Reasons to Visit
Panama has an extremely rich array of birdlife and is one of the best countries in the world for birding. There are over 970 species and over two thirds of these can be found in the rainforests that surround the Panama Canal, including the rare harpy eagle. The Chiriquí Highlands, El Valle and the Darien Jungle are also prolific regions to view some of the many wonderful birds.
The indigenous communities of Panama add a fascinating dimension for visitors and interacting with them in a sustainable and responsible manner is a wonderful experience. The most accessible and welcoming indigenous inhabitants can be found in the San Blas archipelago, along with the Embera communities in the Darien Jungle and the Ngobe-Bugle communities in the Chiriquí Highlands.
Panama has numerous tropical islands to explore in both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Each has its own special attraction from the blue-yellow macaws and deserted beaches of The Pearl Islands to the colourful reef-life and dolphins of Bocas del Toro to the indigenous Kuna communities of The San Blas archipelago.
One of the highlights of travelling in Panama is that you will find it relatively untouched. Outside of Panama City you will often find yourself on a deserted stretch of rainforest or pristine beach with just your small lodge as the only place for miles. Be prepared for spectacular journeys on bumpy roads, light aircraft and speedboats and you will have an experience of a lifetime!
Watching a huge ship nudge its way through the Panama Canal is an unforgettable experience in Panama. 48 miles long, the canal connects the pacific ocean and the Atlantic, and is a real feat of engineering.
With both Caribbean and Pacific coasts available, there is some beautiful snorkelling to be had in Panama in relatively untouched spots. The San Blas islands in particular have incredibly colourful reefs, and the Kuna guides are experts at picking the best places to take you.
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Named by Balboa in 1513 after the buccaneers that used to hide here, The Pearl Islands consist of over 90 islands and 130 tiny islets.
The ultraviolet index is a measure of the risk of skin damage due to exposure to the sun. Be aware that the potential damage caused by the sun varies from person to person as well as by time of day, altitude and several other factors. We recommend contacting your GP for further advice.
Wear sunglasses on bright days; use sunscreen if there is snow on the ground (which reflects UV radiation) or if you have particularly fair skin.
Wear sunglasses and use sunscreen, cover the body with clothing and a hat, and seek shade around midday when the sun is most intense.
Wear sunglasses and use sunscreen having SPF 15 or higher, cover the body with sun protective clothing and a wide-brim hat, and reduce time in the sun from two hours before to three hours after solar noon.
Wear sunscreen, a shirt, sunglasses and a hat. Do not stay out in the sun for too long.
Take all precautions, including: wear sunglasses and use sunscreen, cover the body with a long-sleeved shirt and trousers, wear a very broad hat, and avoid the sun from two hours before to three hours after solar noon.
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Include a visit to Pearl Islands on your tailor-made trip around Panama by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in PanamaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout PanamaCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCosta RicaCubaGuatemalaHondurasMexicoNicaragua
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