Set between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, this Central American country is a naturalist’s paradise and a haven for a spectacular range of plants and colourful birdlife.
Historically known as the Bridge of the World, because of its famous canal, Panama is little more than a sinuous squiggle on a map, but in that squiggle are more bird species than in the whole world. They share space with beautiful old colonial towns and a striking modern capital, Panama City, a bustling metropolis, bursting with historical landmarks, shops, restaurants, bars and vibrant nightlife. Whether you opt for our Panama Discovery tour, choose to spend a week lazing on the beautiful white sandy beaches, or combine the two – Panama is waiting to be discovered by you!
The Rainforest: Whilst Panama is known mostly for its famous canal, the country's natural attractions offer an irresistible lure for travellers. The tropical rainforests are vast here, and Panama offers some of the finest birding and hiking in the Americas. The Talamanca Range is a must see, set high, with a lush cloud forest. The wildlife here includes armadillos, butterflies and great birdlife, including the ashy-throated bush-tanagers - you won't find them anywhere else in Panama.
The Panama Canal: Both an engineering marvel and one of the most significant waterways on earth, this is perhaps Panama's most famous landmark. Operating since 1914, and considered to be the 'eighth wonder of the world', the canal stretches 80km from Panama City on the Pacific to Colón on the Atlantic, transporting ships via a series of gravity-powered locks. Seeing a huge ship nudge its way through the narrow canal, with vast tracts of jungle on both sides, is an unforgettable sight. The easiest and best way to visit the canal is to go to Miraflores Locks, which offers the best view of the locks in operation.
Beaches: With about a 1,000 miles of Caribbean and Pacific coastline, and hundreds of picturesque islands, Panama is a beach lover's paradise. Both coasts have beautiful beaches with crystal-clear waters, white sand, coral reefs and coconut palm trees. From small coves to miles of open beaches and sensual sandy beaches to rugged coasts, there is a beach for you in Panama. The Caribbean side, with its clear turquoise waters, is recommended for scuba-diving, and the Pacific side, with its non-stop swells sweeping in across the ocean, is perfect for surfing.