Overland Journeys: Central America Explorer

Panama is one of the less visited Central American countries which is surprising given the amount of attractions packed into this narrow stretch of land connecting two continental land masses. Panama was a key site for Spanish colonisation of the Americas and reminders of this period can be seen in the historical districts of Panama City and the remains of the Spanish forts on the Caribbean coast. Panama is also a country of extraordinary natural beauty and diversity, with national parks like Darien and La Amistad being important habitats for a wide range of animal species. The country also offers many opportunities for relaxation and adrenaline activities in the islands off its Caribbean coast. Finally, don't miss a chance to observe the workings and traffic of the canal for which Panama is world famous. Explore in depth highlights of Panama.

Travel Information for Panama
Time zone:GMT -5 (Panama standard time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Spanish
Other languages:English, Creole, Amerindian dialects
Currency: balboas (PAB)

1 = B/.1.11, $1 = B/.1.00, £1 = B/.1.32

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.paInternational Dialling Code:    507

For help planning your trip to Panama including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Panama trip planning page.

Further information on Panama

Discover more about Panama - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of panama

Total area: 78,200 sq km (2,210 sq km under water)

Coastline: 2,490 km (Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean)

Neighbours (border lengths): Colombia (225km), Costa Rica (330km)

Climate: Tropical maritime climate that is hot, humid and cloudy. There is a prolonged rainy season from May to January and a short dry season from January to May.

Highest mountain: Volcan Baru (3,475m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Panama from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldFree -
Democracy IndexFlawed democracy 47/167
Economic FreedomModerately Free 68/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 81/179
ILGA LGBT rightsLimited rights -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 94/174
Overall Ranking:    64/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Republic of Panama     Status: Independent Country

Population: 3,608,431 (rank: 128/196)     Density: 46.1 people/sq km (rank: 136/196)

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%

Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%

GDP (PPP): $61.54 billion       GDP per capita: $16,500 (rank: 63/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.