vibrant Culture

Panama, officially known as the Republic of Panama, is a country located in Central America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With a population of approximately 4.3 million people, Panama is the most populous country in Central America. The country’s capital and largest city is Panama City, which is also its main economic and cultural hub.

History

Panama has a rich history dating back to pre-Columbian times. The indigenous people of Panama were the first inhabitants of the land, with evidence of their existence dating back to 5000 BC. In 1501, Spanish explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas became the first European to reach Panama. The Spanish then established a permanent settlement in 1519 and used it as a base for their conquest of South America.

In 1821, Panama gained independence from Spain along with several other Latin American countries. It then joined the Republic of Gran Colombia, which was later dissolved in 1831. Panama remained a part of Colombia until 1903 when it declared independence with the help of the United States.

Economy

Panama’s economy is one of the fastest-growing in Latin America, with a GDP growth rate of 4.6% in 2019. The country’s economy is mainly driven by its service sector, which accounts for about 80% of its GDP. The Panama Canal, a major international shipping route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is a significant contributor to the country’s economy.

Other key industries in Panama include tourism, banking, and construction. The country’s strategic location and business-friendly policies have attracted foreign investment, making it a regional hub for commerce and trade.

Demographics

Panama is a diverse country with a population of various ethnicities. The majority of the population (70%) is of mixed European and indigenous descent, followed by people of African, European, and indigenous descent. Spanish is the official language, but English is widely spoken in urban areas.

The country’s population is relatively young, with a median age of 29 years. The life expectancy in Panama is 77 years, and the literacy rate is high at 94%.

Tourism

Panama is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests, and vibrant culture. The country offers a variety of activities for tourists, including hiking, birdwatching, and water sports. The Panama Canal is also a major attraction, with over one million visitors annually.

In 2019, Panama welcomed over 2.4 million tourists, generating over $4 billion in revenue. The government has invested in developing its tourism industry further, promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices to preserve the country’s natural beauty.

Interesting Facts

– Panama is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific Ocean and set on the Atlantic Ocean.
– The official currency of Panama is the US dollar.
– The famous San Blas Islands are part of Panama and are home to the indigenous Guna Yala people.
– Panama City has been dubbed the “Miami of Latin America” due to its modern skyline and vibrant nightlife.
– The Panama Canal generates about one-third of the country’s GDP.

Statistic Data
Population 4.3 million
GDP Growth Rate (2019) 4.6%
Major Industries Service, tourism, banking, construction
Median Age 29 years
Tourist Arrivals (2019) 2.4 million

In conclusion, Panama is a country with a fascinating history, a thriving economy, and a diverse population. With its beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and booming tourism industry, it is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore Central America. As the country continues to grow and develop, it is sure to attract even more visitors and cement its place as one of the top destinations in the region

