Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Adventure Lovers Flock to Panama's Diverse Culture and Scenery
Travelers who are seeking more diverse destinations will find that the Central American country of Panama subsists in a distinctive category for having an impressive portfolio of polychromatic scenery, recognized tribes of indigenous people, a well-documented history, a thriving and hip capital city, abundant oceanic and terrestrial wildlife, sparkling clear oceans and streams and expansive beaches. As a biodiversity hotspot it offers offbeat adventures on both land and sea. Panama not only serves as the bridge between Central and South America but it spans the interests of travelers young and old.

As one of the two Central American countries that uses the US dollar, Panama is an economically and politically stable country that is best known for the ocean-connecting Panama Canal. What many adventurers are discovering is that this country is a cultural blend of African and European heritages, traditional native customs and contemporary lifestyles that arouses the senses of the worldly traveler and the novice, alike.

Each of Panama's ten provinces reflects a different aspect of the culture inclusive of flora and fauna, wildlife, history, cultural garb, celebrations and native cuisine. From the fast-paced, modern capital, Panama City, to the exotic, laid-back Caribbean style of the archipelago Bocas del Toro; from the cool volcanic heights of Volcan Barú to the sun-drenched sands of the Pacific coast; from the seven distinctive tribes of indigenous people and industrious farmers to the hip, socially conscious young generation, all stretching to make their mark on this developing nation, Panama captures it all.

The 1,500 tropical islands that rim the isthmus give Panama the distinction of being home to over 30 species of whale and dolphin. The idyllic Pearl Islands is one of the only places in the world where whales by the thousands migrate, from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, providing whale watching enthusiasts with exciting expeditions during the uniquely lengthy whale watching season that runs from July through October and again from December through February. In addition to the thrill of seeing these acrobatic ocean creatures, the crystal clear turquoise waters and inviting islands afford travelers the opportunity to swim, beach comb and snorkel. Showcasing multi-colored beaches on the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Caribbean Sea, scuba diving and surfing are other popular aquatic activities that attract the young and young-at-heart.

The rugged, nearly impassible Darién Gap, the missing link in the 29,800 mile (47,958 km) Pan-American Highway, which extends southeast of Panama City to the border of Colombia is the largest tropical rain forest in the western hemisphere except for the Amazon basin.

The adventure-seeking traveler has many choices from which to choose. Incomparable experiences await those who are seeking excursions that offer a range of sights, sounds, tastes and activities. Their money and time will be well spent in the vibrant country of Panama.
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