Panama Regional Overview
Panama is divided into 9 provinces: Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama and Veraguas, and 1 special region: Comarca Guna Yala, each one offering great things to do to suite all tastes.
Lets start with the most obvious one: Panama Province.
Within Panama province is Panama City, the capital of the country, a very active metropolis with impressive skyline and infrastructure. Here you can go shopping, enjoy the nightlife and see the more modern part of the country. You can also visit UNESCO world heritage sites – Panama Viejo ruins and Casco Antiguo. Moreover, the city offers eco-tourism sites like The metropolitan park (the city rainforest), Gamboa Rainforest and Soberania Park. There are also hiking trails, diving or snorkeling sites.
Last, but certainly not least, you must visit the Panama Canal. A man made work of art connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean crossing through the Isthmus of Panama and one of the most important infrastructures in International Maritime trade.
Other highly recommended provinces to visit include Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Los Santos and also Comarca Guna Yala.
Bocas del Toro, very famous for beautiful beaches and home to the Red Frog, also appreciated for the seafood restaurants and surprisingly good night life.
Chiriqui is popular due to the cooler weather in the highlands, the beautiful mountains, the Baru Volcano (highest point in Panama) and the variety of flowers and birds. There you can find activities like hiking, jungle walks and river rafting to enjoy.
Los Santos , part of the Azuero Peninsula, offers a lot of culture within small towns like Las Tablas, Guarare and Pedasi. Las Tablas has a rich colonial history and is widely popular for Panamanian carnivals. The province is also popular for its extensive coastline with many well known beaches including Playa Venado, a surfer’s paradise with powerful waves. This beach has also been host to many international surfing events. Isla Iguana is a popular snorkeling and diving destination and is the top natural attraction in Azuero Peninsula.
Comarca Guna Yala is, without hesitation, one of the most beautiful places on earth. It consists of around 365 small islands where you will find golden sand and crystal clear waters. Surrounded by palm trees and the sound of the waves gently lapping the shore, this is the perfect place to relax. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, you can snorkel or dive around these idyllic islands and see some of the oldest coral reef in the world. Island hopping around these picturesque retreats is done by small row boats or canoes. You can also visit the local villages and witness the native Panamanians where they will be making and selling their beautiful handmade molas.
Other popular destinations to visit in Panama include El Valle de Anton in Cocle, UNESCO World Heritage sites – Portobelo and Fort San Lorenzo in Colon, the National parks in Veraguas, the only "desert" in the country in Herrera and the extreme conditions of the Darien jungle.
Panama has a lot to offer…don’t take too long, there is a great adventure waiting for you!