Portobelo, Colon


Bocas del Toro beach


Panama City scape


Near Boquete




Panama FlagPanama C.A. officially the Republic of Panama (Spanish: República de Panamá); is the southernmost country of Central America and, in turn, North America. Situated on an Isthmus connecting North and South America, some categorize it as a transcontinental nation. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the Northwest, Colombia to the Southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the North and the Pacific Ocean to the South. Its size is 75,000 km² with an estimated population of 3,310,000 most of who live in its capital; Panama City. It is the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America.   Its location on the Isthmus of Panama is strategic and since the year 2000, Panama has had exclusive control of the Panama Canal that links the trade routes of the North Atlantic Ocean, via the Caribbean Sea, with the North Pacific Ocean.

The dominant feature of the country's landform is the central spine of mountains and hills that forms the continental divide. The divide does not form part of the great mountain chains of North America, and only near the Colombian border are there highlands related to the Andean system of South America. The spine that forms the divide is the highly eroded arch of an up-lift from the sea bottom, in which peaks were formed by volcanic intrusions.

The mountain range of the divide is called the Cordillera de Talamanca near the Costa Rican border. Farther east it becomes the Serranía de Tabasará, and the portion of it closer to the lower saddle of the isthmus, where the canal is located, is often called the Sierra de Veraguas. As a whole, the range between Costa Rica and the canal is generally referred to by geographers as the Cordillera Central.

The highest point in the country is the Volcán Barú (formerly known as the Volcán de Chiriquí), which rises to 3,475 meters (11,401 ft). A nearly impenetrable jungle forms the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia. It creates a break in the Pan-American Highway, which otherwise forms a complete road from Alaska to Patagonia.

Panama is divided into nine provinces, with their respective local authorities (Governors) and has a total of ten cities. Also, there are four Comarcas (literally:'Shires') which house a variety of indigenous groups.

Along with real estate, tourism is one of Panama's rising economic activities. Small and amazingly diverse, Panama makes it possible for a traveler to visit not only two different oceans in one day, but be able to combine in less than a week a diversified natural experience (white sand beaches, cloud or rain forest, mountains or valleys) with a wide range of cultural experiences (seven Indian tribes, Afroantillian and Spanish Colonial culture, several historic monuments and a 300 year old World Heritage Site called Casco Antiguo (often referred as Casco Viejo), Panama Viejo, San Felipe or Catedral). In recent years the north-western and north-eastern regions of Panama have also drawn increasing amounts of tourist activity because of their beaches, temperate and tropical rainforests, all within easy reach of popular Costa Rica. As well, Bocas Del Toro, Boquete, and the surfing areas of the Pacific Coast are tourist draws. Panama has become a cross roads for backpacking international tourists travelling between North and South America.

(Referenced from Wikipedia)

Topographical Map