  • Where is Panama located?
    Panama is located in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west and Colombia to the east.
  • What is the capital of Panama?
    The capital of Panama is Panama City.
  • What is the official language of Panama?
    The official language of Panama is Spanish, but English is also widely spoken.
  • What is the currency used in Panama?
    The currency used in Panama is the Panamanian Balboa (PAB), which has the same value as the US dollar.
  • What is the climate like in Panama?
    Panama has a tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity year-round. The dry season runs from December to April, while the rainy season runs from May to November.
  • What are some popular dishes in Panama?
    Some popular dishes in Panama include sancocho (a hearty chicken soup), arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), and ceviche (marinated seafood).
  • What are some traditional music and songs in Panama?
    Traditional music and songs in Panama include salsa, merengue, cumbia, and reggaeton. Popular artists include Rubén Blades and El General.
  • What are some must-visit tourist attractions in Panama?
    Must-visit tourist attractions in Panama include the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo (the historic district of Panama City), Bocas del Toro (a group of islands known for their beaches and wildlife), and Boquete (a mountain town known for its coffee plantations).
  • Do I need a visa to visit Panama?
    Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to visit Panama for tourism purposes. However, it is recommended to check with the Panamanian embassy or consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information.
  • What is the best time of year to visit Panama?
    The best time of year to visit Panama is during the dry season, from December to April. However, this is also peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and crowds.
  • Is it safe to travel to Panama?
    Panama is generally considered a safe country for tourists. However, it is always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially in larger cities like Panama City.
  • What are some common modes of transportation in Panama?
    Common modes of transportation in Panama include buses, taxis, and rental cars. The country also has a well-developed domestic flight network.
  • What is the time zone in Panama?
    Panama is in the Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone, which is GMT-5.
  • Do I need any vaccinations before traveling to Panama?
    It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before traveling to Panama to determine if any vaccinations are necessary. The CDC recommends being up-to-date on routine vaccines such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap).
  • Can I use my cell phone in Panama?
    Most major cell phone providers offer coverage in Panama. It is recommended to check with your provider for international plans and rates before traveling.
  • What is the tipping culture like in Panama?
    Tipping is not expected in Panama, but it is appreciated for good service. A 10% tip is considered generous.
  • What is the dress code in Panama?
    Panama has a relaxed dress code, with casual clothing being acceptable in most situations. However, it is recommended to dress more conservatively when visiting religious sites or government buildings.
  • What are some cultural customs and etiquette in Panama?
    Some cultural customs and etiquette in Panama include greeting people with a handshake, using titles (such as Señor or Señora) when addressing someone, and arriving on time for appointments.
  • What is the emergency number in Panama?
    The emergency number in Panama is 911.
  • Is the tap water safe to drink in Panama?
    The tap water in urban areas of Panama is generally safe to drink. However, it is recommended to stick to bottled water in more rural areas.
  • What is the voltage and plug type used in Panama?
    Panama uses 120 volts and Type A and B plugs, which are the same as those used in the United States.
  • Can I use my credit/debit cards in Panama?
    Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Panama, especially in larger cities and tourist areas. However, it is recommended to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases.
  • What are some traditional crafts and souvenirs to buy in Panama?
    Some traditional crafts and souvenirs to buy in Panama include molas (colorful embroidered panels), tagua nut carvings, and polleras (traditional dresses).
  • What is the legal drinking age in Panama?
    The legal drinking age in Panama is 18 years old.
  • What is the legal smoking age in Panama?
    The legal smoking age in Panama is 18 years old.
  • Are there any prohibited items I should be aware of when traveling to Panama?
    Prohibited items when traveling to Panama include illegal drugs, weapons, and certain types of food and plants. It is recommended to check with the Panamanian embassy or consulate in your country for a full list of prohibited items.
  • What is the dress code for beaches in Panama?
    The dress code for beaches in Panama is generally casual, with swimsuits being acceptable. However, it is recommended to cover up when leaving the beach and visiting nearby towns or restaurants.
  • What are some common Spanish phrases to know when visiting Panama?
    Some common Spanish phrases to know when visiting Panama include hola (hello), gracias (thank you), por favor (please), and ¿Cómo estás? (how are you?).
  • Is there a lot of street crime in Panama?
    Street crime does exist in Panama, especially in larger cities like Panama City. It is recommended to take precautions such as not walking alone at night and avoiding carrying large amounts of cash or valuables.
  • What are some traditional festivals and celebrations in Panama?
    Some traditional festivals and celebrations in Panama include Carnival (a week-long celebration before Lent), Independence Day (November 3rd), and Corpus Christi (a religious holiday celebrated with parades and street decorations).
  • Can I rent a car and drive in Panama?
    Yes, you can rent a car and drive in Panama. However, it is recommended to have an international driver's license and to be familiar with local traffic laws.
  • What is the legal age for gambling in Panama?
    The legal age for gambling in Panama is 18 years old.
  • Are there any cultural or religious customs I should be aware of when visiting Panama?
    Panama is a predominantly Catholic country, so it is important to be respectful of religious customs and traditions. It is also recommended to dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • What are some popular outdoor activities in Panama?
    Some popular outdoor activities in Panama include hiking, surfing, zip-lining, and snorkeling/diving.
  • What are some traditional drinks to try in Panama?
    Some traditional drinks to try in Panama include chicha (a fermented corn drink), seco (a sugarcane-based liquor), and coffee (Panama is known for its high-quality coffee).
  • Is there a dress code for visiting the Panama Canal?
    There is no specific dress code for visiting the Panama Canal, but it is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and shoes as there may be a lot of walking involved.
  • What are some common modes of transportation between cities in Panama?
    Common modes of transportation between cities in Panama include buses, domestic flights, and rental cars. There are also ferry services available between certain islands and coastal areas.
  • Are there any health risks I should be aware of when traveling to Panama?
    Some health risks to be aware of when traveling to Panama include mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever and Zika virus. It is recommended to take precautions such as using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved clothing.
  • What are some traditional desserts to try in Panama?
    Some traditional desserts to try in Panama include tres leches cake, flan, and arroz con leche (rice pudding).
  • What are some popular souvenirs to buy in Panama City?
    Some popular souvenirs to buy in Panama City include handicrafts, coffee, and Panama hats (which are actually made in Ecuador).
  • Is there a lot of poverty in Panama?
    While there is poverty in certain areas of Panama, the country has seen significant economic growth in recent years. Tourism is also a major industry in Panama, which has helped to alleviate poverty in many regions.
  • What is the literacy rate in Panama?
    The literacy rate in Panama is over 95%, with education being compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 15.
  • What are some common sports played in Panama?
    Common sports played in Panama include baseball, soccer (or football), and basketball.
  • What are some traditional dances in Panama?
    Traditional dances in Panama include salsa, merengue, and tamborito (a folk dance with African influences).
  • Can I use my foreign driver's license in Panama?
    Yes, you can use your foreign driver's license in Panama for up to 90 days. After that, you will need to obtain a Panamanian driver's license.
  • Are there any travel restrictions for visiting indigenous communities in Panama?
    Some indigenous communities in Panama may have their own travel restrictions or guidelines for visitors. It is recommended to check with local authorities or tour guides before visiting these communities.
  • What is the main religion practiced in Panama?
    The main religion practiced in Panama is Catholicism, but there is also a significant Protestant population.
  • What are some popular dishes to try in Panama City?
    Some popular dishes to try in Panama City include ceviche, arroz con pollo, and patacones (fried plantains).
  • What are some common greetings in Panama?
    Common greetings in Panama include hola (hello), buenos días (good morning), and buenas tardes (good afternoon).
  • Are there any traditional markets or shopping areas in Panama City?
    Yes, there are several traditional markets and shopping areas in Panama City, including the Mercado de Mariscos (seafood market), Mercado de Artesanías (handicraft market), and Albrook Mall (one of the largest malls in Central America).

