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5 Great Tourist Attractions in Western Panama

Panama City
Panama City; source: Dirk van der Made / Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Panama, the “Crossroads of the Americas,” is not only the geographical point where North America meets South America or where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet. Panama is much more than that.

From the world-renowned engineering feat that is the Panama canal to a prodigious football history as well as popular natural and artificial attractions, Panama is a wonderful place to spend an adventurous vacation.

Below, we present the top five great attractions in this Latin American country.

1) The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is one of the most astonishing engineering wonders in the world. This is not only because e of its towering build, but the ingenuity and technical brilliance that went into its design and construction.

Here, visitors can get to see the canal as well as get a better idea of its history and how it was constructed.  In fact, visitors can take either a partial or complete crossing of the canal. The crossing can take four to eight hours.

The Miraflores Locks Visitor’s Center, open everyday from 9 a.m. To 5 p.m., has a museum and movie theatre as well. From the restaurant located at the top floor of the museum, visitors can watch transiting vessels in the canal below.

2) Deep Sea Fishing

The original meaning of the word “panama” is “abundance of fish”. Fishing is just one of the many water sports and activities that visitors to Panama enjoy.

More highly developed than its neighbouring Central American countries, Panama enjoys a modern fishing infrastructure, making fishing in the tropical paradise easy and convenient.

3) Pearl Islands

The Pearl Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Panama. Visitors can charter private yachts to cruise and explore the islands which gained much popularity after being featured on the reality television show “Survivor”. The islands feature lush forests surrounded by white, sandy beaches. Of all the Pearl Islands, Contadora Island is the most developed with several resorts and an airstrip.

For snorkelers and divers, an extensive coral reef features colourful varieties of tropical fish. The waters of Panama are unmatched in their level of marine diversity, and this is especially evident along coastal Pearl Islands. The fauna on the island itself is also extensive and quite amazing, catering to all those nature lovers.

4) Panama Viejo

Panama Viejo, or Old Panama, comprises the ruins of the oldest capital in the Americas, with the most popular tourist attractions. The ruin site covers 23 hectares (57 acres) on the city’s eastern edge. Here, visitors will find crumbling buildings connected by broken paths and walkways.

The good view from this part of the city gives Panama Viejo significance as a culturally unique attraction. A pleasant park and recreation area provides visitors with a chance to get out and stretch their legs.

5) Boquete

Known as the “Valley of the Flowers,” Boquete is situated along the western border and offers a true bouquet of delightful travel experiences:

  • Zip Line: Visitors can take an exhilarating zip line through the canopy of the Cloud Forest.
  • Hot Springs: Soaking on any of the nearby hot springs along the Caldera River is a must.
  • Rafting: Rafting on the Whitewater River is also a popular pastime and attraction.

Few countries in the Americas can compete with Panama when it comes to things to see and do. Some travellers spend their entire visit in and around Panama City, touring sights, and the best part is, there is never a dull moment.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020

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