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Panama, Panama, Panama
Greetings from Panama! My name is Marina Ehrman and I have been a professional tour guide and promoter for Panama Tourism and Travel Company since 2005. I love what I do and am proud to share what my country has to offer. It is filled with endless leisure and commercial attractions, friendly happy people who open their doors to all visitors. Panama is a country of incomparable natural beauty with a variety of tourist attractions, beautiful beaches in the Pacific and Caribbean. The tropical climate year round with its diversified flora, fauna and indigenous groups make it one of the most important of Ecotourism in Latin America. I invite you to know our country’s history, culture and also enjoy the cuisine, folklore and traditions that only a place in the world can provide………Panama! Contact me and I’ll organize your visit and will be happy to welcome you in Panama. For more information on Panama, follow my Facebook page and my blog. Visit

The Panamanian food Experience

Panama has its own unique and rich cuisine. As a land bridge between two continents Panama is blessed by nature with an unusual variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in native cooking. Also, as a crossroads of the world, Panama’s cuisine is influenced by its diverse population of Hispanic, native Indian, European, African and even Chinese migrations.


Hojaldras: a white flour dough made with baking powder that is deep-fried. It is a traditional breakfast cuisine in Panama.

Tortillas: Another common item. Different from other countries, the tortillas in Panama are thicker and deep fried. Typically items are then placed on top of the tortilla to make a meal. It is common to uses eggs, cheese or anything else tasty to make a good morning meal.


Corvina: A very common fish used in many places/meals throughout Panama. In the US and Canada corvina is known as sea bass. Corvina is a mild tasting fish common in many recipes. Commonly used for ceviche as well.

Sancocho: If you are looking for a typical dish, Sancocho could be it. Found everywhere in Panama Sancocho is a type of chicken soup. Depending on who is cooking it other ingredients in the soup can vary.

Sea Food: Due to its strategic location, Panama has some excellent sea food. Fish is brought in from both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The variety is amazing. It seems that most restaurants offer some type of sea food in Panama.

Tamales: Different from what is found in Mexico, the Panamanian tamale is covered in banana leaf and boiled. The leaf and the boiling create a different flavor that is pretty good. If you like a Mexican tamale, you will like the variation of a tamale that you can find in Panama.

Platano Maduro: This is something you will see as a side on many dishes throughout Panama. A plaintian looks like a banana. It is cut in small slices and then fried. The flavor is sweet and is a nice addition to any meal.

Platanos en tentación is a popular way to prepare them in a carmelized sugar sauce seasoned with some cinnamon and nutmeg.

Carimañola: This is a roll made from a type of tropical yucca. Typically the rolls is stuffed full of eggs and meat.

Ceviche: Ceviche is a very common appetizer found throughout Panama. Typically corvina is chopped up and added to lemon juice and other spices. The acidic content of the lemon actually "cooks" the corvina to create a nice tangy taste. Very popular.

Arroz Con Guandu: Probably the most common side dish seen in Panama. Essentially rice is cooked with beans and other spices to create a great tasting rice dish. You may see this side dish served at any and all meals. There are many variations as to other ingredients that can be added to this Panamanian staple.


Tropical Fruits: Being in a tropical part of the world, Panama has a wide array of fresh and very flavorfull fresh fruit. Take full advantage of the fruits in Panama. You will find many that you are familiar with and others that are common only to the Central American region like Papayas, mangos, pineapples, melons, maracuyá (passion fruit), guanabana (sour sop).

Flans: Light egg custard in a carmelized sauce imakes this the most popular Panamanian dessert.

Pastel Tres Leches : “Three Milk Cake”- This is a rich cake made from three milks - regular, evaporated and condensed- very sweet and delicious.

Tropical fruit batidos: Similiar to a "smoothie" these shakes are made with Papaya, strawberry and pineapple with milk.

Raspados – Panamanian "snow cones". Perfect to cool off these cones are served everywhere from a friendly vendor with a mobile cart. They are available in a variety of flavours.

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About Panama

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Panama is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It has a population of 880,691, with a total metro population of 1,272,672, and it is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, in the province of the same name. The city is the political and administrative center of the country, and a hub for international banking and commerce.It is considered a Gamma World City.

With an average GDP per capita of $11,700,  Panama has been among the top five places for retirement in the world, according to International Living magazine. Panama City has a dense skyline of mostly highrise buildings, and it is surrounded by a large belt of tropical rainforest. It has an advanced communications system, Internet use is widespread; and Panama's Tocumen International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Central America, offers daily flights to major international destinations. Panama City was chosen to be the American Capital of Culture for 2003 (jointly, with Curitiba, Brazil).


Panama was founded on August 15, 1519 by the Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila. The city was the starting point of expeditions that conquered the Inca Empire in Peru (1532). It was a stopover point of one of the most important trade routes in the history of the American continent leading to the fairs of Nombre de Dios and Portobelo, where most of the gold and silver that Spain took from the Americas passed through.  The city was destroyed by a devastating fire, when the pirate Henry Morgan sacked it on January 28, 1671. It was rebuilt and formally established on January 21, 1673 in a peninsula located 8 km from the original settlement. The place where the previously devastated city was located is still in ruins, and has become a tourist attraction known as "Panama Viejo".