A Closer Look at Panama

Panama Flag

Panama

Panama Formation Date

November 3, 1903

Panama Capital Name

Panama City

Panama Neighbours

  1. Costa Rica Costa Rica
  2. Colombia Colombia

Exploring Panama

Introduction: Discovering the Vibrant Country of Panama

Panama, a country located in Central America, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west and Colombia to the east, with the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The country's strategic location has made it a hub for international trade and commerce, earning it the nickname "Crossroads of the Americas." Its unique geography, rich history, diverse culture, and booming economy make it a must-visit destination for travelers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Panama is located in Central America, with Costa Rica and Colombia as its neighboring countries.
  • The country is known as the "Crossroads of the Americas" due to its strategic location for international trade.
  • Panama offers a variety of attractions, from natural wonders to cultural experiences.
  • The country's economy is thriving, with a strong focus on trade and tourism.

Geography: A Land of Diversity

Panama's landscape is a mix of rugged mountains, lush rainforests, and pristine beaches. The country is home to over 500 rivers and more than 1,500 islands, making it a paradise for nature lovers. Its unique geography also provides an abundance of natural resources, including copper, gold, and timber. The climate in Panama is tropical, with temperatures averaging around 80°F (27°C) throughout the year. However, due to its diverse topography, different regions experience varying weather patterns. The Caribbean coast tends to be more humid and receives more rainfall, while the Pacific coast is drier with a distinct dry season from December to April.

Origin and History: A Tale of Ancient Civilizations and Modern Developments

Panama's history dates back thousands of years, with evidence of human settlements dating back to 12,000 BC. The country was once home to several indigenous tribes, including the Cueva, Choco, and Kuna people. In the 16th century, Panama was colonized by the Spanish and became an important trading post for goods from South America. In 1821, Panama gained independence from Spain and joined the Republic of Gran Colombia. It later became part of the United States of Colombia in 1863 before gaining complete independence in 1903. Today, Panama is a thriving modern country with a strong economy and a rich cultural heritage.

Government and Politics: A Stable Democracy

Panama has a democratic government with a president as the head of state and government. The country is divided into ten provinces and five indigenous territories, each with its own local government. Panama also has strong ties with other countries, particularly the United States, due to its strategic location for international trade. The country's political stability has contributed to its economic growth and has made it an attractive destination for foreign investors. However, like any other country, Panama faces challenges in maintaining a balance between economic growth and social development.

