Panama is the second most competitive economy in Latin America; an international business center with Panama City at its hub. But this multi-faceted country has much more to offer such as coasts along both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans with miles of isolated beaches, hundreds of islands that cluster offshore, spectacular mountains, highlands and rainforests inland and a wealth of cultural experiences. Indigenous tribes inhabited Panama prior to the settlement by the Spanish in the 16th century. Seven of these cultures, whose traditions pre-date the arrival of European explorers, invite travelers to learn about their lives and traditions. Covering around 40 percent of the country, jungles support an abundance of tropical plants and animals including more than 250 species of mammals and a host of other creatures in the neo-tropical forest and highlands. All manner of activities are available, including sport fishing, diving, rafting, kayaking, birding, historic tours and rainforest hikes. And, of course, it possesses one of the most famous ditches ever dug, the Panama Canal. With its many attributes, today’s Panama makes an ideal location whether for a quick getaway or a complete vacation escape.
Panama City and its famous international canal have long served as the center of this verdant country. While the Panama Canal links east and west, the country also serves as the land bridge connecting North and South America, offering a biodiversity bonanza of nearly 1,000 species of birds, along with a host of mammals. Long before Europeans arrived and the Canal was dug, indigenous peoples made the isthmus their home, leaving their own mark on Panama’s mix of cultures and traditions, and Panamanians are proud of their efforts to protect and preserve their natural and cultural heritage. Learn more about the galapagos.com values.Why the Finch Ranking?