Panama is a small country in Central America, located between Colombia and Costa Rica, it has Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, great biodiversity, natural wealth, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, museums, malls and much more.
These are the 15 reasons to visit Panama.
1. Paradise Beaches of the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean
The beaches are a spectacle, you can kayak, paddle, surf, dive, snorkel, there is a great marine fauna and coral reefs to see seen.
You can go to Colón and see its beautiful crystalline beaches, or go to the Pearl Archipelago, famous for Elizabeth Taylor’s pilgrim pearl or go through Azuero and get to know Isla Iguana, or go a little further and visit Bocas del Toro or maybe go to the famous Archipelago of San Blas.
2. Beautiful Landscapes
Both in the capital and in the city there are a lot of landscapes. In Panama City, there is the cosmopolitan and contemporary area, with large buildings, museums and others, you can also walk beautiful trails.
And, a little further away and in the country side, there are natural landscapes for all, from rivers, waterfalls (Arenilla, Filipinas, La Gloria and more), mountains (Turega Hill, Trinidad, Picachos of Olá, among others), volcanoes (El Valle de Antón, Volcán Barú, La Yeguada), there are also caves (Bayano Caves- super recommended) and more.
3. Its Great Biodiversity
Panama has more birds than Canada and the United States combined, imagine! That’s a lots, you won’t leave Panama without seeing some of them.
You can go to one of the beaches and snorkel, you will surely see many fish and even coral.
Some of the great attractions are the observation of nesting and birth of turtles and whale watching, unique and unforgettable experiences that can be done in the Panamanian Pacific.
There are even endemic fauna such as the golden frogs that can only be seen in El Valle de Antón and the Pygmy Sloth that can only be seen on Isla Escudo de Veraguas. There are also square trees, in Valle de Anton, even the rings are square.
4. The Gastronomic Wealth
Panama City was declared by UNESCO as a gastronomic creative city.
There is a great variety of food, national dishes, foreign, international fusions, and a mixture of all this, but not only that, it is delicious.
In addition, it is not only in the city, but also in restaurants and small establishments in the interior of the country, the food is to die for.
Being a tropical country, there are many fresh and delicious fruits, you can order your food with a natural soft drink.
If the day is hot, you have to taste a “raspao”, a type of soft drink, made with ice, syrup, condensed milk, honey and powdered milk, it will not only cool you, but you will like it. They sell it in all the cities of the country, you will see them on the street.
And if you go to the Cinta Costera, stop by Mercado del Marisco (the seafood) market and try a delicious Panamanian ceviche, it can be a little spicy, it is better to order it with a drink.
Excellent coffee is produced in Panama, there are different varieties and brands, the most famous being the Geisha, the most expensive in the world, produced in the Panamanian highlands.
5. See the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea from a single point
At the top of the Barú Volcano you can see both seas, this is due to the narrowness of the isthmus and the top of the Volcano, being the highest place in the country.
You can do a hiking tour or one in 4×4 from Boquete, to climb it and see the sunrise from the top.
6. Its Story
Panama is a country full of history, since its emergence (learn more at the Biomuseo), the pre-Columbian indigenous (El Caño, Sito Barriles), its colonial times and attacks by the pirates of the Caribbean (Archaeological Site of Panama Viejo and the Museum of Colonial Religious Art) everything that is its republican history (Museum of History of Panama), the Construction of the Panama Canal (Museum of the Panama Canal) and all those stories that the locals will gladly tell you.
You can visit the Miraflores Locks in the Panamanian Pacific or / and visit the Agua Clara Locks, on the Caribbean side, where you can see the last locks built for the past of the huge Neopanamax ships.
7. Cultural Wealth
This country has a great exchange since the isthmus emerged. From the first tribes, its mixture with the arrival of the Spanish, the mixture between mestizos from other areas of America and a number of Europeans and Asians who arrived in Panama with the Construction of the Panama Canal.
All this has given rise to a multicultural and multiracial Panamanian.
Also, there are indigenous tribes that migrated to Panama and have made this country theirs, such as the Emberás and the Gunas.
