From its most universal claim, the Canal, to the surf beaches of Santa Catalina, a route through the natural wonders of the Central American country, Panama.
1. Panama Canal, the great shortcut
There is no more universal claim from Panama than the amazing, magnificent and incredible engineering work that connects two great oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Panama Canal is one of the best shortcuts in the world, stretching 80 kilometers from Panama City, the country’s capital, on the Pacific coast, to Colon, in the Atlantic, across the continental divide. It’s worth seeing this wonder. Two visitor centers offer observation platforms and museums. Also, Boat and kayak excursions are also available. They include short trips through the large floodgates.
2. Panama City, cosmopolitan and colonial
The most cosmopolitan capital of Central America, surprises with a blindingly blue coastline and glittering skyscrapers reminiscent of Miami. Panama City is dynamic and culturally diverse, rustic and sophisticated. In addition to the expansion of the canal, the transformation of this city of almost one million inhabitants is completed with the first metro network in Central America (about to be completed) and the renovation of the historic centre.
Panama City is Latin America in all its splendor: ceviche, casinos and a pile of buildings piled on top of each other, cut out against the horizon. The chaotic traffic does not detract from its charm, the population is authentic and nature is never far away. The memory of what was the city before the Canal remains in the Old Town, a historic district full of old convents and cobblestones. The colonial architecture may remind us of Havana. However, time does not seem to have stood still here: the urban touch and its relaxed atmosphere are surprising.
3. The natural face
You have to escape from the skyscrapers of the capital to see the most authentic (and green) face of Panama, a tropical country with two long coasts. Adventure tourism includes flying over the jungle, swimming with turtles or hiking with sublime views of the cloud forests (binoculars are a must). You can also explore the ruins of Spanish forts on the Caribbean coast, canoe through native territories or indulge in the thrilling wildlife that appears everywhere: gleaming quetzals on the highland trail, howler monkeys, hut monkeys or whales that emerge from the water and turn a ferry trip into a wonderful journey. With 220 species of mammals and 978 species of birds, Panama is addictive to naturalists. Macaws, toucans, sloths, squirrel monkeys….
4. Adventure in a lost world
It is not necessary to reach Darien, the densest forest in the country and one of the places with the greatest biodiversity on the planet, to get off the beaten track. We can also soak up the foam of the waterfalls near the highlands of Santa Fe; visit one of Panama’s seven indigenous groups; experience the fantasy of being a castaway man in Guna Yala. Panama can be as wild as you like. There are plenty of deserted islets, with a relaxed Caribbean atmosphere. For many surfers obsessed with first-class waves, this is paradise. And, underwater begins another world of scuba diving, with whale sharks and multicolored reefs in Bocas del Toro.
5. Bocas del Toro, nature tourism
No wonder this Caribbean archipelago is Panama’s first vacation spot. Topical aside, there is a lot of postcard beach here, an emerald sea and undulating palm trees. But that’s not all: you can pedal to the beach, hum to the rhythm of an improvised calypso on Bastimentos Island and have dinner after dinner in a cabin by the sea. Accommodation ranges from cheap backpacker hostels to stunning jungle cottages to luxury resorts on the outer islands. Surfers can take to the waves, but you can also dive and observe the varied marine fauna, or volunteer. The most urbanized island of the archipelago and the one that houses the provincial capital is Isla Colón.
To conclude, more destinations in America are available. Furthermore, we highly advise you to read the article about Peru.