Commerce and Economy: A Booming Business Hub

Panama's economy is one of the fastest-growing in Latin America, thanks to its strong focus on trade and commerce. The Panama Canal, a major waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is a crucial factor in the country's economic success. It generates significant revenue from toll fees and provides employment opportunities for thousands of Panamanians. Apart from the Panama Canal, the country's economy is also driven by industries such as banking, tourism, and logistics. Its strategic location makes it an ideal hub for international businesses looking to expand their operations in Latin America.

Demographics: A Diverse Population

Panama's population is estimated to be around 4.3 million, with a mix of indigenous tribes and people of Spanish, African, and Asian descent. The majority of the population lives in urban areas, with Panama City being the most populous city in the country. The country also has a young population, with over 50% under the age of 30. The official language of Panama is Spanish, but English is widely spoken in major cities and tourist areas. The country also has a diverse religious landscape, with Catholicism being the dominant religion, followed by Protestantism and other minority religions.

Culture: A Blend of Traditions and Modern Influences

Panamanian culture is a fusion of indigenous traditions and Spanish influences. The country's vibrant culture can be seen in its art, music, festivals, and traditions. The traditional dress of Panama, known as the pollera, is a colorful and intricate outfit worn by women for special occasions. Music plays an essential role in Panamanian culture, with genres such as salsa, reggae, and calypso being popular among locals. The country also celebrates various festivals throughout the year, including Carnival, which is a lively celebration filled with parades, music, and dancing.

Languages and Religion: A Reflection of Diversity

Spanish is the official language of Panama, but English is widely spoken in major cities and tourist areas. In addition to these two languages, there are several indigenous languages spoken by different ethnic groups in the country. The majority of Panamanians identify as Roman Catholic, with Catholicism being the dominant religion in the country. However, there is also a significant presence of other religions such as Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam.

Education and Healthcare Systems: Prioritizing Development

Panama has made significant strides in improving its education and healthcare systems in recent years. The country has a literacy rate of over 94%, with a strong focus on primary and secondary education. It also has several universities and technical schools, providing higher education opportunities for its citizens. The healthcare system in Panama is a mix of public and private institutions, with the government providing universal healthcare coverage for its citizens. The country has seen improvements in its healthcare infrastructure and public health initiatives, resulting in a decrease in infant mortality rates and an increase in life expectancy.

Sports and Recreation: A Nation of Athletes

Sports play a significant role in Panamanian culture, with baseball being the most popular sport in the country. Panama has produced several notable baseball players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball in the United States. Other popular sports include soccer, basketball, and boxing. The country's diverse landscape also offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and birdwatching. Panama is home to over 900 bird species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts.

Tourism: A Hidden Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Panama may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a trip, but it has plenty to offer for travelers. The country's natural wonders, such as the Panama Canal, San Blas Islands, and Bocas del Toro archipelago, are must-see attractions. Its rich history and cultural heritage can be explored through visits to colonial towns and indigenous communities. The country also has a well-developed tourism infrastructure, with a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels. Its transportation system is also efficient, making it easy to navigate around the country.

Travel Information for Foreign Visitors: A Guide to Exploring Panama

If you're planning to visit Panama, here are some essential travel information to keep in mind:

Visa Requirements:

Citizens of most countries do not require a visa to enter Panama for tourism purposes. However, it is always best to check with the Panamanian embassy in your country for the latest visa requirements.

Health and Safety:

Panama is generally a safe country for travelers, but it is always advisable to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. It is recommended to get vaccinated for common diseases such as hepatitis A and typhoid before traveling to Panama.

Local Customs and Etiquette:

Panamanians are friendly and welcoming people, but it is essential to respect their customs and traditions. When visiting indigenous communities, it is best to seek permission before taking photos or participating in their activities.

Currency and Payment Methods:

The official currency of Panama is the Balboa (PAB), but the US dollar is widely accepted throughout the country. Credit cards are also accepted in most establishments, but it is always advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases.

Places to Visit and Prices:

Some popular tourist attractions in Panama include the Panama Canal, San Blas Islands, Bocas del Toro, and Boquete. Prices vary depending on the type of accommodation and activities you choose, but overall, Panama offers affordable options for travelers on a budget.