You can take a tour to get to know an Emberá community, go to Azuero, the cradle of Panamanian folklore and learn how the Panamanian skirt is made, one of the most beautiful and luxurious typical costumes in the world or even, know how the cutarras are made, footwear of the Panamanian peasant, where the mold is the feet of the person who buys it, literally made to measure.
You can also take a tour to Mi Pueblito, where you will see an example of internal customs, gunas and Afro-descendants in Panama.
8. Cosmopolitan City
The city has large contemporary buildings, such as the famous screw (Revolution Tower), international hotel chains, restaurants with great chefs, one of the most modern transport in America, a large financial center, bars, nightclubs.
There is also the Biomuseo, the work of the renowned architect Frank Gehry, his first work in Latin America.
It is very dynamic and contemporary, where you can buy fashionable items.
It is considered the Manhattan of Latin America or by others, such as the Latin Dubai.
If you want a party a little different, you can tour a chiva parrandera, they are adapted buses, where, inside, they are a nightclub. You must rent one, it only works for private groups.
There is a wide variety of Shopping Malls and Shopping Centers for all pleasures and budgets, from department stores to internationally renowned brand boutiques.
Panama has become a shopping country in Latin America for a few decades, where thousands of people visit the country just to make their end-of-year purchases.
In addition, the Black Friday offers have been adopted, being the same in September (date indicated by the Panamanian government) and in November (coinciding with the USA), the latter is not the official date of the country, but many businesses also have offers for that date.
10. Everything is near
By this I mean that, an hour and even less, from Panama City.
you can go shopping, go to a beach, a mountain, go on a safari in the waters of the Panama Canal, visit the Panama Canal, get to know an indigenous culture, see archaeological ruins and you can even go to Colón, the Panamanian Caribbean, near the capital.
11. It´s a Save Country
If you want to visit Panama, do not worry, it is one of the safest countries in Latin America, of course there are always cases, so you have to be careful.
However, feel free to be on the streets during the day with your camera, especially in tourist places.
12. You can sleep in a volcano
One of the reasons to visit Panama is definitely that it has one of the few inhabited volcanoes in the world, El Valle de Antón, just 2 hours from the Capital.
It is a volcano considered dead by many, but others say it could be alive.
In the crater there is everything, schools, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, hotels and of course houses, it is also a place with many activities.
You can climb one of its mountains (like La India Dormida), go to one of its rivers (Las Mozas Waterfalls), get to know the Butterfly Haven, the Square Trees, the golden frog, go to its Hot Springs, see one of The Petroglyphs, give a horse or bicycle ride or just a walk.
13. Its People
The Panamanian, is cheerful and very hospitable, make friends with one of them and they will invite you to eat at their house, they will host you and show you the country.
14. By connection
The Hub of the Americas at the Tocumen International Airport, connects the different countries of America and even connects them with other countries in the Old World.
Reason why, if you have a stopover in Panama, you can take a couple of days to visit and get to know some of the places in this beautiful country. I recommend going to Casco Antiguo, a beautiful place, restored, full of history, restaurants, museums, churches and more.
15. The Weather
One of the reasons to visit Panama is undoubtedly its climate, tropical, with a rainy season and a dry season, however, the country is not hit by hurricanes.
Even during the rainy season, there are many sunny days, so you can do all kinds of activities throughout the year.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Panama, these are just some of them, are you going on your next vacation to Panama?
Where to stay in Panama City?
There are hotels for all budgets, from hostels to 5 stars:
- Central Hotel Panama: hotel located in Casco Antiguo, it was the first hotel in Panama, built during the construction of the Canal by the French.
- Nomada Container Hotel Panama City: different hotel, made with containers.
- Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Panama Punta Pacifica
- Coral Suites Hotel
- Riu Plaza Panama
- Hilton Panama
- Eden´s Garden Hostel.
Where to eat in Panama City?
There are countless places to eat, from small street locals to large restaurants.
- El trapiche: Panamanian food
- Restaurante Beirut: Lebanese food
- Antiguo Bacaro: Italian
- Hacienda Real: barbecue
- Athens / Panos: Greek
- Fonda Lo Que Hay Panamanian
- Marea: seafood
- Mi Ranchito: Panamanian / seafood
- El Mercado del Mariscos (The Seafood Market): there are several restaurants.