Friday, July 15, 2011

Spiritual Tourism Finds True Spirit in Panama
Tourism is one of the best platforms for continuing education for the Baby Boomer traveler. Spiritual tourism, as an ever-growing sector of the travel industry, focuses on participants seeking personal growth and relaxation through enlightenment vs. sun, fun and adventure. Spiritual tourism can be broken down into two segments – religious and secular. Religious pilgrimages offer an introduction to areas and cultures leaning toward a greater understanding and connection to a higher power. Secular journeys focus on a relationship with the environment leaning toward a greater understanding and reconnection with nature.  Panama, as a well-spring of revelation for the spiritual tourist, offers both.

A tourist who is seeking a spiritual experience will be hard-pressed to find a better destination than Panama. Encapsulated within Panama’s borders are seven groups of indigenous people, each with distinctive historical, religious, linguistic, economic and cultural structures;  tropical waters teeming with multihued coral reefs and intermingling Atlantic and Pacific marine life; verdant rain forests and savannahs brimming with incredibly diverse ecology; rivers, streams, beaches, mountains, valleys, waterfall, wildlife, natural formations and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that are a feast to the eye and the palate.
Panama boasts outstanding religious structures, such as the Catholic cathedrals in Panama City’s Casco Viejo (Old City) with its towering golden altar, and in the city of Nata, one of the oldest surviving churches in the new world. The Black Christ Festival celebrated every 21st October in the Portobelo Province and the week-long Santa Semana (Holy Week) celebrations are pre-eminent among the 37 religious festivals held throughout the year. Panama is also home to one of the world's seven Baha'i Houses of Worship.

For spiritual healing, the outstanding tropical aura offers the perfect environment to relax, renew and refresh your mind, soul and body while enhancing personal and spiritual connections.  Many healing and spiritual teachers are called to Panama to conduct seminars to assist in the awakening, education and transformation of those seeking this form of enlightenment.
The variances in spiritual tourism are found in the spirit of the many wonders of Panama. As Baby Boomer travelers lean toward this spreading tourism trend, they will find a firm footing in the isthmus. Panama provides a unique environment to support this thriving industry. Experienced explorers and novice travelers can, in one dynamic location, experience the exhilaration of connecting through nature to a higher power.