Cookies

At Journey Latin America we use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website.
Find out more


My Enquiry is for
*
Contact details
*
*
*
*
Enquiry
*
*
January 02nd, 2014

Panama: a beginner's guide

Panama has only enjoyed complete sovereignty since December 31, 1999.

With freedom from Spain in 1821 came a series of other quasi-colonial influences, and it was only in 1903 that Panama achieved its separation from Colombia - though the US retained a military presence for many years more.

Top five attractions 
  • The Panama Canal, an astounding feat of engineering and surprisingly beautiful to look at thanks to the surrounding rainforest.
  • The town of Boquete.
  • Nearby cloud forest-covered peaks for hiking, rafting, visiting coffee plantations and hot springs.
  • Bocas del Toro archipelago, where pristine tropical forests lie on deserted beaches, for the moment at least.
  • The beaches of Kuna Yala’s 378 islands - only 49 inhabited. Clichéd tropical perfection (used in the Survivor TV show) but also home to autonomous Kuna communities who have insisted on renaming the area Kuna Yala, rather than San Blas.

Best city 
Panama City is Central America's most cosmopolitan city, with a particularly energetic nightlife; high-rise, modern architecture abuts colonial buildings, and beaches and rainforests a short taxi-ride away.

Souvenir to buy 
Multi-layered, richly coloured textiles called molas made by the Kuna indians.

Quirky Panama 
In the shadow of the Barú volcano, there is a farm called Finca Dracula, and the only thing you see there are black orchids.

Read 
‘Getting to Know the General’ by Graham Greene. Greene was a close friend of Omar Torrijos, former president. In this book of reminiscences he debunks the stereotypes about military rulers and explains Panama's unusual relationship with its Central and South American neighbours.

Post a comment

Other holidays you may be interested in

Signature Patagonia: Glaciers of Chile and Argentina

Signature Patagonia: Glaciers of Chile and Argentina

Private journey

17 days from £4,842pp

Bluee footed boobie

Paloma: Andean Ecuador and land based Galapagos

Group tour

10 days from £3,338pp

Iguana

Signature Galapagos: Island hopping

Private journey

10 days from £4,512pp

Costa Rica wildlife

Costa Rica Wildlife Discovery

Private journey

15 days from £3,866pp

Other articles you may like

Browse our inspiration area of the site. It's packed with insider travel tips, Top5s, competitions, events, recipes and holiday ideas for Central and South America sure to whet your travel appetite.

Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/travel-inspiration/travel/panama-a-beginners-guide

Page ID: {2F70994B-1739-47DB-9ABD-5D55D913F5C0}

Page Name: panama-a-beginners-guide

Page Display Name: Panama: a beginner's guide

Page Template Name: T031-PapagaioBlogPost

Page Template ID: {ECC6A232-9784-4CC7-BA26-18421546B8F5}

Parent ID: {DC65CFB2-D81C-4A04-A7F8-0A1B3D88E7EB}

Parent Name: travel

Parent Display Name: Travel

Parent Template Name: T029-PapagaioCategoryListing

Parent Template ID: {4D163066-ED7E-48E6-AF31-34B6C47536CD}