Panama’s location, sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, makes it the perfect destination for the beach-obsessed, who can stretch out on seemingly endless sandy shores. If urban environs hold more appeal, head to the capital to marvel at one of the world’s greatest engineering feats.
As a land bridge between North and South America, Panama is a true crossroads and plays host to a unique blend of cultures. Catholicism is deeply entrenched in local life, with many festivals held in celebration of Catholic saints.
In the middle of Panama lies Panama City, the nation’s dynamic capital and a hub for culture and trade. Admire the red and gold decorations at the Teatro Nacional in Casco Viejo and wander among the ruins of UNESCO-listed Panama Viejo, the original settlement founded by a Spanish conquistador. Relax in the Parque Natural Metropolitano, an urban green space with a beautiful forest and two main walking trails.
Don’t miss your chance to witness the Panama Canal. This impressive structure runs from Panama City to Colón, cutting through the continent. There are three sets of double locks and an artificial lake called Lago Gatun between them.
For stunning beaches, head to the Bocas del Toro islands in the north of the country. Indulge in traditional fried fish on the beach of Boca del Drago and visit the coral reefs in Cayos Zapatillas.
Most international flights arrive at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. From here, hop on a bus downtown or take a coach to other cities across the region. Regular ferries carry passengers from the mainland to surrounding islands. In the eastern part of Darién Province, boat travel in long canoes called “piraguas” is often used to make up for the lack of roads.
Panama enjoys a tropical climate with warm weather year round. If you’re planning plenty of outdoor adventures, consider traveling in the dry season between December and April.
Come to Panama for a tropical vacation in a decidedly friendly and welcoming Central American nation.