Gap Years and Backpacking in Panama

Countries  »  Panama

Learn to Party Like a Panamanian
Read about music, culture and party life in Panama
Weather in Panama
Climate advice for gap year travellers
How to Travel Around Panama
Bus, train or car: The best methods of getting around explained
Food and Drink in Panama
Panamanian meal options and costs broken down

The Rupublic of Panama is a country in Central America with coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, with Colombia (and South America) to the southeast and Costa Rica (and North America) to the northwest. It's strategically located on the isthmus that forms the land bridge connecting North and South America. It controls the Panama Canal that links the North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean, one of the most important shipping routes in the world.

The ease of travel and wide array of experiences make Panama one of the most attractive emerging tourism destinations in the world. In just one week, visitors can enjoy two different oceans, experience the mountains and rainforest, learn about native cultures and take advantage of vibrant urban life. The capital, Panama City, is a modern, sophisticated metropolis that resembles Miami and has established commerce, arts, fashion and dining. 

Like much of the surrounding region, Panama became a part of the Spanish empire during the 16th Century; remaining so for over three hundred years. Panama was quickly identified as a strategic location and duely subjugated upon Columbus's arrival in the early 1500s. When independence from Spain was achieved in the 19th Century, Panama spent many years under the Columbian rule. Panama gained its independence in exchange for US access to it's canals in the 20th and it now boasts the strongest economy in the region.

Map of Panama

Panama Fact!

Panama Fact 1 Featured Image

The country is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise in the Pacific and set in the Atlantic.

Panama Fact!

The country has set multi-world records in the area of bird watching and fishing, as it shelters more birds than United States and Canada combined.