Why Visit Panama? – Old

Most people know Panama because of the Panama Canal. Because of that, many people visit Panama and only see Panama City, the Old Town, and yes, the Panama Canal.

But that’s not you, congratulations! You are doing your research and you will soon find out your hunch was right.

Yes, Panama has countless other areas besides the Panama Canal that beg to be explored. In fact, those who venture beyond the Canal will most likely leave the country feeling they’ve been in on a secret that the rest of the traveling world has yet to discover.

If you are wondering how come this is possible, the answer is simple: No advertisement.

Compared to our neighbors in Costa Rica, Panama has done very little to promote its many attractions to the traveling world. And as everybody knows, it doesn’t matter how good something is, if you don’t know about it, you don’t think about it.

If you tell someone you are traveling to Costa Rica they will immediately think of a tropical paradise. If you say Panama, they will ask why?

Not necessarily the best for those trying to make a living working in tourism. Although it’s not that bad, I don’t know how, but people do travel to Panama. And well, I don’t think anybody here wants to live in a place overwhelmed by mass tourism. So, if you can keep a secret, here are some of the things you can do in Panama to help you validate your crazy idea to visit a country nobody knows about.

7 Things you can do in Panama

1. Hike in the rainforest and discover spectacular waterfalls, natural pools, and canyons with unique rock formations. Close to 30% of the land mass of Panama forms part of its national protected area system.

2. Snorkel around tiny tropical islands filled with palm trees on the Caribbean, and later have a beer watching the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. You can travel coast-to-coast by land in less than 2 hours.

3. Nature photography. There are more species of birds and plants in Panama than in all of Canada and the United States combined: 10,000+ plant species, 250+ mammals, 1,000+ identified bird species, 200+ amphibians.

4. Explore the beauty of nature’s amazing stalactites and stalagmites in caves formed over eons of time. You will have trouble believing you can have places such as this all to yourself.

5. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites that take you back as far as the 1500s and see the grand military forts that were built to defend against marauding pirates, yes, pirates of the Caribbean that is.

6. Experience life in indigenous communities and learn about their ancient traditions and culture. There are 7 indigenous groups living in Panama: Ngäbe, Buglé, Guna, Emberá, Wounaan, Bri bri, and Naso Tjërdi. 

7. Enjoy a cup of specialty coffee directly from the farms that are breaking all the records in value and quality. In their September 2022 auction, Lamastus Family Elida Geisha sold for $6,034 per pound, a new world record.

Talk about variety for such a small country!

And these are just a few examples. There are many others, such as river rafting, mountain biking, scuba diving, bird watching, horseback riding, canopy zip-line, and the list goes on.

Hi, I’m Luis. I’ve been an adventure tour guide since 2001. While doing so, I’ve been able to notice how some destinations and activities consistently get the best results and others, even popular ones, don’t. If you are an experienced adventure traveler, you might want to check the Explore the Best of Panama multi-day adventure tour itinerary. It is based exclusively on adventure travelers’ feedback, covering popular places, but also going off the beaten path. It is an adventure tour so it is not for everyone, the participants enjoying these tours are usually seasoned travelers seeking new and unique experiences.

Panama Destinations: Azuero | Bocas del Toro | Boquete | El Valle | Guna Yala (San Blas) | Panama Canal | Panama City | Santa Catalina & Coiba Island | Santa Fe