Quotes: Commonly Known Panama Quotes

  • "Panama is not just a place; it's an experience." - Unknown
  • "Panama is the heart of America." - Omar Torrijos
  • "Panama is a small country with a big heart." - Unknown

Conclusion: The Bright Future of Panama

Panama has come a long way since gaining independence in 1903. The country's strategic location, strong economy, and rich cultural heritage make it a promising destination for travelers. With ongoing developments in various sectors, Panama's future looks bright, and it is sure to continue captivating visitors with its natural beauty and vibrant culture. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the wonders of Panama!

Panama Highest Point Name

The highest point in Panama is Volcán Barú, with an elevation of 3,475 meters (11,401 feet). Baru is an active stratovolcano located in the province of Chiriquí in western Panama. It is the tallest mountain in the country and is also known as La Punta.

Panama Capital Longitude

The capital of Panama is Panama City, and its longitude is 8.983333.

Panama Capital Latitude

Panama's capital city is Panama City, and it is located at 8.97 degrees North latitude and 79.53 degrees West longitude.

Panama Official Languages

The official languages of Panama are Spanish and English.

Panama Ethnic Groups

The majority of Panama’s population is made up of Mestizo (people of mixed indigenous and European ancestry) which make up approximately 70% of the population. The remaining 30% is composed of indigenous groups including Emberá-Wounaan, Kuna, Ngöbe-Buglé,Ndobas, Woun Meu, Teribe, and Bri Bri. Afro-Panamanians make up around 12% while people of European (primarily Spanish) ancestry make up 5%. There is also a small Chinese community as well as other smaller ethnic minorities.

Panama Religions

The majority religion in Panama is Roman Catholicism. According to estimates, over 90 percent of the population identify as Catholic. There is also a strong population of Protestants, mainly Evangelicalism, which makes up about 8 percent of the population. Other faiths include Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Baha'i, Jehovah's Witnesses and other minority denominations. Additionally, about a million Panamanians practice some form of Animism such as Qabousse or Los Indios. Freedom of religion is popular in Panama and is protected by the country's Constitution.

Panama Total Area

75,517 km2

Panama Land Area

The land area of Panama is 76,517 square miles (198,168 square kilometers).

Panama Water Area

The area of water in Panama is estimated to be 8,872 square miles, or 22,890 square kilometers. Panama has a total of 11,320 square miles of land area, or 29,340 square kilometers. The majority of Panama's land area is located in the eastern region of the country.

Panama Total Population

As of 2020, Panama has a population estimated at 4.6 million people.

Panama Currency Name

The official currency of Panama is the Balboa (PAB). Its value is tied to the U.S. Dollar and it is printed on a 1:1 basis by the Panama Mint. The U.S. Dollar is also accepted for most transactions in Panama.

Panama Currency Code

The currency of Panama is the balboa (PAB). The currency code is PAB.

Panama Currency Symbol

The official currency of Panama is the balboa and it uses the ISO 4217 currency code of PAB. The currency symbol for the balboa is B/.

Panama Time Zones

  • Standard Time: UTC-05:00
  • Daylight Saving Time: UTC-04:00

Panama, a country located in Central America, has one time zone: UTC-5. Standard time in Panama is observed year-round, so there is no daylight savings time. However, during a period of the year, Panama observes the daylight savings time as it follows US daylight savings time. This happens from mid-March until the end of November, when the time is shifted forward by 1 hour from UTC-5 to UTC-4. The daylight savings officially ends on November 3 at 2:00 a.m., when clocks are moved back to the Standard time.

Panama Calling Code

The international country calling code for Panama is +507

Panama Internet TLD

www.aveholidays.pa

How to Say "Panama" In Different Languages?

Danish
Panama (da-DK)
Finnish
Panama (fi-FI)
French
Panama (fr-FR)
German
Panamá (de-DE)
Greek
Παναμάς (el-GR)
Indonesian
Panama (id-ID)
Hebrew
פנמה (he-IL)
Italian
Panama (it-IT)
Japanese
パナマ (ja-JP)
Dutch
Panama (nl-NL)
Filipino
Panama (tl-PH)
Polish
Panama (pl-PL)
Portuguese
Panamá (pt-PT)
Russian
Панама (ru-RU)
Korean
파나마 (ko-KR)
Spanish
Panamá (es-ES)
Swedish
Panama (sv-SE)
Thai
ปานามา (th-TH)
Turkish
Panama (tr-TR)
Vietnamese
Panama (vi-VN)

