25 Things You Didn’t Know About Panama

This Central Caribbean country is full of fascinating history and friendly locals. Here are just a few things you might’ve not known about Panama.

1. Though the official currency is the balboa, their paper currency is the American dollar!

2. Boom goes the dynamite: It took 60,000,000 pounds of dynamite to excavate and construct the Panama Canal.

3. That’s badass: The national bird is the harpy eagle, the most powerful bird of prey in the world.

3. harpy eagle panama bird
Cuatrok77 Via Flickr

4. In Panama, you can swim in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean…in the same day!

5. Panama has fresh seafood like no other. Three words: Order. The. Ceviche. 


6. Panama is slightly smaller than North Carolina.

7. The national drink is called Seco Herrerano, a sugar cane based spirit that substitutes easily for rum or vodka. Cheers!

panama drink
Via Tumblr

8. Trust me, you can dance. Salsa and Reggae music is what you’ll hear at the clubs, so prepare to get down.

9. Trump Ocean Club is the tallest tower in Latin America, at 284 meters!

10.  Panama is extremely biodiverse; there are over 940 avian species alone!

10. species
WRFred Via Flickr

11. Also, there are 125 animal species that you can only find in Panama.  

11. coiba monkey panama
Brian Gratwicke Via Flickr

12. The major exports are coffee, shrimp and lobster, cotton, tobacco, and bananas. 

13. There are about nine indigenous tribes in Panama: the Ngobe, Kuna (Guna), Emberá, Buglé, Wounaan, Talamanca, Bokota, Naso Tjerdi (Teribe), and Cricamola.

13. indigenous panama
Luigi Crespo Via Flickr

14. Molas are geometrical patterns typically worn by the Kuna tribe. The design’s origin is in body painting!  

15. Rocking diversity: The majority of Panamanians are of mixed origin, at 70% of the population.

tumblr racial diversity
Via Tumblr

16. Love Mardi Gras? Carnaval is huge in Panama City.

17.  If you’re a lover of history and culture, go to Casco Viejo, it’s a World Heritage Site!

18.  Put your party pants on: Panamanians celebrate a whopping 3 Independence Days, November 3, 4, and 28th!

19.  Panama has the fastest growing economy in Latin America right now.

20.  The native Howler Monkeys sound more like they’re barking than howling!

21.  There are four local beer brands in Panama. Our personal favorite: Balboa.

tumblr balboa beer panama
Via Tumblr

22.   They are also extremely cheap, most places you can get a beer for 50 cents!

23.  Bring your umbrella; whether you’re in Panama City or Bocas del Toro, an afternoon downpour is common!

24. panama hat lena

24.  The popular “Panama Hats” are actually usually made in Ecuador! 

25.  Wordplay: “A man a plan a canal panama” is a palindrome.

Lena Kazer

Lena is a Chicago native, her travel style consists of red cowboy boots that make her feel like she can take over the world. She adores Peru and can't travel without her journal to draw or write in.

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