Welcome to Panama
Meet the wonders that Panama, a country located southeast end of Central America offers. It bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the south by the Pacific Ocean, providing the opportunity for the realization of the enigmatic work of the Panama Canal, which play a fundamental role to the development of the country and also allowing connect with the world. Panama currently has a population of over 3.5 million habitants comprised of several ethnic groups who contribute an exquisite cultural richness.
Panama is known to the world by having a privileged geographical position this being an important factor in the various sectors that have managed to potentiate making facilities such as the Hub of the Americas that allows the development of connectivity and a great tourist demand.
A variety of destinations and attractions that you can explore in a few hours, given the proximity of the sea, mountains, an extravagance of flora and fauna as well as the contrast of an Old Town that preserves the history and great architecture with modern designs world class
Demographics of Panama
Most of the population is mestizo offspring of indigenous, African and Spanish, although there is a great ethnic diversity.
The population density is remarkable in the coastal region of the Gulf of Panama, on the Azuero Peninsula especially in the metropolitan areas of Panama City and Colon. In recent years it has been given a high degree of urban development and the urban population currently represents 59% of the total population of the country. The fertility rate is among the lowest in Central America, with an average of 2.6 children per woman.
Panama has a tropical climate. The temperatures are relatively high and vary little during the year. In the Pacific, temperatures are usually lower than in the Caribbean.
Panama City: temperatures range between 24 ° C (75.2 ° F) and 35 ° C (95 ° F).
Highlands: temperatures are usually lower, is kept at 23 ° C (73.4 ° F).
Beaches: The weather is hot; the average is 31 ° C (87.8 ° F).
Places to Visit
- Panama Canal: Visit the Miraflores Locks and the Visitor Center
Miraflores Locks offer the opportunity to all visitors to learn the history, operation and to be witness of the ships which pass through the Panama Canal. Similarly you have the opportunity to visit the restaurant area, with a natural landscape along the Canal will give one of the best feelings to enjoy, and a tour of the Museum which has 4 showrooms
The Visitor Center has a large fully equipped theater, three observation terraces, two snack bars, a restaurant with panoramic views, a souvenir shop and a hall for special events.
From Monday to Sunday, including holidays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm
Ticket office from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Exhibition halls, snack bars and souvenir 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm
- Monkey Island
This trip is an exciting journey, fun and intimate with nature of the rainforest that will delight all. Boat trip in the waters of the Panama Canal through the pristine jungle to an island where you can see four different types of monkeys playing in the trees. Often they get on the boat itself. You can also see other animals such as crocodiles and exotic birds. A typical Panamanian lunch is included. Take the tour with Jungle Land Explorer or Ancon Expeditions.
- Excursion to the Embera Tribe:
Panama is one of the few countries that offer this great experience to share, learn and enjoy the culture of the indigenous groups.
Upon reaching the Community will have the chance to dress, dancing, taste, buy, photograph and take a tour on the environment and meet a world of history and culture told by its inhabitants.
Puerto Vigia output: Canoe trip on the Rio Chagres know the flora and fauna surrounding the tradition and custom in a historic cultural environment.
Departure time from the port: 8:15 a.m.
Lunch in the Community: typical or traditional ethnic dishes, which consists of fried bananas with fresh fish of the day, better known as tilapia.
- Tour of the ruins of Panama La Vieja
Panama la Vieja or Old Panama is the name given to the archaeological site where the city was located in Panama since its founding in 1519 until 1671. The city was moved to a new location, about 2 km to the southwest; it was destroyed after an attack of the English pirate Henry Morgan, in the early 1670s. The original city was considered as the first European settlement on the Pacific coast of America, are today several ruins that form this archaeological site.
From here left the expeditions that conquered the Inca Empire of Peru in 1532 and went scale of one of the most important trade routes in the Americas.
-Hours Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
-Visit the Artisan Center Panama Viejo with more than 51 seats.
