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Panama

Background

Panama

Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter dissolved in 1830, Panama remained part of Colombia. With US backing, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and promptly signed a treaty with the US allowing for the construction of a canal and US sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the structure (the Panama Canal Zone). The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of the century. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the subsequent decades. With US help, dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989. The entire Panama Canal, the area supporting the Canal, and remaining US military bases were transferred to Panama by the end of 1999. In October 2006, Panamanians approved an ambitious plan (estimated to cost $5.3 billion) to expand the Canal. The project, which began in 2007 and could double the Canal's capacity, is expected to be completed in 2014-15.

About

Panama is a country in Central America with coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, with Colombia (and South America) to the southeast and Costa Rica (and North America) to the northwest. It's strategically located on the isthmus that forms the land bridge connecting North and South America. It controls the Panama Canal that links the North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean, one of the most important shipping routes in the world.

Read more about Panama in our Panama travel guide »

Featured journals from

Panama

Joan Wilder...THE Joan Wilder...?

by Tammini

We're going to Panama (you know that obvious holiday destination that just EVERYONE is going to!)

Oct 2017  »  Panama | United States

Featured hotels in

Panama

PanamaInterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa 

Kobbe Beach Punta Bruja
Playa Bonita
Panama

Price (US$): $189 - $239 / night

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Location. InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa is located on the beach in Playa Bonita and local attractions include Bridge of the Americas, Panama Old Cathedral, and Frank Gehry Biodiversity Museum. Other points of interest are Marine Exhibition Center Smithsonian Institute Panama and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Punta Culebra. Hotel Features. InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa features 2 bars/lounges, a restaurant, and a poolside bar. Room service is available 24… more »

PanamaManrey Hotel 

Calle Uruguay
Panama City
Panama

Price (US$): $120 - $142 / night

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Location. Manrey Hotel is a business friendly hotel located in central Panama City, close to Via España, Panama Old Cathedral, and Multicentro Panama. Additional points of interest include National Bank House Museum and Multiplaza Pacific. Hotel Features. Manrey Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary continental breakfast. Guests can enjoy a… more »

PanamaCasa del Horno 

Ave. B, Casco Antiguo
Panama City
Panama

Price (US$): $250 - $251 / night

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Location. Located in Panama City, Casa del Horno is in the historical district and close to Panama Cathedral, Panama Old Cathedral, and Bridge of the Americas. Nearby points of interest also include Palacio de las Garzas and Independence Square. Hotel Features. Casa del Horno's restaurant serves lunch and dinner. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast in the room. This 4.5 star property offers secretarial services, a technology helpdesk, and… more »

PanamaBristol Panama 

Avenida Aguilino De La Guardia
Panama City
Panama

Price (US$): $209 - $210 / night

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Location. Located in Panama City, Bristol Panama is in the business district and close to Via España, Panama Old Cathedral, and Multicentro Panama. Nearby points of interest also include Multiplaza Pacific and National Bank House Museum. Hotel Features. Bristol Panama features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in the restaurant. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility. This 4.5 star property has a 24 hour business center… more »

PanamaJW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort 

340 Calle 3ra Buenaventura
Buenaventura Beach Community
Playa Blanca
Panama

Price (US$): $319 - $369 / night

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Location. JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort is a beachfront luxury hotel located in Playa Blanca's Farallon neighborhood. Hotel Features. In addition to 4 restaurants, JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort offers a coffee shop/café and a grocery. A swim up bar, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include 4 outdoor swimming pools. Also located on site are a golf course, a children's pool, a lazy river, a… more »

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Panama

Full name
Republic of Panama
Capital
Panama City
Location

Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica

Geographic coordinates

9 00 N, 80 00 W

Area comparative

slightly smaller than South Carolina

Border countries

Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km

Coastline

2,490 km

Climate

tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)

Terrain

interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills

Lowest point

Pacific Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Volcan Baru 3,475 m

Natural resources

copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower

Population

3,410,676 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Religions

Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%

Languages

Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual

Government type

constitutional democracy

Independence

3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)

National holiday

Independence Day, 3 November (1903)

Chief of state

President Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal (since 1 July 2009); Vice President Juan Carlos VARELA (since 1 July 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government

President Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal (since 1 July 2009); Vice President Juan Carlos VARELA (since 1 July 2009)

Internet country code

.pa

Internet users

959,800 (2009)

Airports

118 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Balboa, Colon, Cristobal

Other countries in the region