The Republic of Panama is a Central American state located in the narrowest part of the Isthmian region. It borders the Antilles Sea to the north, Colombia to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the south and Costa Rica to the west and northwest.
Panama enjoys a lively mix of cultural influences. Its capital, Panama, is located on the Pacific coast east of the canal.
A cosmopolitan city where skyscrapers dominate the lime bungalows, the mountain ranges extend along almost all the state, dividing the area into slopes facing the Atlantic and the Pacific. The two main mountain ranges are the Tabasará Mountains (Cordillera Central) to the west and the Cordillera de San Blas to the east, most of the more than 1600 islands in the republic are located off the Pacific coast; (Pearl Islands and the islands of Taboga (Cebaco, Parida, Jicarón and Coiba). The main archipelagos off the Caribbean coast are those of Bocas del Toro and San Blas.
Panama has a great variety of habitats: tropical rain forests, savannas, fresh mountain forests, tidal lands covered by mangrove trees on stilts, coral reefs and beaches.
National parks and reserves occupy about one sixth of the nation's land surface and are known for their rich and abundant tropical rain forests with an incredible wildlife.
The Darién region in eastern Panama is the site of a national park created in 1980 and added to the UNESCO World Heritage List the following year. The most common agricultural products are sugar cane, bananas, rice, plane trees, corn and oranges, and it enjoys abundant and precious forest resources.
Since prehistory and antiquity, the Isthmus of Panama has been an intercontinental passage for migration. Today, Panama also connects the oceans, through the Panama Canal, an interoceanic highway, a railroad and an oil pipeline.
The republic is divided into 9 provinces and 5 indigenous regions, Guna Yala is the most famous of all the regions.
Here is a list of the provinces indicating the most important attractions of each:
Bocas del Toro: Isla Colón.
Chiriquí: Boquete, La Amistad international park, Cangilones de Gualaca, Pueblo de Volcán and Cerro Punta.
Coclé: El Valle de Antón, the Pacific beaches (El Palmar, Santa Clara, Rio Mar).
Colón: Portobello, Isla Grande, Chagres National Park.
Darien: Darien National Park, Patiño Bay.
Herrera: Chitre, Parità, Sarigua National Park.
Los Santos: The Villa of Los Santos, Pedasí.
Panama: Taboga, Old Panama, Casco Viejo, Contadora.
Veraguas: Coiba island, Santa Catalina, La Yeguada.
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The history of Panama has been largely influenced by the strategic position of this narrow isthmus which connects North America with South America and which separates the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1501 it was discovered by the Spanish explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas who marked the beginning of colonization on the isthmus.
The coasts of Panama were first explored by Christopher Columbus in 1502 when, during his fourth voyage, the navigator found himself looking for a passage that would put the Atlantic Ocean in communication with the Pacific Ocean.
However, it was only eleven years later that Vasco Nuñez de Balboa managed to cross the isthmus on foot, sighting the Pacific Ocean (a monument in memory of the discoverer is found in Panama on Avenida Balboa). Subsequently, the region became a colony of the Spanish Empire.
In the past it was a land trade route between ancient Peru and Mexico in order to transport Inca treasures. Just as the Panama Railroad brought gold miners to California at the time of the fever, the canal became the engine of world trade.
The coasts and jungles of Panama have been inhabited by humans for at least 10,000 years, and it is estimated that various indigenous groups, including the Gunas, the Emberás, the Wounaan, the Nasos, lived on the isthmus before the arrival of the Spaniards.
However, the tragedy of Panama is that, despite its rich cultural history, there is hardly a trace left of these great civilizations and Panamanian archaeologists hope to make a great discovery about the stories of lost cities.
Panama became an independent state from Spain in 1830 by joining the Republic of Colombia. Panama Railway (the American transcontinental railway) was built around 1850.
It was only in 1903 that the representatives of the republic signed the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty with the United States, thanks to which the use and construction of the Panama Canal was guaranteed, which was inaugurated in 1914.
Weather in Panama
Heavy rain today through Monday.