Panama Popular Holidays

New Year's Day
1 January
Dia de los Reyes
6 January
Epiphany
6 January
Los Santos Festival
12 January
Dia de las Mascaradas
19 January
Panama Colon Day
20 January
Año Nuevo China
25 January
Ash Wednesday
17 February
Carnaval
25 February (28 February)
Dia de la Mujer
8 March
Dia de San Jose
19 March
Dia de la Bandera
19 March
Panama International Music Festival
26 March (30 March)
Holy Saturday
31 March
Holy Thursday
1 April
Good Friday
2 April
Bocas del Toro Carnival
19 April (22 April)
Labor Day
1 May
Cuna Paradise Festival
3 May
Mother's Day
8 May
Admiral's Day Festival
10 May
Herrera Festival
14 May
Dia de San Isidro
15 May
Corpus Christi
3 June
Father's Day
19 June
San Juan Festival
24 June
Santa Librada Festival
3 July
Los Angeles Festival
3 July
Veraguas Flag Day
4 July
Rio Salada Festival
6 July
Darién Festival
11 July (12 July)
San Bias Festival
15 July (17 July)
Feria del Mar
16 July (18 July)
Coclé Festival
19 July (24 July)
Dia del Niño
4 August
Dia de las Madres
10 August
Vamos al Bailongo Festival
11 August
Chitré Festival
11 August (13 August)
Atalaya Festival
15 August
Veraguas Festival
15 August (18 August)
Intercontinental Regatta
17 August
Kuna Yala Festival
27 August (29 August)
Dia de Las Tias
29 August
Hands Festival
21 September
Fiesta La Merced
24 September
Discoverer's Day
25 September
Separation Day
3 October
Dia De La Raza
12 October
Columbus Day
12 October
Los Santos' Day
15 October
Boca Chica Festival
17 October
Los Santos Festival
17 October
Bugaba Festival
21 October
Colonial Festival
25 October
All Saints Day
1 November
All Souls Day
2 November
Separation Day
3 November
Dia de Independencia
3 November
Panama National Holiday
3 November
Azuero Festaries
4 November (8 November)
Gunpowder Festival
5 November
Fonda Roja
7 November
Flag Day
7 November
Labor Day
11 November
Independence Day
28 November
Contadora Island Festival
7 December
Sea Fair Day
8 December
Fiesta de la Inmaculada Concepcion
8 December
Mother's Day
8 December
Dia de la Madre
12 December
Christmas Eve
24 December
Christmas Day
25 December
Found Afro-Carribbean Day
25 December

VERIFY COUNTRY DATA:
We aim for precision and fairness. If you notice an inconsistency, contact us here.

Upcoming Holidays in Panama

National and Public Holidays in Panama next days/week/month/year

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday is the day that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ before his death. It is celebrated on the Thursday before Easter Sunday. Churches may celebrate it with Mass or a procession with a cross or the Eucharist. Some families also cook traditional foods, like fish, in celebration of the Last Supper. Other customs, such as washing each other's feet, are also practiced. Finally, Maundy Thursday is a time for reflection on the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death. It is one of the most important and oldest Christian festivals, which is celebrated with religious services, feasts, and egg hunts. During the holiday season, many churches will celebrate with food, singing, and special services. In many countries, Easter is a public holiday and is celebrated by families in various ways, including decorating eggs and exchanging gifts.

World Spanish Language Day

Spanish Language Day celebrates the unique culture of the language and its significance in the world. The holiday also recognizes the many contributions made by Spanish-speaking countries to literature, art and science throughout history.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is a United Nations sanctioned holiday celebrated annually on August 9. It marks the day the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted in 2007, recognizing the rights of tribal and clan societies worldwide. The day is used to celebrate the survival and cultural rich heritage of the world’s Indigenous People. Events, speeches, and educational activities are held worldwide.

Assumption of Mary

Assumption of Mary is a Catholic holiday celebrated each year on August 15th. It is a day to honor the Virgin Mary, mother of Christ, on the day she was assumed into Heaven. Catholics celebrate by attending specialized Masses, many churches are decorated with flowers, and there are festivals, processions, and other festivities throughout the day.

St. Bartholomew Day

St. Bartholomew Day is a religious holiday celebrated in some countries in honor of St. Bartholomew, a disciple of Jesus. The date of the holiday varies by location but it is typically held on August 24. In the United States, the Episcopal Church celebrates the holiday with special sermons, prayers, and the recital of scripture. The holiday offers an opportunity to remember St. Bartholomew’s tradition of service and dedication to God.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is a month-long celebration of Hispanic heritage and cultural diversity. The event runs from September 15th to October 15th and celebrates Hispanic contributions to the United States, such as literature, art, music, and more. During the month, people recognize the achievements and contributions of Latino people in the United States. Many gather to take part in parades, parties, and special activities that celebrate this heritage.