Panama is located between the Pacific Ocean and tropical rain forest. The Parque Natural Metropolitano (Metropolitan Nature Park), stretching from Panama along the Panama Canal, has unique bird species and other animals such as tapir, puma, alligators, etc. At the Pacific entrance of the canal is the Centro de Exhibiciones Marinas (Marine Exhibitions Center), a research center for those interested in tropical marine life and ecology. Centro de Exhibiciones Marinas is managed by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.  Tropical forests around Panama are vital for the functioning of the Panama Canal. These forests provide the canal with the water required for its operation (a rare example of a vast engineering project in the middle of the forest which actually helped preserve that forest). Due to the importance of the Canal to the Panamanian economy, tropical forests around the canal have been kept in an almost pristine state. Along the western side of the Canal is the Parque Nacional Soberania (Sovereignty National Park) which includes Summit botanical gardens and a zoo. In this national park, the best known trail is the Pipeline Road, popular among birdwatchers.


Under the Köppen climate classification, panama  Panama City has a tropical wet and dry climate. Panama City sees 1900 mm of precipitation annually. The dry season spans from January through to April and the wet season spans the remainder of the year. Temperatures remain constant throughout the year averaging around 27 °C (81 °F).   

Panama's old quarter features many architectural styles, from Spanish colonial buildings to French and Antillean townhouses built during the construction of the Panama Canal. The more modern areas of the city have many high-rise buildings, which together form a very dense skyline. There are currently more than 110 high-rise projects being constructed, with 127 high-rise buildings already built.The city holds the 39th place in the world by highrise buildings count.  The Centennial Bridge, that crosses the Panama Canal earned the American Segmental Bridge Institute prize of excellence together with seven other bridges in the Americas.

Being the economic and financial center of the country, Panama City's economy is service-based, heavily weighted toward banking, commerce, and tourism. The economy is dependent, to a significant extent, on trade and shipping activities, associated to the Panama Canal, and port facilities located in Balboa. The city has benefited from significant economic growth in the latest years, mainly due to the ongoing expansion of the Panama Canal, an increase in real estate investment, and a relatively stable banking sector. There are around eighty banks in the city, with at least fifteen of them being national.

Panama city is responsible for the production of about 55% of the country's GDP. This is because most Panama businesses and premises are located in the city and its metro area. It is a stopover for other destinations in the country as well as a tourist destination in its own right.

Tourism is one of the most important economic activities in terms of revenue generation. Hotel occupancy rate has always been relatively high for the city, having reached the second highest for any city outside the United States in 2008; after Perth and followed by Dubai. However, hotel occupancy rates have dropped since 2009, probably due to the opening of many new luxury hotels. Several international brands, such as Le Méridien, Radisson and RIU, have opened or plan to open new hotels in the city;  along with the previously operating ones under Marriot, Sheraton, InterContinental, and many other foreign and local brands. Also, the Trump Organization is currently building the Trump Ocean Club, their first investment in Central America;  and Hilton Worldwide plans to open The  Panamera, the first Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in all Latin America.   For tour package visit this website


The City proper has around 813,097 inhabitants in the 23 Panama City boroughs. The city, like all of Panama, is ethnically mixed, with mestizos, mulattos, Whites, and Asians all living together

Panama Entry Requirements

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It’s not difficult for tourists to enter Panama. Tourists must show the following documents to the Inspector of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Ministry of Government and Justice:

  • International boarding pass, completely filled out.
  • Tourist Card or Visa, properly authorized.
  • Plane ticket, for return trip to home country or next destination.
  • Demonstration of economic solvency, no less than five hundred balboas ($500.00) or the equivalent in credit card, bank reference, letter of employment or travelers checks, unless the nationality requires a different amount. (Resolution 1017 bis of March 22, 2000).
  • Passport or travel document, valid for at least 6 months from the date of receiving the visa or card.
  • In some cases the Immigration Inspector may request a payment voucher from the hotel where the traveler will be lodged

Panama divides tourists into two groups – those that need a tourist visa, and those that only need a passport.

Citizens of the following countries only need a passport to enter Panama:
  • Argentina,
  • Australia,
  • Austria,
  • Belgium,
  • Canada,
  •  Chile,
  • Colombia,
  • Costa Rica,
  • Cyprus,
  • the Czech Republic,
  • Denmark,
  • Estonia,
  • Finland,
  • France,
  • Germany,
  • Great Britain,
  • Greece,
  • Hungary,
  •  Iceland,
  • Ireland,
  • Israel,
  •  Italy,
  • Japan,
  • Luxembourg,
  •  Mexico,
  • the Netherlands,
  • New Zealand,
  •  Norway, Poland,
  • Portugal,
  • Slovakia,
  • South Korea,
  • Spain,
  • Sweden,
  • Switzerland,
  • Singapore,
  • Taiwan,
  • and the United States.
Stamped Visas:

Let some travelers enter Panama several times throughout the year. This type of visa is only available through a Panamanian embassy or consulate, and the Panamanian authorities decide the length of the stay, which is usually 30 days per visit. Anyone who is eligible to visit Panama on a tourist card can apply for a stamped visa instead, although citizens of some countries are required to have a stamped visa. These countries include the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Peru, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. As with other things in Panamanian officialdom, this list is subject to change.

Authorized Visas:

The most restrictive type of tourist visa. Like the stamped visa, this kind is only available through a Panamanian consulate or embassy. The officials will choose to either approve to decline the visa application, and will determine the length of stay. The majority of countries on this list are in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or eastern Europe. These include Bangladesh, Cuba, Haiti, India, Pakistan, China, and South Africa, although the list is subject to change. The requirements can vary by consulate, so it’s a good idea to check with one before beginning the application process. It’s recommended to begin the application process at least a month before the start of travel.


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