Panama has been serving as the heart of international shipping since the opening of the world famous Panama Canal in 1914. The ever busy connection point between the Pacific and the Caribbean also happens to be a major center for international banking. However businesses aside, Panama has also become a major tourist destination as Central America became more and more popular among travelers. Many of the tourists travel to Panama as the starting point of their Central American adventure. And the decision is also well-reasoned, as Panama holds a lot of breathtaking vistas and exciting activities in store to offer to its guests. From backpackers to family travelers, this beautiful country has something for everybody. Here are the top four things which you must try out when you travel to Panama.
1. Visit the Panama Canal
Well, it is the most obvious thing to do when you travel to Panama. Built in 1914, this 50 miles long canal acts as the passageway for ships traveling between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. There are three sets of locks used in the canal, Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks on the Pacific side and Gatun Locks on the Caribbean side. The Miraflores Locks are the most popular due to its close proximity to the capital Panama City. You can also take a boat ride through the waters of this magnificent canal or take a three-hour long train ride with the Panama Canal Railway to see some beautiful views of both the oceans in a single ride.
2. Explore Casco Viejo
Located just outside Panama City, Casco Viejo is the oldest city in the Americas. Walk through the red bricked streets, spend some time at the street side bars and restaurants and enjoy the beautiful Spanish styled architecture. Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998, the cultural and historical significance of this city makes a visit to Casco Viejo a must to activity when you travel to Panama.
3. Relax at Bocas del Toro
The province of Bocas del Toro is extremely popular among the backpackers and tourists. Especially Bocas Town, the capital of the province located off the Caribbean coast is beautiful with its crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches. Indulge in the laid-back Caribbean attitude and spend some relaxing time in the pristine natural setting. Here you will also find some of best surfing and snorkeling spots in Panama. The island’s shoreline is full with luxury shorefront or on-water accommodations, which makes it a perfect getaway destination to enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean Sea from the comfort of your own bed.
4. Take a trip to one of the rainforest parks
Panama has some of the most amazing rainforest parks for you to explore. Three of them, namely Parque Soberania, Parque Metropolitano, and Parque Chagres, are located just outside the capital, Panama City. If you want to take a break from the city-life and leave everything behind when you travel to Panama, then hike through any of these rainforest parks. You will get to spot a variety of birds and wildlife during your hike too.