-Hours Hours: 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm
- Old Town
The Old Town is the name given to the site where it was moved and refounded in 1673 the city of Panama. It is located on a small peninsula, surrounded by a mantle of rocky reefs, within the current village of San Felipe. In 1997, the Old Town of Panama is included in the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO; It is not just history, it is a place to taste different types of food and drinks in outdoor cafes, plus enjoy music and variety shows featuring restaurants and bars.
The old town has four main squares: Plaza of the Independence, the first and only place for several centuries; Plaza Bolivar and Plaza Herrera, built on vacant land left over from the fire that ravaged the city; and the Plaza de France, built in 1922 to honor the French people, pioneers in the construction of the Panama Canal
Beside to the cathedral, among the religious monuments that remain today they are the church of San José, famous for its golden altar; San Francisco church, whose tower stands opposite the Plaza Bolivar the church of San Felipe de Neri Church of Merced. The facade of the latter was moved stone by stone from the old church located in Panama Viejo. Also include the ruins of the Convent of the Jesuits and the Convent of Santo Domingo.
Other notable monuments are the National Theatre, the Palace of Government and Justice, the Office of the President, the Bolivar Palace, the National Institute of Culture, City Hall and the Municipal House, all on the record.
This extraordinary museum is a living vehicle that tells an equally remarkable story: the emergence of the Isthmus of Panama and how it changed the world. Designed by the great architect Frank Gehry, the Biomuseo is a powerful combination of science, art and design. The work of Frank Gehry, more than any other current architect, is very similar to that of a contemporary artist and sculptor. In the Biomuseo we can see many references to local culture and biodiversity (eg colors) and the canal architecture (ceilings and architectural forms).
The building has a remarkable vitality, color and brightness, and seems to throw her gaze to the landscape of the Pacific, and finally merge in it. It is located at the beginning of the Amador Causeway and at the entrance of the Canal, which seems to float along with the other boats, like a ship full color.
The central display of the Biomuseo is titled Panama: Bridge of Life. In its first phase the Biomuseo have 5 galleries.
The ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time of the museum.
Friday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Panamanians and Permanent Residents
Adults: $ 12.00
Seniors, students and children under 18: $ 6.00
Adults: $ 22.00
Students and under 18: $ 11.00
- Amador Causeway
It is a road that connects the mainland city of Panama with four Pacific islands, which form a small archipelago. The islands of this archipelago are Naos, Perico, Culebra and Flamenco. The route begins in an area near the southern entrance of the Panama Canal, in areas of Ancon area.
It has numerous recreational facilities, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and a convention center and a paved sidewalk, widely used for walking, jogging or biking. It offers excellent views towards the entrance of the Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas, as well as to the city and Panama Bay views. In the Naos and Culebra are located multiple installations of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), including the Marine Exhibition Center in Punta Culebra and the Museum of Biodiversity,
You can also make purchases at the duty free shop.
- Metropolitan Natural Park
It is located in Ancon, Panama District, between Ave. Ascanio Villalaz, the Way of Friendship, specifically on the end of Juan Pablo II Avenue.
The Metropolitan Nature Park Panama is a reserve of biodiversity 232 hectares, which seeks to maintain a balance between the natural ecosystem of the region and the human habitat that surrounds it.
In the park you will find several trails that allow you to spot varieties of birds and native fauna. Do not miss the viewpoint of Cerro Cedro, from its height of 150 meters you’ll get to see the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal, the Old Town of the city, the Amador Causeway and even the island of Taboga.
It is the only protected area in Central America that is within the boundaries of a metropolitan city.
- Taboga Island
Taboga is a paradisiacal island facing the Pacific coast of Panama City, just 20 kilometers past the entrance of the Canal. Its name comes from the Indian word “aboga”, meaning abundant fish. His church, San Pedro de Taboga, is the second oldest church in the American Pacific.
It possesses beautiful beaches of white sand that you will love. In addition, and is crowned by hills up to 300 meters above sea level, ideal for hiking. The most popular beach is La Restinga located a few steps from the dock.
