PANAMA

Information about travelling to Panama

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

Facts about Panama
Population3,309,679 (July 2008 est.
CapitalPanama
Time zoneUTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Location Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica

General info about 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 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.
Disease threats
degree of risk: intermediate food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
Languages spoken
Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual
What about drugs?
major cocaine transshipment point and primary money-laundering center for narcotics revenue; money-laundering activity is especially heavy in the Colon Free Zone; offshore financial center; negligible signs of coca cultivation; monitoring of financial transactions is improving; official corruption remains a major problem
Ethnic division
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.9% (2003 est.)
Climate
tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)
Resources
copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower
Economy
Panama's dollarized economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for 80% of GDP. Services include operating the Panama Canal, banking, the Colon Free Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, and tourism. Economic growth will be bolstered by the Panama Canal expansion project that began in 2007 and should be completed by 2014 at a cost of $5.3 billion - about 30% of current GDP. The expansion project will more than double the Canal's capacity, enabling it to accommodate ships that are now too large to transverse the transoceanic crossway and should help to reduce the high unemployment rate. Strong economic performance has not translated into broadly shared prosperity. Panama has the second most unequal income distribution in Latin America. About 30% of the population lives in poverty. The government has implemented tax reforms, as well as social security reforms, and backs regional trade agreements and development of tourism. Not a CAFTA signatory, Panama in December 2006 independently negotiated a free trade agreement with the US, which, when implemented, will help promote the country's economic growth.
Environment
water pollution from agricultural runoff threatens fishery resources; deforestation of tropical rain forest; land degradation and soil erosion threatens siltation of Panama Canal; air pollution in urban areas; mining threatens natural resources

Cities in Panama

achutupo     agua buena     aguadulce     ailigandi     alanje     almirante     alto de la estancia     alto del espino     ancon     anton     arraijan     aserrio de gariche     atalaya     bagala     balboa     barranco     bejuco     bella vista     bisira     boca de parita     bocas del toro     boqueron     boquete     buena vista     bugaba     burica     cabra     caimitillo     caimito     calobre     calzada larga     canaveral     canazas     canita     canoa     capellania     capira     cativa     celmira     cermeno     cerro azul     cerro cama     cerro punta     chame     changuinola     chepo     chichica     chigore     chiguiri arriba     chilibre     chiman     chiriqui     chiriqui grande     chitre     churuquita chiquita     churuquita grande     cocle     coetupo     colon     coloncito     david     divala     dolega     el cano     el coco     el cope     el cortezo     el cristo     el ejido     el espino     el espino de santa rosa     el giral     el porvenir     el progreso     el real de santa maria     el rincon     el roble     el silencio     el uvito     el valle de la union     escobal     finca blanco     finca cincuenta y uno     finca corredor     garachine     gariche     gatun     gomez     guabito     guadalupe     gualaca     guarare     guarumal     horconcitos     icanti     ipeti     jaque     juan diaz     la cabima     la candelaria     la chorrera     la colorada     la concepcion     la esperanza     la espigadilla     la estrella     la herradura     la loma     la mata     la mesa     la mitra     la palma     la pena     la pintada     la raya de santa maria     la tiza     la victoria     las colinas     las cumbres     las lomas     las palmas     las tablas     lidice     llano de piedra     llano largo     llano marin     los algarrobos     los anastacios     los boquerones     los lotes     los pozos     los santos     macaracas     margarita     maria chiquita     mata del nance     meteti     monte lirio     montijo     morti     mulatupo     nargana     nata     nueva gorgona     nuevo arraijan     nuevo emperador     nuevo guarare     nuevo san juan     nuevo vigia     ocu     ola     pacora     palmas bellas     palmira     panama     paraiso     parita     paso blanco     pedasi     pedregal     penonome     pese     plaza de caisan     pocri     portobelo     potrerillos abajo     potrerillos arriba     potrero grande     progreso     pueblo nuevo     pueblo viejo     puerto armuelles     puerto caimito     puerto escondido     puerto pilon     quebrada bonita adentro     quiteno     remedios     rio alejandro     rio de jesus     rio duque     rio grande     rio hato     rio rita     rio sereno     sabanitas     sajalices     salamanca     san andres     san antonio     san carlos     san felix     san francisco     san miguel     san miguelito     san vicente de bique     santa ana arriba     santa clara     santa fe     santa maria     santa marta     santa rita     santa rita arriba     santiago     santo domingo     siogui abajo     siogui arriba     sona     sortova     taboga     tigre     tijeras     tocumen     tole     tubuala     ustupo     veracruz     villa carmen     villa rosario     vista alegre     vista hermosa     volcan     wala     yaviza    


Airports in Panama
AchutupoACU
AiligandiAIL
BalboaBLB
Bocas Del ToroBOC
CaledoniaCDE
ChanguinolaCHX
ChitreCTD
CartiCTE
Corazon De JesusCZJ
Enrique MalekDAV
El RealELE
GarachineGHE
Howard AFBHOW
JaqueJQE
MamitupoMPI
MulatupoMPP
NarganaNGN
San MiguelNMG
ColonONX
PaitillaPAC
La PalmaPLP
Tocumen InternationalPTY
Puerto ObaldiaPUE
El PorvenirPVE
Playon ChicoPYC
YavizaPYV
Rio TigreRIT
Rio SidraRSI
Santa FeSFW
SantiagoSYP
TupileTUE
UstupoUTU


Beer in Panama (0.33l)
Bocas Del Toro~ 0.6 EUR
David~ 0.3 EUR
Panama~ 0.2 EUR
Panama City~ 0.7 EUR
Penonome~ 0.3 EUR

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