Interesting facts about Panama

panama flag

Panama is a country on the isthmus linking Central and South America.

The official name of the country is the Republic of Panama.

It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south.

The official language is Spanish.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Panama was estimated to be 3,962,115 people.

Panama has an area of 74,177 square kilometers (28,640 square miles).

Panama City is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It is the most modern city not only in Panama, but the rest of Central America. The city framed by the Pacific Ocean and man-made Panama Canal.

panama city

The country is marked by a chain of mountains in the west, moderate hills in the interior, and a low range on the east coast. There are extensive forests in the fertile Caribbean area.

There are almost 500 rivers in Panama.

The highest point in the country is the Volcán Barú, which rises to 3,475 meters (11,401 feet).

volcán barú

Panama has 2,490 kilometers (1,550 miles) of coastline.

The coasts of Panama’ are surrounded by 1,600 islands of many sizes.

Panama offers a variety of beaches, both on the mainland and on islands offshore. Both coasts feature incredibly beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters, white sand, coral reefs and coconut palm trees.

panama beach

Panama’s 76 protected areas cover close to 2 million hectares (5 million acres) of the country, some 25 percent of Panama’s total landmass.

The waters of Panama are unmatched in their level of marine diversity, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Coiba National Marine Park. The island of Coiba is the largest island in the park, as well as the largest island in all of Central America. More than 800 species of marine life are present in the area. The park is known as one of the best places to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving on the Pacific Coast.

coiba national marine park

Darién National Park is a world heritage site in Panama. It is about 325 kilometers (200 miles) from Panama City, and is the most extensive of all national parks of Panama and is one of the most important world heritage sites in Central America. The park covers 579,000 hectares (1,430,740 acres).

darien national park

Panama has 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Panamá Viejo is the remaining part of the old Panama City and former capital of the country. Founded in 1519 by the conquistador Pedrarías Dávila, Panamá Viejo is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. It is located in the suburbs of the modern city. Together with the historical district of Panamá, it forms a World Heritage Site from 1997.

panamá viejo

The fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo are military constructions, built by the Spanish Empire during the 17th and 18th centuries on the Caribbean coastline of Colón Province in Panama. The ruins are located on the coast of the province of Colón. In view of their cultural importance, the sites have been inscribed by UNESCO in 1989 as a World Heritage Site.

portobelo san lorenzo

The Panama Canal is a man-made 77-kilometer (48-mile) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal was built by 75,000 workers between 1904 and 1914 and allows boats to sail between the two oceans without having to go all the way around the South American continent.It stands as one of the world’s greatest feats of engineering.

panama canal

The Bridge of the Americas is a road bridge in Panama, which spans the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. It is an arch bridge that was built from 1959 until 1962. It was the only non-swinging bridge connecting the north and south American land masses until the opening of the Centennial Bridge in 2004.

bridge of the americas

Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined with Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela to form the Republic of Gran Colombia. When this republic dissolved in 1830, Panama remained part of Colombia. With U.S. backing, Panama split from Colombia in 1903 and signed a treaty, which allowed the U.S. to control a strip of land on either side of a new canal. In 1999, Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal.

Panama’s economy, because of its key geographic location, is mainly based on a well developed service sector especially commerce, tourism, and trading.

economy

The Panama Canal is responsible for one third of the country’s economy.

Panama’s agricultural products are bananas, rice, corn, beans, and coffee.

Panamanian Cuisine is a mix of African, Spanish, and Native American techniques, dishes, and ingredients, reflecting its diverse population. Sancocho is the national dish of Panama. The basic ingredients are chicken, ñame (yam), and culantro; often yuca, mazorca (corn on the cob) and otoe are added.

sancocho

The national flower is a white orchid called the Flor del Espiritu Santo, or Flower of the Holy Spirit.

Panama is home to many unique animals that are found only in Panama. The mysterious golden frogs have gleaming, shimmering skin and are thought to bring people good luck.

Panama hats didn’t originate in Panama. They actually originated from Ecuador.

Panama has the second largest duty free zone on the planet and also has the second largest registrant for offshore companies, right behind Hong Kong.

Panama was the very first Latin American country to adopt the U.S. dollar currency as its own.

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