Archive for February 23rd, 2010

Panama for Everyone

Panama shines as it is unfettered by crowds of tourists. Backpackers to Central America usually go to Guatemala and Costa Rica but these areas are tourist-soaked. Panama is currently a secret that the traveling world has not discovered yet. Overdevelopment that is seen on the ‘gringo trail’ that swings south to the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro also plagues Costa Rican beach towns. Refreshingly this overdevelopment is absent in Panama. Panama is off the beaten path for now but you might want to visit soon as it won’t stay that way for long.

Until tourism explodes in Panama it remains a destination for a traveler on a budget. With no shortage of rain forests, mountains and beaches you have endless opportunities to explore. Your entire trip could be occupied at the Archipielago de las Perlas with its pristine waters and endless beaches on islands and islets. Parque Nacional Volcan Baru is the location of Panama’s only volcano and offers many hiking opportunities. The interior of Panama offers a bonanza of colonial towns, handicrafts and friendly people. The Kuna are an independent, indigenous group of Panama and live in the Comarca de Kuna Yala. The Darien Province is one of America’s last true frontiers.

Panama is only around fifty miles wide but it is chocked full of world class entertainment. Things to experience in Panama include tropical rainforests, Caribbean style beaches, the Panama Canal, diving, sports fishing and diving.

It these days travel can be an unsafe activity. You will be relieved to know that Panama has the highest rating for tourist safety from the Pinkerton Intelligence Agency. English is Panama’s second language and this makes it a great place for Americans to vacation. Panama uses American currency and is a short plane ride away. You will feel at home on your trip to Panama without having to worry about currency exchange issues. Panama’s water is safe to drink from the tap which is rare in a Latin American country.

Panama has some of the world’s most bio-diverse rainforests. There are five million acres of rainforests in Panama. There are more than 944 bird species that you may see. Seeing these sites are more convenient as they are easily accessible. Panama is a tropical country, but the temperatures can be dramatically different. There are mountains and low lands. The raining season for Panama is usually between April and December but can vary from between seven to nine months. Rainfall determines the different climatic regions with some regions receiving less than 1.3 meters of rain per year while others receive more than 3 meters. Rainfall in Panama is generally heaver on the Caribbean side of the country than on the Pacific side. Panama is outside the hurricane track but can experience thunderstorms.

If you are a coffee lover don’t miss out on a coffee tasting experience. Panama has some of the best coffee in the world and has always produced coffee. Anything you wish to do you can find in Panama from coffee to wine and from hiking to whitewater rafting. Panama is a great vacation destination for everyone.