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Honeymoon in Panama

The Panama Canal

Since its emergence from the sea for the purpose of uniting the Americas, Panama defined its destiny as the crossway of roads. Its privileged geographical position determined the construction of the Panama Canal, the greatest work of engineering carried out in the twentieth century, concluded in 1914. Since then, the Panama Canal has functioned without interruption, allowing the transit of thousands of ships coming from all over the world.

Since the Panama Canal started operations, the persons visiting our country from all over the world have expressed their wish to see how it functions, this monumental water stairway. Today, it continues to be the destiny most visited by tourists since, apart from being a work of art, it is also surrounded by a diversity of interesting places to visit, becoming a multi-destiny.

Panama and its romance with the sea

Thousands of islands and beaches surround the territory vanishing the frontier between land and water. The Panama Caribbean Coast, from Kuna Yala to Bocas del Toro offer a diversity of ambiences with beautiful beaches, coral reefs and palm fronds while in the Pacific Coast great extensions of sand conform magnificent beaches with perfect waves for surfing and marine sights of indescribable beauty. Part of the 1,500 Panamanian islands form great archipelagos such as San Blas, Las Perlas and Coiba. The transparent waters, the refreshing sea breezes and the sun rays are some of the caresses offered by the tropics in this land that lays in the arms of the seas.

Mountains

Panama offers to the traveller the amazing, the vibrant colors and the heat of the tropic, but Panama also has mountainous regions of fresh climate and relaxing atmospheres that invite you to rest and contemplate the beauty. Sites like the highlands of Chiriquí, in the skirts of Volán Barú, Santa Fe in the mountainous region of Veraguas, or El Valle and Campana which are very close to the capital city of Panama. These sites offer the visitor their beautiful mountain landscapes, where nature acquires different characteristics. In these sites the days are sunny but fresh and the low temperature nights invite you to rest.

Panama City

The city of Panama is located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, but its soul belongs to the Caribbean. It is amazing, mighty and modern, it offers the traveller a variety of options that go from shopping in modern Malls to strolls through colonial and archaeological sites. Energetic during the intense day and nights, the city also offers an alternative that very few large cities can offer such as the possibility of a long walk in the jungle, the visit to an indigenous village, or to contemplate the passage of enormous ships through the Panama Canal while it is enjoying a good dinner in the Miraflores Locks. Soon, the construction of the Biomuseo designed by legendary architect Frank Ghery will be finished and Panama will have even more to offer.

Rich traditions in the interior

In the towns and communities of the interior of Panama the visitor finds the country authentic, one of folkloric traditions and life in contact with the Earth. In different regions from the country, especially in the areas of the central provinces, the manifestations of folklore can be admired. These festivities are a mixture of European, African and indigenous traditions. This legacy and its evolution have produced varied cultural expressions that are displayed in the form of colorful clothes, beautiful crafts, and an extensive repertoire of musical styles and traditional dances such as the elegant tamborito or the voluptuous Congo dance. 

The following offers some important information about Panama:

Capital: Panama City

Limits: Panama´s limits to the north with the Caribbean Sea, to the south with the Pacific Ocean, to the east with the Republic of Colombia and to the west with the Republic of Costa Rica.

Borders: A total distance of 555 km is on borders, with 225 km on the border with Colombia and 330 km on the border with Costa Rica.

Coasts: There are 2,490 km of coastline.

Climate in Panama: Humid tropical climate year round.

Temperatures:

32°C (90°F) in the day

21°C (70°F) at night

Sun and rain all year long and a humidity of about 80%

Official language: Spanish. However, most Panamanians speak very good English.

Geographic distribution: 9 provinces (Bocas del Toro, Coclé, Colón, Chiriquí, Darién, Herrera, Los Santos, Panamá y Veraguas) and 5 indigenous regions (Kuna Yala, Emberá Wounan, Kuna de Madungandí, Kuna de Wargandí and Gnobe Buglé).

Currency: The Balboa; 1 balboa is the exact equivalent to one American Dollar.

Typical clothing (used in traditional celebrations): The Pollera (female) and the Montuno (male).

National Symbol: The flower of the Holy Spirit

Main economic activities: Commerce, banking, finance, tourism, agriculture, fishing and shipping.

Taxes: All shopping includes a 7% tax called the ITBMS. This excludes medicine, food and school supplies.

Tipping: Tipping in restaurants and bars is usually between 10% and 15% depending on the service received. Tips are generally not included in the bill.

Government: Panama enjoys a constitutional democracy.

Religion: There is abundant religious freedom in Panama. The mayority of Panamanians are Roman Catholics. However, due to the vast diversity, there are numerous religions, temples and churches.

Commerce: Generally most shops and commercial operations open between 8 and 9 AM and close around 6 PM in the afternoon. Most open Mondays to Saturdays. Entertainment venues are usually open until later times and most restaurants open on Sundays.

Drivers license: Visitors may drive with international licenses for 90 days during their visit.

Electricity: 110 volts; 60 cycles.

Dress: It is recommended that very light clothing is worn due to the tropical climate. Business in Panama is very formal and most businessmen wear suits but tourists and citizens usually wear very comfortable shorts, short sleeve shirts and similar.

Source: www.visitpanama.com

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