Most of us know Panama thanks to the Panama Canal, through which huge ocean-going ships pass. Not many tourists can boast that they have visited this small but amazing Central American country. Spanish medieval fortresses are still located along the Panamanian coast, probably awaiting the arrival of the ships of the pirates Henry Morgan and Francis Drake. Local white sandy beaches are washed by clear and very warm water.
Geography of Panama
Panama is located in Central America, on the isthmus connecting North and South America. Panama borders Costa Rica to the west and Colombia to the southeast. In the north, the country is washed by the Caribbean Sea, and in the south by the Pacific Ocean. Total area – 75,517 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 555 km.
Most of the territory of Panama is occupied by highlands and mountain ranges, only not very wide plains stretch along the coast. The highest local peak is the Baru volcano, whose height reaches 3,375 meters. Note that Baru is still called a volcano, although it has not been active for several millennia.
According to simplyyellowpages.com, Panama City is the capital of the state of Panama. More than 1.2 million people now live in this city.
Panama has one official language – Spanish.
About 80% of the population are Catholics, and 15% are Protestants.
State structure of Panama
According to diseaseslearning.com, Panama is a presidential republic. Its head is the President, who also acts as head of government (he is elected for 5 years).
The unicameral local parliament is called the National Assembly and consists of 71 deputies.
The main political parties are the Democratic Revolutionary Party, the Panamanian Party and the Democratic Change Party.
Administratively, the country is divided into 9 provinces and three autonomous regions.
Climate and weather
The climate is tropical, the average annual air temperature during the day is + 32C, and in the evening – + 21C. The rainy season lasts from October to November. The best time to visit Panama is from December to March.
The seas and oceans of Panama
In the north, this state is washed by the Caribbean Sea, and in the south – by the Pacific Ocean. The total length of the coastline is 2,490 km. The average annual sea temperature near the coast in January-March is +28C, and in July-September – +29C.
Rivers and lakes
There are about 300 rivers in Panama, some of them flow into the Pacific Ocean, and the other part into the Caribbean Sea. Only one Panamanian river is navigable, the Río Tuira.
Culture of Panama
Panama is located in Central America where many cultures intersect. Ethnic diversity is displayed in local pottery, ceremonial masks, architecture, cuisine and festivals.
Throughout the country, festivals and holidays are held throughout the year. At the end of February, Panama City hosts the world-famous Panama Carnival. This is a very colorful holiday when local women wear traditional dresses and adorn themselves with gold jewelry.
In the north of the country, in the province of Colon, tourists can observe the cultural traditions of people from Africa. So, Congo drums are very popular among the inhabitants of this province.
The main food products are beans, rice, meat. Fish and seafood dishes are excellent on the coast and islands. Very often, mango and coconut are added to local dishes.
Tourists are recommended to try “Sancocho” (chicken stew with vegetables), “Empanadas” (pancakes with meat or cheese), “Carimanola” (small flatbread with meat and boiled eggs), “Tamales” (scones with corn and meat in banana leaves ), “Gallo pinto” (rice and beans with pork), “Ceviche” (sliced raw fish or shrimp marinated in lime juice and mixed with tomatoes, cilantro and onions).
The traditional alcoholic drink is “seco” (a liqueur made from sugar cane).
Sights of Panama
Tourists are advised to visit the city of Panama Viejo, destroyed by pirates, where the ruins of Spanish buildings built at the beginning of the 16th century have survived to this day. But many of the ruins of this city have been preserved in very good condition, and therefore they can hardly be considered as such. These are, first of all, the monastery of Santo Domingo, the church of San Jose and the Royal Bridge.
Be sure to check out the Panama Canal, which has so many different political events associated with it. There you will definitely see some big ocean vessel. By the way, more than 12,000 large ocean-going ships pass through the locks of the Panama Canal every year.
Panamanian reserves and parks are popular with tourists, and there are a lot of them in this country. The most famous of them are the Soberania National Park, located about 40 km from Panama City, as well as the Metropolitano, Portobelo, Volcan Baru, Sarigua and Darien National Parks. Don’t forget to visit the marine park on the island of Bastimientos as well.
Cities and resorts
The largest cities are David, Colon, Burica, Boqueron, Atalaya, Almirante, Bocas del Toro, Ola, Parita, Portobelo and, of course, Panama City.
The sea coast of Panama is very large, and if you take into account the hundreds of islands, you can only imagine how many beaches there are in this country. Most tourists recognize that the best Panamanian beaches are not on the Pacific coast, but on the Caribbean coast. Moreover, the beaches on the islands are considered the best.
The high season for a beach holiday in Panama falls on December-April. During these months, hotels raise prices for accommodation.
As a rule, tourists who come to this country first visit Panama City. Then they travel to the Panama Canal, and only then they go to relax on the beaches.
If you are in Panama City and you want to swim in the Pacific Ocean, then you need to go to Taboga Island (it is not far from the capital). The white sandy beaches of Taboga are very good, even by Panamanian standards. Not far from the capital there are several other good beaches – Farallon and Santa Clare.
If you want to find the most perfect Panamanian beach, then visit the San Blas Islands. Near these islands are the most beautiful coral reefs.
Another place where excellent Panamanian beaches are located is the Bocas del Toro archipelago on the northwestern coast of the country. There we advise you to pay attention to the island of Colon. In the national marine park on the island of Bastimientos, there are two more popular local beaches – Red Frog Beach and Playa Larg.
We also recommend tourists to visit the island of Coiba, which is considered one of the best places in Panama for scuba diving. But the beaches are great too.
As souvenirs, they buy rugs (they are made by the Indians), baskets woven from palm leaves, wood products, jewelry, clothes, panama hats.
Ukrainians need a visa to travel to Panama.
Panama has two official currencies – the balboa (its international designation is PAB) and the US dollar. Most hotels and restaurants accept all major credit cards.
Foreign and local currency can be imported without restrictions, but the amount in the amount of $10,000 must be included in the declaration. It is forbidden to import products of animal origin, fruits and vegetables.
You can not export birds, animals, as well as antiquities and art.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Honorary Consulate of Panama in Ukraine:
Address: Kiev, st. Zolotovorotskaya, 2/2A T:
mail: [email protected]
Embassy of Ukraine in Mexico and concurrently in Panama:
Paseo de la Reforma 730
Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec
Delegacion Miguel Hidalgo
CP 11000, Mexico, DF
Email. Email: [email protected]
103 – Medical emergency
104 – Police
911 – All emergencies
Behind Kyiv for 8 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv it is 13:00, then in Panama City it is only 05:00 in the morning.
Tipping in most hotels and restaurants is 10% of the bill (often the tip is already included in the bill). In small cafes, tips are not required. Taxi drivers don’t expect tips.
Doctors recommend vaccinating against typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus, malaria and hepatitis A as a preventive measure before traveling to this country.
Most tourists have a rest in Panama without any problems. However, it must be remembered that in Panama City the level of street crime is quite high. Therefore, it is unwise to carry a lot of money with you there and wear jewelry. In Panama City and tourist areas, beware of pickpockets. Travel to outlying provinces only as part of an organized group.