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Panama: a narrow strip of land between two oceans

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Panama is a presidential republic of Central America, located in the narrowest part of the Isthmian region of Central America. This state borders Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the east, is washed by the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital is the city of Panama.


The country’s position on the Isthmus of Panama is of great strategic importance. Since 1999 the Panama Canal has been under the control of the Panamanian state, it allows a rapid connection between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The islands of the archipelagos de Bocas del Toro (near the border with Costa Rica) and San Blas (near the border with Colombia) located on the side of the Caribbean Sea are also part of the state. While in the Pacific Ocean are the Archipiélago de las Perlas (in the center of the Gulf of Panama), the Isla de Coiba (in the Golfo de Chiriquí) and the island of Taboga.

The entire territory of Panama is crossed by a series of mountain ranges divided by a central depression, where the Panama Canal was built. To the north of the canal we find the Cordillera Central where is the highest mountain in the country the Volcán Barú (3,474 meters). To the south, beyond the canal, towards the border with Colombia are the reliefs of the Cordillera de San Blas and the Serrania del Darién.


The Panama economy has its main source of income from the Panama Canal business. But the country is also an important financial center. Very important is fishing (crustaceans). The country, thanks to its tax regime, also has one of the largest merchant fleets in the world. Agriculture produces bananas, coffee, cocoa, corn, rice, potatoes, cassava, tomatoes, sugar cane and tobacco. While breeding is mainly concentrated on cattle. Finally, the forest heritage is of great importance.

The climate of Panama.

  • Area: 75,517 sqkm. (Arable 9%, Pastures 19%, Forests and Woodlands 43%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 29%)
  • Population: 4,200,000 (2019 data) Mestizos (descendants of European and Amerindians) 70%, Mulattos (descendants of European/Amerindians and Africans) 10%, Europeans 10%, Asian 5%, Amerindians 5%.
  • State Capital: Panama.
  • Language: Official language is Spanish. English is also spoken.
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 80%; Protestant 10%, Muslim 4%.
  • Currency: Balboa (PAB)
  • Time: UTC-5 hours.

This post is also available in: Deutsch