Fun Facts About Panama

Fun Facts About Panama

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Panama is a beautiful South American country that is one of the most visited countries in the world, there are lots of things to learn about this beauty of a country, ranging from culture, food, entertainment, economics, history and basically everything. All these put together make Panama an important country that’s good enough to have it’s own interesting facts about Panama list.

Besides the fact that its official language is also the most romantic in the world (Spanish), there are several reasons why Panama is ranked as one of the Top 50 tourist destinations in the world today. These reasons are summed up into these collection of fun facts about Panama. 

In this article, we explore amazing panama facts which we have grouped into historical, geopolitical, economic and social facts about Panama and we’re sure you’ll find some interesting reasons to visit or even make it your home for those who are open to leaving their home country and in search of an awesome alternative. 

Panama Interesting Facts

As earlier stated, the compilation of fun Panama facts would be grouped into four different categories/groups which are historical, social, economic and geopolitical facts about Panama in no particular order. Below they are carefully put together to ensure you are guaranteed reading pleasure.

Historical Facts About Panama

  • In 1501, Spanish explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas sailed along the Caribbean coast of Panama, followed by Christopher Columbus a year later.
  • In 1519, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa was the first European to cross the Americas and reach the Pacific coast, which he did in Panama, and Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Panamá (present-day Panama City) became the first European settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas.
  • Panama broke away from the Spanish empire in 1821 and joined a powerful state called The Republic of Gran Columbia”. 10 years later it became a part of the Republic of Columbia.
  • Panama became an independent county in 1903, with assistance from the USA.
  • Panama” is the short form of the Country’s name (just like “America”). Its official name is República de Panamá (Republic of Panama).
  • The Panamanian flag has red and white quarters, representing liberals and conservatives, and white spaces with stars on a white background, to represent the peace in which they operate.

Geopolitical Facts About Panama

  • Panama is a Central American country, located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. The current population currently stands at 4,314,767 people.
  • Panama is a piece of land known as a land bridge, or ‘isthmus’, as it is the connection between North and South America.
  • Costa Rica and Colombia are bordering countries of Panama, all three of these countries that border Panama speak Spanish as their primary language.
  • Panama is one of seven Central American countries; with Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua making up the other six.
  • Panama is the only country in the world in which you can see the sunrise in the Pacific Ocean and set on the Atlantic Ocean from one spot: The Volcan Baru (which is also the highest point in the country). Talk about a grand view of nature!
  • Panama is the southernmost of the 7 Countries of Central America.
  • Panama is a transcontinental country, meaning its land is on two continents. The western part is in the North American continent, while the eastern part is in the South American continent.
  • Panama owns over 1400 islands – 365 of which lie in the intriguing San Blas archipelago. You can visit one island every day of the year!
  • Panama has several kinds of wildlife, including sloths, armadillos, anteaters, jaguars, pumas, and caimans.
  • Despite being much smaller, Panama has more bird species than the entire continental USA. With 986 recorded bird species, Panama beats the USA’s 914 species. This makes it a more popular destination for bird watchers from around the world. 
  • Over 1,500 different types of tropical trees make their home on Panamanian soil, and this beautiful country is also home to some of the most varied plant life in the world.
  • Of the six big cats for which Central America is (in)famous, five roam wild in Panama: pumas, ocelots, margays, jaguars and the jaguarundis.
  • Panama is home to 14 national parks, of which the Coiba National Park is the largest, stretching across Coiba Island and 38 smaller islands.
  • Panama also has 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites; namely the Coiba, the Darrien National Park, the Talamanca Range, the Portobelo-San Lorenzo fortifications, and the Historic District of Panama.

Economic Facts About Panama

  • Leveraging the Panama Canal, Panama was able to become a centre for international trade. Its capital city, Panama City, is currently the wealthiest in Central America.
  • Panama’s official currency is the Balboa; named after Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the first explorer to cross the Americas and reach the Pacific Ocean – in Panama.
  • The US dollar is also a legal currency in Panama, and paper bills there only come in US dollars. 
  • Panama had the highest average income in Central America in 2019, at $14,900 per person – although that fell to $11,900 in 2020 due to COVID.
  • Panama also had the highest HDI (Human Development Index), the fastest economic growth in the last 25 years; and is the most industrial city in Central America. 
  • Gallup’s list of Global Well-Being places Panama as one of the top countries in the Americas in terms of quality of daily experience and well-being. In other words, a great place for workaholics to relax and be taken care of!
  • 80% of Panama’s economy is based on services, such as the Panama Canal, free trade zones, ports, banking, commerce, and tourism. So, if you’re a great producer, Panama is just the right place for you to thrive!
  • In addition, Panama exports bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, and clothing, and manufactures aircraft parts.
  • Panama City’s Café Coca-Cola, is the city’s oldest still-running café and restaurant, dating back to 1883. Interestingly, Panama City is the only city in the world permitted to have such a name. 

Social Facts About Panama

  • Most Panamanians are descendants of a mix of ethnicities and cultures, including indigenous people, Europeans, Afro-Caribbeans, and many other people from all over the world!
  • The seven distinct indigenous cultures of Panama are divided into four major groups; the Ngöbe-Buglé, the Guna, the Emberá-Wounaan, and the Naso-Bribri. They all retain their autonomy, and still maintain a very traditional lifestyle, with their dialects, languages and customs. 
  • Panamanian culture has a strong emphasis on family. As a result, many generations will typically cohabit in one home, and all contribute to running the household and caring for children.

Despite covering almost every aspect of information about Panama in the huge collection of fact about Panama above, there are still lots of popular and frequently asked questions about Panama. These frequently asked question about Panama are typically asked by first time tourists who are visiting for the first time or those who are studying the country of Panama, in the following section we would try to answer some of these popular and frequently asked questions about Panama.

Panama FAQs

  • What is the Panama famous for?

Panama is famous for giving the world the Panama canal and also giving the world the international hit song Despacito as the writer of the song Erik Ender is from Panama.

  • How old is Panama?

Panama gained independence from Spain on the 3rd of November 1821, that means Panama is 201 years old as at 2022.

  • What is Panama’s national animal?

Panama’s national animal is the Panama golden frog which is poisonous frog that is found in central Panama.

  • What is Panama known for food?

Panama is known for Geisha Coffee and other foods such as the Yucca cakes, rice and beans, lobster and a lot more other Panamanian famous foods.

  • What language does Panama speak?

The language spoken in Panama is Spanish, this is chiefly because the country was colonized for a long duration by the Spain.

  • How old is Panama City Panama?

The Panama City in Panama is 503 years old as at 2022, because it was founded on the 15th of August 1519.

  • Is Golden Frog extinct?

No, the golden frog is not extinct. But the Panama national animal(gold frog) is considered by scientists to be critically endangered as 80% of its population has been wiped out by the chytrid fungus.

  • What eats the golden frog?

The golden frog is eaten by birds, fishes and snakes. These animals are its typical predators.

  • What are the unique animals of Panama?

These are some of the unique animals found in Panama:

  1. Panama golden frog
  2. Ocelot
  3. West Indian Manatee
  4. Baird’s Tapir
  5. Red-Eyed Tree Frog
  6. Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey
  7. Brown-Throated Sloth
  • What is Panama’s favorite sport?

Panama’s favorite sport is baseball as it is the country’s national sport. Learn some baseball trivia questions with your friends like the Panamanians.

  • What is the national fruit of Panama?

The national fruit of Panama is the Mamon Chino it is also known as Rambutan

  • What alcohol is Panama known for?

Panama is known for the the canned distilled alcoholic drink known as seco. It is the most popular drink in Panama.