Is it better to go to costa rica or panama?

Costa Rica, in general, has a greater number of established activities for tourists on land and sea for a more adventurous experience. The country is also known for its conservation efforts. Panama is best known for its vibrant and cultural capital, the engineering wonder of the Panama Canal and its loneliest beaches. Costa Rica or Panama? Both offer a wealth of wildlife, untamed nature, adrenaline-filled activities and breathtaking beaches that stretch along the endless Pacific coasts and the Caribbean.

And they may be the most expensive countries in Central America, but they have the right infrastructure. During a visit to Costa Rica last week, I found myself mentally comparing tourism in Costa Rica with that in Panama. The following table shows my observations and is in no way based on research; the information in the table is based on my personal experiences in these countries. Although Costa Rica and Panama have similar historical and natural attractions, their economies are comprised of different industries. Costa Rica's economy depends on the export of fruits such as bananas.

Panama depends on the economic and banking sectors. Both countries are trying to attract similar types of travelers. Costa Rica is a wildlife paradise with 30 national parks (and counting), not to mention dozens of wildlife refuges and reserves, with protected areas that cover more than 30% of its landmass. While Costa Rica and Panama have similar attractions for tourists, such as stunning beaches, lush rainforests, exotic wildlife and epic adventures, each tourist destination has something unique to offer.

Costa Rica has a more developed tourism sector than most other Central American countries, and the country's economy is heavily dependent on tourism. Thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts will find everything from gentle adventures to extreme sports in both Costa Rica and Panama. If you want to practice whitewater rafting, canyoning, diving with whale sharks or go surfing, Costa Rica is the place Ideal. Panama City is the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America and there's no shortage of things to do, from the emblematic BioMuseum that showcases the country's biodiversity to the compact Museo de la Mola, which explores the unique textile art of the Guna indigenous people.

Whether you want to dive with rainbow-colored fish, ride the waves, or simply rest on sugar-soft sand, you'll find breathtaking beaches that stretch along two coasts, both in Panama and Costa Rica. You'll be surprised to discover that more than 30% of Costa Rica is protected in national parks and wildlife reserves, making Costa Rica the world leader in conservation. Special Places of Costa Rica is a leading full-service vacation rental company in the province of Guanacaste, on Costa Rica's sparkling Gold Coast. Thanks to its multitude of microclimates, Costa Rica has not one but eight high-altitude regions, particularly in the Central Valley and Guanacaste, that produce coffee, each with its own distinctive flavor.

Costa Rica and Panama are packed with epic excursions that allow you to explore the natural beauty of each country. While the opportunities aren't as wide as in Costa Rica, Panama still offers plenty of opportunities for encounters with nature and wildlife. Costa Rica has two international airports, one in San José and one in Liberia, so tourists heading directly to the Pacific coast may not even pass through downtown San José.Even so, many Costa Ricans shorten their hours or close completely during these months, so if an adventurous vacation is important to you, the green season may not be the best time to visit.

Abigail Angelotti
Abigail Angelotti

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