General Information on Panama
One of the coolest destinations in Central America, Panama is a country where the concept of exotic begins in its name. The indigenous language describes the name “Panama” as “abundance of fish & butterflies”, and this concept is true as visitors will quickly discover for themselves. An abundance of wildlife can be found in Panama’s many national parks. There are also an abundance of white sand beaches, hundreds of islands, more banks and shops than the visitors would have dreamed possible, the Panama Canal and, of course, a fantastic quantity of fresh seafood particularly fish.
Many visitors and tourists often travel to Panama in order to experience the abundance of the sun, adventure, mystery, and opportunities either for business or leisure purposes. Engaging in a Panama tour also provides them the opportunity to learn more about the country, where modern cities meet with nature’s beauty and where there’s always something new to discover.
The Land Divided, the World United
Panama is a Central American republic located in the isthmus that connects South America with Central America. The country, divided by the Panama Canal, bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, east Colombia, on the south by the Pacific Ocean and west with Costa Rica.
The America’s Best Kept Secret
Panama’s unique geographic location has resulted in a wealth of diversity in plant, animal and bird life. The impassable rainforest around Gatun Lake has been the best defense of the Panama Canal.
Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, the vast jungle area that is now the Gatun Lake was teeming with an overwhelming abundance of wildlife. As the region was flooded to create the lake, animals took refuge in the mountain peaks, which are now the many islands that dot the renowned lake. Today these areas have endured practically unscathed by human interference and are one of the few accessible areas on earth that various native Central American animal and plant species can be observed undisturbed in their natural habitat.
The protection of these natural resources is important in Panama as 30% of the country has been set aside for rainforest conservation purposes:
- 14 National Parks encompass approx. 3.5 million acres of rainforest, jungle, mountain ranges, marine areas, beaches and desert landscape
- 16 areas set aside for conservation of Wildlife & Reserve
- These areas are the habitat of almost 1,000 species of birds, as well as 220 mammals and 354 reptiles and amphibians
Fuerte Amador Resort & Marina is a developing tourist complex situated on the Island of Flamenco which is one of a series of four small islands linked by an artificial peninsula, or Causeway, to the mainland grounds of old Fort Amador. The site was once considered as an excellent haven for English pirates after raids against the Spanish galleons and towns. The United States Military used Fort Amador in their defense of the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal.
From Fort Amador there is easy access to Panama City where you can learn about the colonial legacy of Old Panama, experience the bustle and excitement of a vibrant, cosmopolitan City and see and visit the magnificent Panama Canal. Panama has a rich history and culture, from its several indigenous tribes to its current fusion of races and traditions from all over the world. The ethnic variety of Panama is ever visible in its capital. Panama City, which grew because of the country’s importance as a trade center, the building of the trans-continental Railroad and the Panama Canal.
Panama’s Seven Living Indian Cultures
Making their home on end of the Isthmus to the other -- from the rainforests of the Darien jungle, to the Highlands of West Panama, to the Caribbean island of San Blas Archipelago -- one of the most popular Panama tours is paying a visit to the villages of the country’s seven living Indian cultures.
Panama’s handicraft markets brim with dozens of artistic items, the handiwork of its creative Indian population. Learn more about the handicrafts of Panama.