The one minute summary on Panama

This is it: one minute to the best info on Panama. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Panama, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

panama photo

Photo by Carlos Adampol

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 (estimated to cost $5.3 billion) to expand the Canal. The project, which began in 2007 and could double the Canal’s capacity, is expected to be completed in 2015.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Panama
  2. Does my current phone work in  Panama ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Panama
  3. Local food you should try in  Panama and No miss drinks in  Panama

Now, cheers to the most Panama aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Panama?

Independence 3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821) National holiday Independence Day, 3 November (1903) Panama’s public holidays reflect its patriotism and its Catholic roots. 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).

panama photo

Photo by dsasso

The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. Constitution 11 October 1972; major reforms adopted 1978, 1983 and 1994 On 7 September 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of 1999. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the intervening years. The entire Panama Canal, the area supporting the Canal, and remaining US military bases were turned over to Panama by or on 31 December 1999.

The one minute summary for Panama geography

Best places to see in Panama

Panama affords a great many visual delights, both exotic and familiar at once. It is an exciting mix of modern skylines, surfer villages, tony retirement towns, cattle ranches, sleepy mountain hamlets, and charming colonial enclaves, a changing perspective of Central America, whether examining its dynamic present or preserved past. With portals to two oceans and the jungle interlaced, this slender isthmus country has altitudes that range from sea level to the heights of cloud-draped volcanoes.

It abounds with scenic views and dramatic changes, all which can be seen from very good roads. For those who eschew quotidian travel, Panama is an adventure lover’s dream. View the tropical rainforest by drifting down Lake Gatun by kayak, watch humpback whales in their yearly migration, scan both Pacific and Atlantic oceans from the same lofty perch, bird watch from the many national parks, stare face to face with sea turtles in the marine reserves, and see how the native Embera people live in their own villages. Taking pictures in Panama makes anyone look as good as a National Geographic photographer.