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Panama much more then just a canal

Panama was named after an indigenous word meaning, “abundance of fish.” This beautiful Central America paradise is one of the few places in the world where you can dive two oceans in one day. With the warm, tropical waters of the Caribbean on its east and the cooler waters of the Pacific on the west, it’s just a two-hour car ride between them in some places. Panama boasts 1,207km of Caribbean coast and 1,700km of Pacific coast.

The Emberá tribe originates from the Darien region in Panamá and the Choco region of Colombia. They have lived in this area for centuries, long before there were countries called Panamá and Colombia and before the first Spanish explorer set foot in the new world. Nobody knows if the Emberá have always been in this region or migrated from elsewhere. There are rumors that they have ancestors in Brazil and that they possibly came originally from Polynesia. The truth is we simply don't and may never know.

 

The people of the village of Emberá Purú migrated from the Darien about 50 years ago, seeking a better quality of life for themselves and their children. They settled in what is now the Chagres National Park and are within 1-2 hours from a city with modern medicine, supplies and secondary education for the children. They survive by the income generated through tourism to their village. Tourism is a fun way for them to earn an income to purchase basic staple food items, medicine, school supplies, gas and outboard motors. Tourism also encourages the Emberá people to maintain their traditions, culture and language and allows them to live as they prefer to live and to share it all with visitors from around the world. Tourism also instills a sense of pride among the Emberá people because instead of being ignored, they feel proud that people like you have come from all over the world to meet and learn about them and their culture.


Boquete is known for its cool, fresh climate and pristine natural surroundings. Flowers, coffee, vegetables and citrus fruits flourish in its rich soil, and the friendliness of the locals seems to rub off on everyone who passes through. Boquete gained a deluge of expats after the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) named it a top retirement spot. Until you see the gated communities and sprawling estates dotting the hillsides up close, though, you'd be hard-pressed to see what the fuss is about.

 

The surrounds, however, are another matter. Boquete is one of the country’s top destinations for outdoor-lovers. It's a hub for hiking, climbing, rafting, visiting coffee farms, soaking in hot springs, studying Spanish or canopy touring. And, of course, there’s nothing quite like a cup of locally grown coffee.

 

Some of the activities that you can choose from in Boquete are following: Water Sports, Rum Experience, Specialty Coffee 101, History, Processing and Professional Cupping and more. Wildlife Hikes, Canopy, Coffee Tasting Adventure and Waterfalls Visit.


Diving. On the Caribbean side, divers come for the abundance of colorful reef fish and corals. When rating the best diving in Central American, Bocas del Toro always comes up with its white sand beaches and many calm and the Bastimentos Marine National park. It’s a great place to learn how to dive and the marine life make it a great place to keep diving. Another popular spot on the Caribbean coast is Colon, only two hours from Panama City. Just offshore, the Portobelo National Marine Park has beautiful corals and the area is filled with a history of pirate battles and sunken ships. Sir Francis Drake died at sea in 1596 and his body, clad in a full suit of armour and in a lead coffin, is thought to be off the coast of Portobello.

 

On the Pacific side, cooler waters and currents make encounters with pelagic common. Lucky divers can see several species of shark, whale sharks, humpback whales, dolphins, and more. Coiba National Marine Park is often referred to as the Galapagos of Central America and has the second largest coral reef in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Pearl Archipelago also offers great options close to Panama City.


The San Blas islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the archipelago and they are scattered around in an area of about 100 square miles. If you leave the Golfo de San Blas by boat you will enter the Caribbean Sea. The majority of the 378 islands have no inhabitants, but on the larger ones you will find the gentle native people known as the Kuna’s. These people can be found on the larger inhabited Islands; Aguja Island, Guanidup Island, Chichimei, Yandup Island and El Porvenir. You may ask yourself What is san blas? San Blas is an autonomous territory in Panama formally called Kuna Yala.

 

The San Blas Islands are the number #1 vacation destination in Panama and probably in Central America. This is because the Islands are not yet discovered by the massive tourism industry and fully in control of the native Kuna’s. The Kuna’s protect their lands against massive tourism and keep them healthy and beautiful. This makes the San Blas Islands of Panama unique if you are searching for untouched nature and culture. You will sleep in eco-friendly accommodations made by the Guna’s Indians from natural materials which they found on the Islands and in the jungle.

 

The most common way to get around in the San Blas archipelago is by sailing from island to island, but you can also book flights from Panama City to the airports located on El Porvenir, Playon Chico, Achutupu, Ogobsucum or Corazon de Jesus in San Blas. Driving to Guna Yala (San Blas) is also possible, you will have to take a 4×4 jeep from Panama City to Carti


Panama Canal, Spanish Canal de Panamá, lock-type canal, owned and administered by the Republic of Panama, that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the narrow Isthmus of Panama. The length of the Panama Canal from shoreline to shoreline is about 40 miles (65 km) and from deep water in the Atlantic (more specifically, the Caribbean Sea) to deep water in the Pacific about 50 miles (82 km). The canal, which was completed in August 1914, is one of the two most strategic artificial waterways in the world.

 

Operation of the Panama Canal, It takes approximately fifteen hours to traverse the canal through its three sets of locks (about half the time is spent waiting due to traffic). Ships passing through the canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean actually move from the northwest to the southeast, due to the east-west orientation of the Isthmus of Panama.Panama Canal Expansion In September, 2007 work began on a $5.2 billion project to expand the Panama Canal. Expected to be complete in 2014, the Panama Canal expansion project will allow ships double the size of current Panamax to pass through the canal, dramatically increasing the amount of goods that can pass through the canal. The Panama Canal expansion project is also called the Third Set of Locks Project. The new ships, called New Panamax, are about one and a half times the previous Panamax size and can carry over twice as much cargo. The expanded canal began commercial operation on 26 June 2016.

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