Friday, April 6, 2012

Why Go To Panama?

More and more people are travelling to Panama for a varietyof reasons. Although Panama is a small country, there are a number of reasonswhy you might want to make it your next travel destination.

The Bridge of the Americas

·        AnAffordable Exotic Destination - Since Panama has just began to promoteitself as a tourist destination, its prices are very reasonable and some of thebest for exotic travel. The Economist just published a study which stated thatPanama City was found to be one of the ten least expensive cities in the world.The US dollar is the legal currency.

Casco Viejo, the historic district, looking back at Panama City

·        Accessibility- Panama is easily accessible even from Canada. The flight time from Calgary orToronto is about five hours .Being the crossroads between the America, thereare several major airline which fly into Panama. The increasing number offlights results in price fares that are getting less expensive. You do requirea passport and need to purchase a $5 tourist card at the airport forsingle-entry tourist visits. Land crossings are also possible from Costa Rica, butthe cost of insurance, fuel, permits, and accommodations, usually make itcheaper to fly.

·        Tourist Friendly – Panamanians are a friendlypeople and most of them speak some English. Panama is an internationalcrossroad and is a melting pot of different cultures and races. The people of Panama know how to have a good time. Panama, which is well known for its famous canal, is just beginning to develop as a resort center.

·        Weather – The best time of year to visit Panama,especially on the Pacific side, is during the dry season from mid-December tomid-April. Usually there is little rain and the weather is pleasant. The rainy season runs from May to November. North ofthe mountains on the Caribbean side, it tends to rain all year round.  Panama lies below the hurricane belt soyou don’t have to worry about avoiding hurricanes.

Streets in Bocas del Toro after a torrential down pour

 World-classfor Adventure - Panama has lots to do for the adventurer. Panama is adiverse country which varies from mountains to rain forests to pristinebeaches. There are endless opportunities for learning about the culture of thecounty. Take a tour to learn about themodern city life of Panama City or visit ancient historical monuments such asSan Lorenze Fort.

Ruins of the San Lorenze Fort

There are numerous activities for outdoor excursions such asa visit to Bocas Del Toro which consists of six densely forested islands, many uninhabited islets, and a marine reserve.

Cabin on stilts with thatched roof on an  island at Bocas Del Toro

Panama is famous for its world class fishing, sailing,snorkeling, and diving.

Dock at Bocas del Toras 

You can also go rafting or kayaking on the rives, orenjoy jungle and mountain trekking, horse-back riding, or rappelling. And, ofcourse, you will want to make sure that you visit the canal!

Ship going through the canal locks at Gatun

All photos courtesy of Cathy MacRae.

Muriel MacRae, owner of Del Sol Travel, is a Calgary travel agent and WPIC wedding planner who specializes in luxury travel,  destination weddings, honeymoons, and romantic getaways to tropical locations such as Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the South Pacific. Located in Calgary, Alberta, she plans weddings and honeymoons for couples in and around the Calgary area and throughout North America. For more information about planning your destination wedding, honeymoon, or romantic getaway, please contact her at or phone 403-477-0643 

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