If you’ve previously overlooked Panama as a vacation destination, you could be missing out on the best trip of your life. Whether you’re searching for an adventurous, relaxing, or romantic getaway, Panama has numerous experiences and attractions to suit any travel style. From its stunning landscapes to its vibrant culture, there’s no shortage of reasons to travel to Panama for your next vacation.
Panama’s incredible food demonstrates the country’s multicultural nature. Panama’s cuisine blends African, Spanish, and Native Panamanian cooking styles to create unique and delicious dishes. Panamas most popular dish, perhaps, is its delicious ceviche—seafood marinated in lime juice and served cold—which many say rivals that of Peru.
Blending African, Native Panamanian, and Spanish influences, a visit to Panama promises a cultural experience unlike any other. Currently, six indigenous tribes remain in Panama—they comprise roughly five to eight percent of the country’s total population. These tribes include the Ngöbe-Buglé, Emberá-Wounaan, Naso (Teribe), Guna (Kuna), Bri Bri, and Bokata. Some of these indigenous groups have begun experimenting with the tourism industry, especially the Guna tribe. They have welcomed tourists to their archipelago along the eastern Caribbean coast for decades. In addition to the country’s indigenous influence, another important aspect of its culture is music. Traditional Panamanian music combines cumbia, salsa, congo, jazz, calypso, reggae, tamborito, and other diverse styles to create a unique and vibrant sound.
Conveniently located between North and South America, most major airlines offer direct flights to Panama. Several non-stop flights options are available from Europe, South America, and from many large U.S. cities such as Atlanta, Miami, and Houston. If you were to travel out of these American airports, the trip would take less than four and a half hours to complete. Due to the speed and convenience of flying, many tourists choose to travel to Panama by air. However, you can also reach Panama via bus or boat—although it will typically result in longer travel times.
Easy to get around
Since Panama is a relatively small country (slightly smaller than South Carolina) with good transportation infrastructure, it’s incredibly easy to get around. Rental cars are easily accessible in most large towns and many roads are in good shape which makes for an easy drive. For longer-distance regional travel, small planes and busses provide economically friendly options as well.
Beautiful and diverse nature
Panama is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in Central America. Sandwiched between North and South America, animals from both countries have migrated to Panama’s biodiverse landscape. According to the Lonely Planet, “the country is home to 220 mammal species, 226 species of reptile, 164 amphibian species and 125 animal species found nowhere else in the world.” The country is also home to “978 avian species, which is the largest number in Central America.” However, much of the country remains largely undiscovered. As such, these numbers continue to rise each year as we continue to explore its lush rainforests.
The temperature in Panama remains relatively consistent throughout the year. As such, guests are almost guaranteed nice, hot summer weather during their visit. Even during Panama’s rainy season (between May and December), rain storms start and end quickly. In fact, these storms have some advantages. Due to the increase in precipitation, the country’s diverse vegetation flourishes and becomes even more vibrant. For this reason, locals refer to this period as the “green” season. Another benefit of the country’s climate is that visitors never have to worry about any hurricanes or earthquakes due to the country’s location outside of the Atlantic hurricane belt.
Full of adventure
Panama is the adventure-lovers paradise. Whether it’s above or below the surface, there’s no shortage of adrenaline-inducing activities in Panama. For heart-pumping activities on the water, visitors can scuba dive at one of the many world-class diving sites located around the country. Sportfishing out in the deep open ocean is another popular activity. If you’d prefer to stay on land, consider zip-lining through rainforest canopies, hiking up volcanoes, or exploring the thick biodiverse jungles which are home to five species of big cats.
From an economic standpoint, Panama is an extremely convenient country for American travelers to visit. This is because the main currency used in Panama is the U.S. dollar—in addition to the balboa, a coin that equates to one dollar. As such, tourists from the United States won’t have to worry about costly currency exchange rates or confusing price conversions.
Panama is replete with vibrant and diverse marine life which makes it a great destination for snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and whale watching. The waters along Panama’s Pacific coast that comprise the Gulf of Chiriquí are especially ideal for engaging in activities below the surface. This region contains one of the largest coral reefs in the Pacific, which includes over 760 species of tropical fish and 33 species of sharks. In addition, between July and October, over 2,000 humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to birth and raise their calves in the gulf. Due to the incredible number of whales, Cala Mia’s whale watching tours experience a 95 percent sighting success rate during this time.
Due to the country’s mild climate and rich soil, Panama produces some of the best coffee in the world. The country is especially famous for its Geisha coffee which contains hand-picked coffee cherries harvested from Volcán Barú—the tallest mountain in the country. Geisha coffee has a slightly fruity taste and a smooth, silky texture unlike any other. Considered to be the purest coffee in the world, it is also the most expensive. Trying this exclusive drink in the country of origin, however, is considerably cheaper than purchasing a cup in European or Asian nations.
If you want to take advantage of what this beautiful country has to offer, book a trip to Cala Mia Island Resort in Panama, Central America. Cala Mia Island Resort is a leading luxury resort located on the picturesque Gulf of Chiriquí. In addition to staying at one of our stunning tropical casitias and villas, you can partake in the many tours and activities that we offer. This includes sport fishing, diving, whale watching, horseback riding, birdwatching, and hiking.