Panama is often associated with the tremendous engineering work of the canal which has been operating for more than a century and considered by some to be the eighth wonder of the world. However, it is not just about steel and concrete. Magnificent tropical scenery is abound including some the of the world’s most untouched areas of rainforest. One third of the total land area is set aside as Protected Areas and National Parks, and indigenous peoples have their rights respected to continue living in their traditional lands.
A haven for nature lovers, Panama is home to 800 bird species, 200 mammals, 240 reptiles and more than 10,00 species of plants. It offers excellent birdwatching experiences in the Soberania National Park or Volcan Baru – Panama’s only volcano – and its clean beaches and clear waters provide an unrivalled experience for divers, snorkelers and surfers. Furthermore, the countryside offers ample scope for hiking, cycling or white water rafting.
The country has a rich historical past and oozes charm, traditions and folklore. Explore the “Old Quarter”, the historical center of Panama City, the little town of Portobelo on the Caribbean Sea with the ruins of its fortress and its cultural wealth and the Forts of San Lorenzo and Portobelo which have been designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The little town of Natá de los caballeros preserves a large church that evokes the period of the Spanish domination, and Parita with its little colonial center revives memories of the glorious colonial past where the time seems to have stopped.