How to get to Taboga Island
To get to Taboga Island can take the boats that leave from the dock behind Marine Exhibition Center in the Amador Causeway. The boat Calypso charges 10 USD for the return trip. The boat has departures from Panama City at 8:30 am and 3:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30 am on Tuesday and Thursday, and 8:30 am, 10:30 am and 4:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Departures from Taboga Island are at 9:30 am and 4:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 9:00 am, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Panama City Sightseeing
Now you can visit the main attractions of the city of Panama aboard double-decker buses outdoors the same as in London. The company City Sightseeing Panama, member of the franchise City Sightseeing Worldwide offers the new service known as “Hop On Hop Off”. The idea of this service is that the passenger chooses where he wants to raise the bus and where you will get off, because every so be another bus going to that site and may climb again.
With exceptional panoramic views, visitors can tour the sights while listening to information relevant to the tour in six languages coordinated by a GPS system. This information is pre-recorded so that all passengers listen to the same information even in different languages. These are: Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and German.
Currently offer two routes:
Panama Viejo route: part of The Hotel Panama at 8:00 am and the next stop is the RIU hotel, and then goes straight to Panama Viejo. Then passes through the Sheraton hotel, Multiplaza and Multicentro before returning to the hotel El Panama. His last departure is at 2:15 pm, with a frequency of 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Canal route: Multicentro part at 9:00 a.m and then stop at the Urraca Park. There continues to Mi Pueblito, Albrook Mall, City of Knowledge and the Miraflores Locks. Continues to Flamenco Island on the Amador Causeway, the Old Town and Perico Island before returning to Multicentro. The frequency on this route is hourly.
Prices for tours are (one payment covers the two routes)
24 hours 48 hours 72 hours
Adults $29.00 $39.00 $50.00
Children (3 – 12) $15.00 $15.00 $15.00
The tickets can be purchased at any of the stops and that will deliver a brochure with a map showing the route and headphones to hear the information, especially on the day touring in one of the six languages (Spanish, French, English, Italian, Portuguese and German)
- Shopping in Panama
Panama City is known as “a paradise to go shopping.” The city has large shopping areas as well as modern shopping centers:
Multiplaza Pacific Mall
Westland Mall Shopping Center
Multicentro is the largest shopping center in Central America and has a cinema, casino, games room, internet booths, library and shops. The mall is connected to the Hotel Radisson Summit.
Multiplaza Pacific Mall is a large indoor mall with air conditioning, located in the district of Punta Pacifica in Panama City.
The Albrook Mall is a large indoor mall with air conditioning and has a movie theater, food court and juegos.Albrook room is located in the city of Panama near the Albrook Airport and the Gran Terminal de Transporte.
Central Avenue is a pedestrian mall in the city of Panama, with an area of six blocks long, and lots of shops and restaurants.
Traditional Panamanian such as mola, handmade by Guna indigenous, can be purchased at craft markets, such as Old Panama or Balboa crafts market.
Most shops and markets open from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday.
- Bocas del Toro: (meaning “Mouth of the Bull”) is a province of Panamá. Its area is 4,643.9 square kilometers, comprising the mainland and nine main islands. The province consists of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Bahía Almirante (Almirante Bay), Laguna de Chiriquí (Chiriquí Lagoon), and adjacent mainland. The capital is the city of Bocas del Toro (or Bocas Town) on Isla Colón (Colón Island). Other major cities or towns include Almirante and Changuinola. The province has a population of 125,461 as of 2010. The province contains two national parks, Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park and La Amistad International Park. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute operates a research station on Colón Island just northwest of Bocas Town. There are many banana plantations in Bocas del Toro, often called the oro verde, or green gold of Central America.
- Coclé: is one of Panamá’s central provinces, and is located on Panamá’s southern coast, near the provinces of Panamá, Colón, Veraguas and Herrera. Coclé is primarily an agricultural area, but is fast developing into a popular tourist destination. The capital of Coclé is Penonome. Coclé boasts a medley of landscapes from abandoned coastlines to towering cloud forests, with vast agricultural and pastoral land in between. Edging along the Pacific Ocean, the province is home to beaches attracting weekend warriors from Panamá City. Edging along the highlands, the gorgeously set mountain town of El Valle is a popular retreat from the big city. The bustling regional capital of Penonomé proves the best place to pick up an authentic Panamá hat. Coclé has a population of 233,708 as of 2010.
