What is panama mainly known for?

Panama is known as a transit country because of the Panama Canal. While the country is known for its famous canal, its natural attractions include birdwatching tours, white-water rafting, and snorkeling. This Central American country borders Costa Rica and Colombia, and is located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. Panama is a narrow land bridge, or isthmus, connecting North and South America.

Panama is slightly smaller than South Carolina. On the one hand, Panama is home to one of the largest rainforests in the Americas. With more than 60% of the country's surface covered in forests, there are many national parks and designated reserves that the public can access. Delve into one of these immaculate treasures of biodiversity, where lush vegetation, screaming howler monkeys, lazy sloths await you, exotic birds and much more.

The enormous 166-square-mile Gatun Lake is an artificial lake that is also part of the Panama Canal system. Panamanian music is popular throughout Latin America, and the country is also known for its many festivals. The national park is also home to the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, an interpretation center with several exhibits on the local environment and ecotourism. While many members of the community have moved in recent decades to embrace urban life elsewhere in Panama, a sizeable population of Emberá maintains their residences in the rainforest.

This Central American destination is known around the world for its eponymous canal, and in fact, the century-old 50-mile-long Panama Canal is an engineering marvel to behold. Music in Panama is a lively mix of many styles, such as salsa, Cuban son, Colombian cumbia, Argentinian tango and ska, reggae and soca from the Caribbean islands. In fact, for a small country roughly the size of South Carolina, there are an incredible amount of fun things to do in Panama. This depression (the site of the Panama Canal) once again divides the country roughly into two halves: western and eastern.

Within this major Panamanian tourist attraction, visitors can enjoy the endless landscapes of a protected rainforest that crosses the Chagres River, while keeping their eyes open for various wildlife sightings. Among the country's cultural institutions are the Panamanian Institute of Art (Panarte), the National Institute of Music, the National School of Music, the National School of Plastic Arts, the National School of Dance and the National Theater School. Enter this open-air museum suitable for children, one of the best things to do in Panama, due to its interactive exhibitions aimed at exploring Panama's fragile and unique coastal and marine habitats. The culture of Panama is a mix of African, indigenous American, North American and Spanish influences, which are expressed in its traditional arts and crafts, music, religion, and sports and gastronomy.

There are more than 1,400 species of trees, including the square tree, which has a square trunk and is found in the mountains west of Panama City. Learn more about the Emberá, including their traditional Panamanian food (such as fish and plantains), ceremonial language, dance and music, crafts (they are especially known for their intricate carved statues and baskets, which often represent images of animals), and more, on a guided tour of their riverside villages. Located at the Pacific access to the Panama Canal, near the end of the Amador Causeway, the Punta Culebra Natural Center (supported by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) offers visitors the opportunity to explore the natural world of the Panamanian coast through the lens of science and conservation. The Pacific coast extends across the Azuero Peninsula and the Gulf of Panama and through numerous promontories and bays, while the largest cove on the Caribbean side is the Chiriqui Lagoon.

Abigail Angelotti
Abigail Angelotti

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