6 Reasons Why You Should Visit Panama At Least Once in Your Lifetime

Playa Blanca, Saboga, Panama © Rowan Heuvel / Unsplash
Playa Blanca, Saboga, Panama © Rowan Heuvel / Unsplash
Photo of Martina Gili
31 August 2017

At the crossroads of two oceans and two continents, Panama is a narrow little country packed with culture, tropical beaches, history, wildlife, and basically all you could wish for if you are looking for an adventurous holiday. Widely unexplored, it offers much more than you’d ever expect. Here are 6 reasons why you should visit Panama at least once in your lifetime.

1. Easily accessible

Panama is considered the bridge of the Americas and is only a 2.5 hour flight away from Miami. Since it is a connecting point for routes continuing to Central and South America, almost all major airlines fly to Tocumen International Airport. Once in Panama, you can easily catch a 45 min internal flight to the Caribbean islands of Bocas del Toro or to the mountains of Boquete, near David.

© Fancy Crave / Unsplash

2. The currency

The main currency in Panama is the US dollar (alongside the symbolic Panamanian balboas that only exist in coin format, with one balboa equating one dollar). That makes it very easy for US tourists to travel to Panama, and for nearly everyone else too, since most of us are familiar enough with the currency and won’t need to pull out our calculator every time we have to pay.

© STIL / Unsplash

3. The Panama Canal

This is no surprise, yet we cannot help but mention it. The Panama Canal is a world-renowned engineering marvel, a 48-mile artificial waterway connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, opening the way between two continents and transforming the face of maritime shipping forever. There are many ways to experience the Panama Canal, from the Miraflores Locks in Panama City, to the partial or total boat tours that cross the Canal all the way to the city of Colon. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Boat transiting the Canal, Panama | © Chalkcroft/ Pixabay

4. The champagne of coffees

As a small coffee producing country, Panama has many advantages that make its coffee so prestigious. The altitude, as well as the perfect balance of sun and humidity and the many microclimates are ideal for the production of a wonderful variety of aromas. The geisha coffee, grown on the mountains of Boquete, is sometimes referred to as the “champagne of coffees”, due to its refined character – and its cost.

© Mark Daynes / Unsplash

5. A hub of biodiversity

Panama is a tropical paradise that hosts some of the most diverse and exotic species of animals and plants of the planet. Due to its geographical position, the country serves as a biological corridor connecting North and South America. Almost entirely covered in rainforest, with mountain forests and mangrove wetlands, it is home to over 10,444 types of plants, 255 mammals species, and 972 indigenous bird species, according to the National Society for the Protection of Nature of Panama.

© Jorge Illich-Gejo / Unsplash

6. Hundreds of islands

What makes Panama a unique destination for all those travellers who love to wander off-the-beaten path is the incredible number of unexplored islands that you will find in the country. The San Blas Archipelago, whose beaches rank amongst the most beautiful in the world, is composed of approximately 100 nameless islands, 113 with names and 30 that are entirely made of coral. In Bocas del Toro you will find nine inhabited islands and around 300 tiny islets. On the Pacific side is the Pearl Archipelago, facing Panama City, and smaller famous islands in natural parks like the Island of Coiba.

Guna Yala, Panama | © Pablo Garcia Saldeña / Unsplash

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