PANAMA

Panama is world famous for it's 48 mile canal that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean. Each year over a million people visit the canal and are able to witness this engineering marvel at work. Panama is very proud to have this magnificent creation operating 365 days a year, enabling the world's cargo to be shipped efficiently and safely to new destinations.

Three million years ago, the Isthmus of Panama, emerged from the sea and changed the world forever. It divided an ocean and joined two continents, triggering one of the most important natural evolution events in the history of the world. Today, this narrow land bridge in Central America is home to more species of birds and trees throughout North America. We invite you to discover its beautiful landscapes, rich culture and endless tourist activities that are at your fingertips.

Some of these activities include rainforest tours, surfing, snorkeling, diving, hiking, camping, birdwatching, white water rafting, zipline tours and more. In Panama City you can enjoy world class dining, nightlife, casinos and shopping! Panama has attracted some of the world's most famous brands to open up shop here including Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Hermes, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Micheal Kors, Carolina Hererra, Chanel and countless others. Tourists from all over the world come to Panama and experience a modern, beautiful city with all the amenities one would expect from a world famous business and tourism hub.

 

General statistics

Most of the population is of mestizo origins, descendants of Indian, African and Spanish heritages, although there is great ethnic diversity.

The population density is evident along the coastal region of the Gulf of Panama, particularly on the Azuero Peninsula, and in the metropolitan areas of Panama City and Colón. A high degree of urban development in recent years has attracted a growing urban population, currently representing 59% of the total country population. The fertility rate is one of the lowest in Central America, with an average of 2.6 children per woman.

Population

3,405,813 (July 2010 est.)

 

Weather

Panama has a tropical climate. Temperatures are relatively high and vary little throughout the year. The temperatures are usually lower on the Pacific than on the Caribbean coast.

Panama City: Temperatures range from 24° C (75.2° F) to 35° C (95° F).

Highlands: Temperatures are usually lower and more constant, hovering around 23° C (73.4° F).

Beaches: Temperatures are hot, averaging 31° C (87.8°).

 

Geography

The Republic of Panama is a large isthmus strip with a total area of 75,517 km², and 2,210 km² of surface waters, reaching 78,200 km² of total territory. The country is located in Central America at 7° 11' longitude and 9° 37' north latitude.

Boundaries

Panama is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea and to the south by the Pacific Ocean. Panama shares its eastern border with the Republic of Colombia, and is bordered on the west by the Republic of Costa Rica. Borders: 555 km in total, of which 225 km are with Colombia and 330 km with Costa Rica. Costs: 2,490 km it is politically divided into 10 provinces and 5 indigenous regions.

Formation

Panama's two coastlines are referred to as the Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast, and less frequently described as the North and South coasts, respectively. To the east is Colombia and Costa Rica is to the west. Due to the location and contours of the country, the directions shown on the compass can be surprising. For example, a trip through the Panama Canal from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean implies travel not east, but to the northwest, and in Panama City the sunset is to the east over the Pacific Ocean.

Pacific coastal waters are extraordinarily low. A depth of 180 meters is reached only once outside the perimeters of either the Gulf of Darien or the Gulf of Chiriquí, and wide mud flats extend up to 70 kilometers seaward from the coast. As a result, the tidal range is extreme.

Most of the Panamanian territory consists of lowlands (70%). The majority of Panama's population lives in these warm low-lying lands. This category includes the southern lowlands and plains, the hills and plains of the Central Isthmus, the eastern depressions and the northern plains and lowlands. The remaining 30% of Panama territory is highlands. These lands are composed of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. To this group belong Barú Volcano, the Central mountain range, the Northern Eastern Arch, the Southern Eastern Arch, Southern Massif and Volcanic Chain.

 

Politica Division

Panama is divided into 10 provinces, 75 districts, 621 municipalitys and the following 5 indigenous reserves: Guna Yala, Ngäbé-Bugle, Emberá-Wounaán, Madungandí y Wargandí.

 

Culture

Panama owns a cultural multiplicity that makes it unique in the region, one of the biggest contributors to this cultural richness is the constant presence of visitors from all parts of the world. The origin of this singular cultural mix is without a doubt the crossroads characteristic of the country. In addition, the intense connection of Panama with the sea makes it very similar to an island of the Caribbean.

Being a point of contact and a crossing site, this small strip of land is considered a true crucible of races. With almost 3 and a half million inhabitants, its population is compounded 67% of mestizos (amerindian with targets) and mulatos (white with black), 14% blacks, 10% whites, amerindian 6% (indigenous) and a 3% of people are from varied ethnic origins. This mixture is particularly rich, because although it comes from cultural origins and very diverse traditions, the mixture has been stimulated by the atmosphere of tolerance and harmony that always has reigned in the territory.

Although the free religious creed is respected, the population of the country mainly professes catholicism, this religion is deeply bound to the traditions and cultural expressions. In the interior of the country, for example, the greatest celebrations are related to diverse saints.

One of the greatest celebrations relating to cultural and catholic beliefs is the Carnival of Panama. The Carnival is a massive celebration of four days that precedes to the Cuaresma.

La Pollera is the name used in Latin America and Spain for a type of skirt and dress that is characterized by its elaborate decorations. The skirts are made of different materials like cotton or wool, and are often colorfully decorated using various techniques, commonly embroidery and lace with floral designs.

It is believed that the pollera skirt was derived from a Spanish dress in the 16th or 17th century. It was passed down to women in the middle and lower classes as a simpler and easier version in which to do their daily chores or go to their regional celebrations. In many Latin American countries it is currently used as a folk costume. Whereas in some countries it refers to just the skirt portion, in Panama the entire dress is called pollera.