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Most Interesting Facts about Panama

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Panama, or the Republica de Panama, is a beautiful country of tropical rainforests, small villages, sandy white beaches and the most cosmopolitan international city in Central America. There’s so much to this culturally rich, fun, and diverse country that you will surely not get enough of it in just your first visit. Want to know more about this country? Here are some of the most interesting facts about Panama.

1. The sun rises and sets over two different oceans! Panama contains the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic…from the same spot! At the country’s narrowest point, only 80 kilometres separates the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean.

2. Panama City, the nation’s capital and largest city, is the only capital city in the world that has a rain forest within its city limits.

3. It’s home to the oldest operating railroad. A total of 12,000 lives were lost in the construction of the Panama Railroad, which is the oldest continually operating railroad ever in the world. It is still fully functional as it transports passengers between Panama City and Colon.

4. The “Panama Papers” the famous leak in 2016 of 11.5 million documents needed 400 journalists to sort through them. It revealed that the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca set up 214,000 shell companies that facilitated all manner of money laundering relating to money from drug dealing, human trafficking, terrorism and all sorts of different criminal activity.

5. The famous Panama Canal was finished in 1914 after ten years of construction and required the work of 75,000 workers. It was a huge deal to finally be able to cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean in a tiny fraction of the time that it would take to go around South America. This canal serves more than 144 of the trade routes in the world.

Panama Canal
Source: JOC.com

6. Panama was the very first Latin American country to adopt the U.S. dollar as its official currency. While the U.S. Dollar is the official currency, the national currency is the Balboa.

7. It has two independence days. First one was from Spain in 1821 and the second took place 82 years later, celebrating Panama’s independence from Colombia in 1903.

8. Lastly, Panama City, the nation’s capital and largest city, is the only capital city in the world that has a rainforest within its city limits.

Panama City rainforest
Source: Rough Guides

How to reach?

International flights land at Tocumen International Airport. It lies 20 miles from Panama City. The other one is David airport. There are no direct flights and all the flights that fly from major Indian cities have a stop over and the journey time ranges from 20-25 hours depending on the airlines. The airlines that fly to / from Panama from India are: Emirates, United airlines, Lufthansa and Air Canada.


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Author’s Recommendations:

The Canal: One of the most well-known attractions in Panama is the Panama Canal. This 48-mile waterway was the first to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in 1914. Observe the ships passing through at the Miraflores Locks and Visitors Centre. Make sure to visit Pedro Miguel Lock gateway, which is the highest point of the canal, and Gaillard Cut (Culebra Cut), the deepest and most challenging to build part of the waterway.

The Canal
Source: Britannica

San Blas Islands: If you are looking for a beachy trip with white sands and picturesque view, then this is the place to be. Since the dawn of time, the islands have been inhabited by the Kuna Indians. Here, you will discover traditional Indian crafts, hear captivating legends, and familiarize yourself with Indian music and dances. Postcard perfect islands with palm trees and crystal-clear water gently lapping the white-sand beaches is what this area is all about.

San Blas Islands:
Source: Rough Guides

Boquete: This small town in Panama is nestled in the valley of the Caldera River, surrounded by mountains on three sides. Boquete is a starting point of a fascinating 7-hour journey to the Baru volcano, which is the highest summit of the country. At its top, you will be amazed by the magnificent view of two oceans, the Pacific and Atlantic. Besides this, it also has a variety of good restaurants, as well as a mix of quality hotels and luxury inns. It’s also one of Panama’s most important coffee-growing areas, and known as a hot spot for nature and wildlife.

Source: Journey Era
Source: Desk to Glory

Bocas del Toro: The Bocas del Toro Archipelago is a cluster of islands, islets, and cays between Almirante Bay and Chiriqui Lagoon in the Caribbean Sea. It is a magical wonderland of wild jungle, national parks, and biodiverse habitats for a plethora of birds and marine turtle. Fans of scuba diving and sea fishing flock to the islands all year round to see some of the best coral reefs on the planet much loved for unique underwater gardens. The reefs are home for stingrays, lobsters, crabs, and countless tropical fish species.

Bocas del Toro
Source: Hola People

Pearl islands: The Pearl Islands are an archipelago of about 250 little islands in the Gulf of Panama on the Pacific Ocean. Some of the most beautiful islands in the world, they’re characterized by forested islands and pearl-white sandy beaches. A multitude of resorts and hotels are available on the island for all budgets offering various water activities as well.

Pearl islands
Source: larrytravels.typepad.com11
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