- Colón: is located on Panamá’s northern coast on the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic) coast of Panamá. The city has the same name and lies near the Caribbean Sea entrance to the Panamá Canal. Colón has traditionally been known as Panamá’s second city. During the Spanish Colonial period, the Colón region of Panamá was the center of trade, commerce, and overall economy for the Spanish. In Colón is located the Colón Free Trade Zone which is a large entity near the Atlantic entrance to the Panamá Canal, dedicated to re-exporting a wide variety of merchandise to Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a free port, the largest such port in the Americas and second largest in the world. The province has a population of 241,928 as of 2010.
- Chiriquí: is located on the western coast of Panamá. Its capital is the city of David which is Panamá’s second city and a crossroads for travelers heading through Central America. It has a total population of 416,873 as of the year 2010. Chiriquí’s economy is mainly based on agricultural and livestock production. Chiriquí contains the country’s most varied scenery. Landscapes that evoke different continents, from alpine peaks to palm-lined beaches, lie mere hours apart. On the coast, the pristine Golfo de Chiriquí boasts powdery, white-sand beaches and a rich diversity of marine life. Although the mist-covered mountains near Boquete have been colonized by waves of North American and European retirees, the town is a good base for adventures like white-water rafting and hiking the flanks of Panamá’s highest point, Volcán Barú (3478m).
- Darién: is a province in Panamá whose capital city is La Palma. It is located at the eastern end of the country and bordered to the north by the province of Panamá and the region of Kuna Yala. To the south, it is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and Colombia. To the east, it borders Colombia; to the west, it borders the Pacific Ocean and the province of Panamá. The area surrounding the border with Colombia is known as the Darién Gap, a large swath of undeveloped swampland and forest. With no roads, it is the missing link of the Pan-American Highway. Darien has a population of 48,378 as of 2010. In Darien is located the Darien National Park with one of the world’s richest biomes in 5760-sq-km, where the primeval meets the present with scenery nearly unaltered from one million years ago. Even today in the Darién, the Emberá and Wounaan people maintain many of their traditional practices and retain generations-old knowledge of the rainforest.
- Herrera: is a province in Panama. Named after General Tomás Herrera, the province was founded on January 18, 1915 after a division of the Los Santos province. The capital city of Herrera is Chitré, which is located near the province’s coastline. Herrera is bordered on the north by the provinces Veraguas and Coclé, on the south by Los Santos, on the east by Golfo de Parita and Los Santos, and on the west by Veraguas. As of 2010, Herrera population is 111,647. One of Panama’s oldest settlements, the hot city of Chitré is hardly geared toward travelers, but it’s an agreeable stop on the way to the peninsula. Colonial records indicate that there was a village here as early as 1558. For most travelers, Chitré serves as a springboard for nearby attractions like the ceramic shops in La Arena, the Humboldt Ecological Station at Playa El Aguillito, historic Parita, the seco (alcoholic drink made from sugarcane) factory at Pesé and the wildlife refuge at Cenegón del Mangle.
- Los Santos: is a province of Panama, reaching from the La Villa river in the North to the Pacific Ocean in the south and east. It is part of Azuero Peninsula, bounded by province of Herrera to the north and northeast and Mariato disctrict in Veraguas to the West. The City of Las Tablas is the capital and most populous city. Los Santos has a population of about 89,592 inhabitants. In this region are the oldest human settlements in the Isthmus of Panama. It was part of the cultural region of Gran Cocle where one of the first ceramic styles of the Americas developed. The Los Santos calendar does not skimp on celebrations; on the contrary, its busy itinerary of local and national holidays makes it one entertaining destination. Aside from its festivals, Los Santos boasts colonial structures dating back to the early days of the Spanish settlers. It is also home to a noteworthy museum dedicated to Panamanian independence as well as one of the country’s most magnificent churches.