Panama is a unique country with a rich history. There are many misconceptions about Panama. For instance, many people believe that it has a security problem but in reality Panama is the safest country in Central America. This section is full of general information and facts about Panama that every visitor should know.
Ever since Spanish conquistador Vasco Nuñez de Balboa ‘discovered’ the Pacific Ocean visitors have been making discoveries about this very special country.
For many the discovery could be the casinos, the Caribbean, the Pacific Ocean, the mountains, the girls, the jungle, the fishing, the rhythm, or the Panama Canal.
The Panama Canal is number one on the sightseer’s list. The world knows no engineering work of comparable magnitude, designed at the turn of the last century, operating since 1914, that copes so well with the chesty demands of 21st century shipping.
In this brief introduction, a few statistics are in order: Panama’s population nears 3 million people of diverse origins… descendants of Spanish settlers, of the black Cimarrones, Indians of coast and mountains, West Indians who came to dig the Canal, North Americans, émigré families of European stock, Chinese and East Indians, and a large number of people (about 72%) whose origins have been serenely blended into what, in Spanish, is called Mestizo.
The country offers scenery as varied as its people…majestic rain forests, sweeping hill country and valleys formed by slumbering volcanoes, peaks towering to 11,000 feet, and hundreds of islands. And beaches, from select island resorts in the Perlas Islands through the powdery sands of Isla Grande on the Caribbean’s Costa Arriba to the reefs of San Blas and the infinite, empty strands of the Azuero Peninsula.
Panama is between 50 and 120 miles wide and is bounded by 477 miles of Caribbean coastline and 767 miles of Pacific. The sea-level temperature is around 80-85 degrees F. (27 degrees C.) most of the year, cooling down freshly in the evenings. We talk of ‘dry season’ approximately between the months of December to April but although there is a higher rainfall during the other months of the year, it is a rare day that the sun fails to show.