Panama

World Geography

Come join the fun at Panama!

Panama is not only the geographical point where North America meets South America but also where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet in the country’s famed canal. The original meaning of the word “panama” means “abundance of fish,” and fishing is just one of the many water sports and activities that visitors to Panama can enjoy. Covered with rain forests and mountains, you can also hike, zip line and climb. Panama enjoys a modern infrastructure, making travel through the tropical paradise easy and convenient.

Panama Religion

The government of Panama does not collect statistics on the religious affiliation of citizens, but various sources estimate that 75 to 85 percent of the population identifies itself as Roman Catholic and 15 to 25 percent as evangelical Christian.

Language

Spanish

Panama, Official language

"Hello" to "Hola"

3 mayor ethnic groups.

About 70 percent of Panamanians are mestizos, people of mixed European and Native American descent, or mulattoes, those of European and African heritage.
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Holidays

  • January 1, New Year's Day.
  • January 9, Martyrs' Day (Panama)
  • Carnival's Monday. The Monday before Ash Wednesday.
  • Carnival's Tuesday. The Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
  • Holy Friday - Good Friday - Death of Christ.
  • May 1, May Day - Labour Day.
  • July 1. ( every 5 years) presidential inauguration.
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    Dances and Music.

    If you hear live folk music in Panama, chances are it will be accompanied by dancing. The most famous dance is el tamborito. As its name implies (tambor means drum in Spanish), this dance is rhythmic and drum-based.
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    Food.

  • Hojaldras - doughnuts sprinkled with sugar
  • Tortillas - flat pancakes made of corn flour and usually topped with eggs, cheese, or beans
  • Arepas - made of corn flour and usually topped or stuffed with eggs, cheese, or beans
  • Gallo pinto - literally "spotted rooster", made of rice, beans and usually pork, although it can be
  • Arroz con pollo -chicken usually slow cooked with vegetables and spices and served with rice
  • Ropa Vieja - literally "old clothes"; made of beef and tomato sauce, served with rice
  • Sancocho - an extremely popular local stew, especially during Carnaval, usually made with chicken vegetables, tomatoes and coriander made with beef, chicken or mixed seafood. It is found in local restaurants
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    Panama Travel, Vacation, Tourism, Attractions - Panama Canal Cruise

    Celebrations and Festivals

    Chiriqui Highlands Flower and Coffee Festival

    After full bloom and a fresh harvest, you will be treated to glorious sights and smells at this ten day festival held every January. It is held in and around the town of Boquete.

    Carnaval

    This festival is held 40 days before Easter, the start of lent, and would coincide with other ‘Mardi Gras’ celebrations held around the world. The Panamanian carnival is special as every day has a theme: Friday is the grand opening, Saturday is international day, Sunday is ‘Pollera’ day, Monday is costume day, and Tuesday is the Queens day. Wednesday is the final day where the ceremonial act of entierro de la sardine (the sardine burial) takes place. The carnival is best enjoyed in Panama City or the town of Las Tablas.

    Boquete Jazz and Blues festival

    The mountainside town and coffee-growing region is home to this annual music festival held in March. It has grown in recent years, and is now on the map for international touring artists who play jazz and blues music. The town of Boquete provides an ambient feel.

    Sobresaltos Dance Festival

    Dance! It’s the name of the game. This is a funky urban music festival held in Panama City, in the old district of the city called Casco Antiguo. It is an outdoor festival and features contemporary performances and art installations around the district. It is held in December every year.

    Semana Santa

    Held during Easter week, this festival is celebrated all over Panama. During this time you will see spectacular parades through the streets telling the biblical story. Depending on the town or city, the festival lasts up to five days, finishing on Good Friday.

    Bocas Del Toro Sea Fair

    Held for four days in September every year, the “Feria del Mar” (Sea Fair) in Bocas del Toro is a spectacular event that celebrates the archipelago’s fishing traditions. There is plenty of music and dancing, and also a showcase for traditional handicraft products. The festival is held on Ismito beach near Bocas town.