What is panama's number one attraction for tourists?

One of Panama's best-known attractions is the Panama Canal. This 48-mile waterway was the first to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean in 1914. First on the list is the Panama Canal, a 48-mile (77 km) artificial waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, which can be viewed from the Miraflores Visitor Center. Despite plans dating back to the 16th century, the canal was not built until 1914, resulting in the annexation of the region by the United States of Colombia and the eventually creation of the country of Panama itself. Some 14,000 ships pass through the canal each year.

While Casco Viejo exudes quiet colonial charm, downtown Panama City is bustling, urban, and modern metropolitan. There's no better place to people-watch than the main pedestrian causeway, just off Central Avenue, where disguised businessmen rub shoulders with street vendors and street performers. Also enjoy the Cinta Costera, an extensive oceanfront park facing an urban skyscraper landscape. It is full of people who play volleyball and soccer or who meet, with ice cream in hand, to see the golden sunset.

The Bridge of the Americas extends along the Panama Canal and connects Panama City by road with the rest of the country. The views of the Pacific locks are breathtaking and, at the western end, there is a viewpoint. Stop here for a while to take a photo and pay your respects at the touching Chinese memorial. It was built to commemorate the hard work of some 700 Chinese migrant workers, many of whom lost their lives building the Panama Railroad in the decade of 1850.

Whether you're looking for a cheap and delicious ceviche dish, buying fresh fish and seafood directly from the fishermen, or just watching people go by, the Seafood Market is a must-stop, especially at 6 in the morning, when they bring in the day's catch from the Pacific; or at lunchtime, when local Panamanians from all walks of life flock here to eat and talk. Bocas del Toro is one of the favorite destinations among Panamanians and visitors. Just a 45-minute flight from Panama City takes you to the country's northernmost province. Immerse yourself in their cultures, cross mountains covered with forests, sail among mangroves, swim among reefs, surf the perfect waves and discover good vibes from Bocas.

Known as the “Crossroads of the Americas,” Panama is not only the geographical point where North America meets South America, but also where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet in the country's famous canal. On January 4, 1933, the world's most famous physicist and his wife visited Panama on their way to California. You can also visit Iguana Island to dive into the largest and oldest coral reef in the Gulf of Panama and see many of the birds and iguanas that live there. In addition to wildlife, you'll also have the opportunity to visit the Embera Indians, one of the last remaining tribes in Panama.

On one of the Amador Islands, connected by a road to the center of Panama City, the Punta Culebra Natural Center is an educational project led by the Smithsonian Institute for Tropical Research. The lush tropical atmosphere of Soberanía National Park makes it one of the best natural attractions in Panama. Located on the banks of the Panama Canal, this rainforest is one of the best places in the world for birdwatching. The building was designed by local firm Pinzón Lozano & Associates, the creative force behind many of the city's vertiginous business towers from Panama.

Spend the day strolling through the pastel-colored town or climb to the top of Cerro de la Cruz for spectacular views of the entire Gulf of Panama. As you leave Panama City, just 80 km (50 miles) away, on your left, you will see a series of beaches where you can enjoy the best plans in the Pacific. Like a giant auger screw that protrudes from the heart of the Financial District, crowned with a fierce-looking spike, the 797-foot (243 m) F&F Tower (also known as The Screw or the Screw) is the most striking skyscraper in Panama. Built in the middle of the 17th century, after the abandonment of the original settlement, it is said that Governor Don Juan Pérez de Guzmán burned it down in 1671 (to save Panama from pirate looting), rebuilt it, left it to become a poor neighborhood and, finally, it became gentrified at the end of the 20th century. One of the most popular things to do in Panama is to walk the tranquil Los Senderos Quetzales trail, as it gives hikers the opportunity to observe the rare and colorful Quetzal bird.

Abigail Angelotti
Abigail Angelotti

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