Foundation of Old Panama City in Panama

Foundation of Old Panama City, Panama is an annual holiday celebrated on August 15 to commemorate the city’s initial settlement in 1519. Traditionally, there are many festivities organized for the day, including musical performances, traditional dances, and special visits from the authorities. Popular activities also include historical re-enactments that depict the complicated process of constructing the famous city. The holiday is celebrated in Panama City and some other provincial regions of the country.

All Saints’ Day

All Saints' Day is a Christian holy day celebrated on November 1 and observes all the saints, known and unknown. It is a day to remember all that has been lost this year and honor those who have gone before us. It is also a day to reflect on the lives of those saints and give thanks for their examples of faith and love.

National Symbols Day in Panama

National Symbols Day in Panama is a time to reflect on the identity and values of our nation. On this special day, we come together to honor and value our national symbols; the many representations of the heart and soul of our nation. National Symbols Day is a national holiday in Panama.

Upcoming Festivals in Panama

National and Public Holidays around the world in the next few days

Special Working Day in Taiwan

Welcome to 'Special Working Day, Taiwan.' For nearly a decade, we, the people of Taiwan, have commemorated this day by gathering together and recognizing those who strive to make our nation a better place. Special Working Day is a working day on weekend in Taiwan.

Yukon Heritage Day in Canada

Join the celebration of Canada's rich cultural legacy on Yukon Heritage Day. Held annually on the first Monday in August, this public holiday pays homage to the diverse traditions and customs of the Yukon Territory. From street performances to traditional feasts, experience the vibrancy of this unique Canadian festival.

Founding Day Public Sector Holiday in Saudi Arabia

"As the vibrant culture of Saudi Arabia continues to thrive, the Founding Day Public Sector Holiday stands as a testament to the country's rich heritage and development. Celebrated nationwide, this public holiday honours the establishment of Saudi Arabia and its significance in shaping the nation. Join in the festivities and discover the beauty of this local holiday."

Defender of the Fatherland Day in Belarus

"Belarus' Defender of the Fatherland Day, a national holiday celebrated annually on February 23rd, pays tribute to the brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting their country. This festival showcases the rich cultural heritage and unbreakable spirit of the Belarusian people. A must-visit for any curious traveler."

Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia

This year, on February 23rd, Russia celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day, a national holiday honoring the courage and dedication of its armed forces. This day is marked with parades, fireworks, and heartfelt tributes to the brave men and women who protect and defend the nation. A must-see experience for any traveler!

Emperor’s Birthday in Japan

"Experience the grandeur and tradition of a National Holiday in Japan as the entire country celebrates the Emperor's Birthday. From colorful parades to elaborate ceremonies, immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Japan on this highly-anticipated observance day. Don't miss out on the festivities and book your trip to Japan now!"

Navam Full Moon Poya Day in Sri Lanka

"Experience the spiritual and cultural significance of Navam Full Moon Poya Day in Sri Lanka, a national holiday observed by Buddhists. Immerse yourself in ancient rituals and colourful processions during this festival of lights, as devotees gather to pay homage to Lord Buddha. A must-see for any traveller seeking a unique and insightful cultural experience."

Mashramani (Republic Day) in Guyana

"Experience the vibrant celebrations of Mashramani, Guyana's national festival and observance of Republic Day. Immerse yourself in the colorful parades, lively music, and mouth-watering cuisine that showcase the country's rich cultural heritage. A must-see for any traveler seeking an unforgettable holiday in South America!"

Defender of the Fatherland Day in Kyrgyzstan

"Join the vibrant celebrations of Defender of the Fatherland Day in Kyrgyzstan, a national holiday honoring the bravery and sacrifice of those who have fought for their country. With colorful parades, traditional music and local delicacies, this festival is a true testament to the strong patriotic spirit of the Kyrgyz people."

National Day in Brunei

"Experience the vibrant colors and rich traditions of Brunei on their National Day, a joyous public holiday celebrated on February 23rd. Immerse yourself in local cultural performances, indulge in mouth-watering delicacies, and witness the grand parade showcasing the country's pride and patriotism. A must-visit for any cultural enthusiast and travel aficionado."

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