About Panama

Panama is the narrowest country in the Americas, a lying “S” wedged between two of our world’s greatest Oceans—the Pacific and Caribbean Sea part of the Atlantic. Without the additional expense of an airline fare, it is completely possible to watch the sun rise over one ocean, and set over the other. However, don’t let Panama’s relatively small scale fool you, for what Panama might lack inspace, it makes up for in culture, biodiversity and economic wealth.

Only around 2.5 hours from Miami’s International airport, Panama City, Panama has everything any cosmopolitan metropolis has to offer. Often referred to as the Dubai of the Americas (partly because of its rapidly changing skyline), Panama is also well known for housing some of the world’s most recognized Banks—giving it the nickname, “La Cuidad Bancaria” (the City of banks). This commodity helps attract many international investors, “What? Another Trump building?”, “Is that a Friday’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Subway, I see?”. But amongst the chain restaurants and skyscrape skyline, there are real people and real treasures to be uncovered.

In December 2007, I set out to do just that—uncover my birthplace’s true heirlooms. Since I knew that Panama was more than just a Canal, or a merestretch of land surrounded by two oceans (yeah, that’s cool on it’s own, but wait…), I wanted to experience what Panamanians take for granted, partly because they encounter it on a daily basis. So naturally, what did I do? I went into the Panamanian Jungle, to non-tourist beaches, and hiked my way through Indian villages. In the jungle, I felt like I was on an episode of National Geographic, complete with crocodiles and giant bugs that any sheltered child would have serious nightmares over. I learned that the Indians have done an excellent job preserving their traditions and beliefs, with some even believing they’d originated from a giant space craft that landed on their island, and placed the first man and women on Earth (not that there is anything wrong with that theory). I also witnessed the connection between the different tribes when it came to the nuclear family, which is something that after so many years away from my own, I’d really missed, and continue to do so. Okay, okay, I know not everyone wants to go on vacation and have a crash course in Ethnology, Archeology, and how not to fear the Howling Monkeys or the attack of the colossal mosquitoes. But hey, if you’re into those sorts of things (deep seafishing, snorkeling, hiking, and pre-Colombian history), then Panama will definitely suit you well.

Now, even though I have briefly described Panama City and the perpetually amazing venture of the virgin rainforest, you’ll still need to cross “El Puente de Las Americas” in order to reach the heart and soul of the isthmus. “Las Provincias Centrales” is where you’ll find the common folk, their assortment of harvested traditions, the most spectacular beaches, and the birthplace of Panama’s national dress, “La Pollera”. Needless to say, the heartland of the country is where the city slickers take refuge when their lives in the concrete jungle get too hectic. And last, but not least, I must praise my personal home provinces, the mountainous areas of Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro: Where, if you were to stand at the peak of “El Volcan Baru”, you could simultaneously see both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

In conclusion, Panama’s topography and size gives visitors the ability to experience the entire Isthmus in a matter of days, or in as little as 8 hours,if one drives from the city to the border with Costa Rica. You can go from the beach to a sweater-weather town, such as Boquete, within a 45-minute picturesque drive. Also, Panama serves as the gateway to the Americas, and has been known to act as a revolving door for many different people of diverse backgrounds and races. This fact alone might lead people to believe that Panama has lost its identity along the way. But instead, Panamanians take pride in serving as a melting pot of cultures, while still being able to uphold their unique folk traditions and Independence as a Republic. The one characteristic that sets the people of Panama apart and makes them unique can be describes as such: when you’re walking around the streets of Panama, and think, hmmm…the ice cream man just asked me for “One Dollar”, and every corner store is run by Asians who only wish to provide me with change in Candy, try not to think, “Oh, these people are so Americanized”, or “What, are we in China?”, just think, “Nope, this is Panama!” They wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

 

PTY Attractions

Wondering what to do and see while in Panama? No worries, we’ve got you covered

Suggestions:

-A city tour package is being put together for our out of town guest, the expense will be solely on your behalf , but you’ll be able to reserve it if you contact Gustavo Chan please check the event calendar page. 

 

-I have drafted a suggestions calendar under posts, please feel free to use as guide.

-You can google until you’ve reached near exhaustion, how do you know if what you find is accurate? During the year I will be placing suggested links to this page. Here is a good one that gives you an overall of what to do while in PTY, while still being a fun read. Top Ten Things to do while in Panama.

-Also I thought the Wiki does a really nice job in giving you an overall resume of what to expect.http://wikitravel.org/en/Panama#b

-From the Pros, click here.

 

 

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