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Travel Notes: Latin America: Panama Travel Notes

Panama Travel Notes

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Panama Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Find Panama Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to Panama.

About Panama

Panama sits on the isthmus that connects South America with Central and North America; between Colombia and Costa Rica.

Map of Panama

The capital of the Republic of Panama is in the central part of the country, in the Gulf of Panama's womb.

Map of Panama

Weather in South America:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Latin  America.

Panama City

Founded by the Spanish in 1519, the original settlement had to be moved after it was destroyed, by the pirate Sir Henry Morgan, in 1671.

With the building of the Trans-Panama Railroad, in the 1850s, and the Panama Canal, in the early 1900s, the growth of Panama City was assured.

The city's cathedral was built between 1673 and 1760, and there are a number of museums detailing the history of Panama and religious colonial art.

Panama City Accommodation

The Executive Hotel:
During its more than 30 years of operation, the Executive Hotel has developed a reputation for quality service, marked by friendliness and personal attention. Located in the heart of Panama's financial district, within easy walking distance of Panama's best restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.


Located on Manzanillo Island, Colon is the northern terminus of the Panama Railway and Panama Canal.

Tourists come here mainly to watch the giant ships carve their way through the south American continent.

Accommodation in Colon

Gamboa Rainforest Resort:
The Gamboa Rainforest Resort is located within the Soberania National Park, and lies along the banks of the Chagres River and Gatun Lake; the main water sources for the Panama Canal and part of Panama's most precious assets.

Melia Panama Canal:
Overlooking Gatun Lake, the property's amenities include an outdoor pool, swim-up bar, whirlpool, fitness room, Miraflores Restaurant and Darien Restaurant; an a la carte steakhouse.

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal runs from Cristobal (the twin town of Colon) to Balboa; on the Gulf of Panama.

The Panama Canal is around 40 miles long, and ships have to pass through numerous locks.

As far back as Hernan Cortes, in the 16th century, the Spanish were thinking of cutting a canal through the isthmus to speed up the time taken to haul their gold from Peru, on the Pacific side, to Spain, on the other side of the Atlantic.

Holy Roman Emperor Charles V ordered a survey of the area in 1523. Several canal plans were suggested, but none of them were initiated.

The manana mentality seemed to affect the Spanish way back then, and other historical events soon took the matter out of their hands.

US interest was sparked when gold was discovered in California, in 1848.

The builder of the Suez Canal, Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps, was called in, but his company went bankrupt in 1889.

The US Congress again looked at the possibilities of a canal route through Central America, but met the stumbling block of the Colombian senate.

The United States were finally able to push ahead with the building of the Panama Canal when Panama revolted from Colombia, in 1903.

The United States guaranteed the independence of Panama and secured a perpetual lease on a 16-km strip for the canal.

Control of the Panama Canal reverted back to Panama at noon on December 31st, 1999.

Panama Canal:
The Panama Canal Authority is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating, and maintaining the Panama Canal. The live camera is refreshed every 10 seconds.

Panama Canal Tours:
View the Panama Canal on a helicopter tour, departing from Panama City.

Bocas del Toro

The ferry Palanga leaves Almirante, for Bocas del Toro, at 9am on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The return from Isla Colon is at 5pm.

If you prefer to travel by air, Aeroperlas and Mapiex Aero fly to Bocas del Toro City from Panama City, David and Changuinola.

Bocas Yacht Club and Marina:
Bocas del Toro, with its crystal clear turquoise waters, coral reefs and white sand beaches, is a paradise for any cruising yachtsman.

Isla Carenero

Isla Carenero is the smallest of the nine islands that incorporate the Archipelago of Bocas Del Toro.

Hotel Tierra Verde:
This new Caribbean-style house is located on the tropical island of Carenero, just 5 minutes via water taxi from the main island of Isla Colon in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago.

Explore Panama

Darien Jungle:
Where rivers are roads and the forests are often impenetrable in this most isolated and least developed province in Panama. The Darien offers some of the greatest ecological riches in the world, throughout its dense tropical jungles and network of streams and rivers, and contains Panama's most spectacular reserve.

Darien National Park:
The rainforest in the Darien National Park is so thick that it is the only place where the Pan-American highway running Alaska to Patagonia, does not penetrate. This truly wild and nature-dense region is heaven for adventurers, birders and nature lovers.

El Valle de Anton:
A magical place for a weekend away from Panama's lowland heat -- a fertile volcanic valley filled with bright flowers, square trees and golden frogs, just an hour and a half's drive from Panama City.

Isla Contadora:
Small tropical island, 60km from Panama, with gorgeous beaches and many small islands nearby.

Panama Face:
Discover the best tourist attractions in Panama's most popular destinations.

Panama Info:
If you love beach vacations, but hate crowds, Panama is the place for you. Along the Pacific Coast just outside Panama City, begin a string of pretty beaches of white sand and sapphire blue waters. It's hard to think of any other metropolitan city with so many fine beaches nearby.

Panama's Museums:
With Its 10,000 years history and 450 years of abundant Indian and immigrant culture from four continents. Panama offers a variety of museums highlighting all the aspects of it's colourful historic past.

Panama Profile:
Useful information for visitors to Panama.

San Blas Islands:
A string of 378 coral-fringed islands, of which only 49 are inhabited by the fiercely independent Kuna Indians. Although only a 20-minute plane ride away from Panama City, a trip to the San Blas islands will transport you 20 centuries into the past.

Visit Panama:
The heart of Panama City’s historical district, Casco Viejo is a delightful mix of old and new influences. Come for the history and colonial architecture. Stay for the night-clubs and restaurants.

Business in Panama

American Chamber of Commerce in Panama:
The American Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Panama (AMCHAM) was created on October 31, 1979, by a handful of business people who felt that the organisation could be an important voice in promoting business ideas in Panama.

Latin America Real Estate TV:
Takes the viewer inside the fast-paced industry of Panama real estate. From tropical beach houses in the Caribbean to towering Panama City high-rises, there's a diverse and informative program line-up for buyers, investors and retirees alike.

Panama Tours

Ancon Expeditions:
Affiliated to Panama's National Association for the Conservation of Nature, Ancon offers nature-oriented tours with naturalist guides and accommodation in Eco-lodges.

Adventuras Panama:
Offers river rafting tours on the Chagres, Mamoni and Chiriqui as well as sea kayaking at San Blas, rainforest tribes visits and more to make unforgettable summer vacation memories.

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The Rough Guide to Panama (Rough Guides) Lonely Planet Panama (Travel Guide)

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