Search This Blog

About Me

My photo
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

Penal Colony of Isla Coiba Tour

Mention Isla Coiba to the average Panamanian and treasured marine park and abundant ecosystem are probably not the image that pops into their mind.  For modern day citizens of Panama, stories of imprisonment, torture and death are more like to come to mind.
Coiba Island was Panama’s version of Devil’s Island.  From 1919 to 2004, the penal colony on Isla Coiba was home to the country’s most dangerous criminals as well as home to many who found themselves on the wrong side of the political struggle.  At its peak, The Coiba Island Prison housed 3000 inmates in about 30 camps spread around the islands.
“Los Desaparecidos” was the name given to the hundreds or even thousands who disappeared in Panama under dictators Omar Torrijos and Manuel Noriega, never to be seen again.  It is believed that many of these unfortunate individuals either ended up in unmarked graves near the Coiba’s penal colony or to have been dismembered and fed to the abundant shark population in its surrounding waters. 
After the fall of the dictatorship, Coiba resumed its role as a criminal prison camp rather than political prison.  In its final days, prisoners were the run of the mill thieves, murders and rapists serving their debt to society by farming and ranching the island to provide for their own existence.
The prison is now closed.  The prisoners have been relocated to other facilities and anything of value has been removed from the site.  The remaining structure is slowly being reclaimed by jungle and the marine air.  Its crumbling buildings and simply marked graves serve as the only memorial to Coiba’s dark history.

The fear of the prison and its inhabitants inadvertently resulted in preservation of the largest untouched rain forests in the Americas.  Because of the deterrent of the penal colony, about 80% of the islands forest remains virgin and unmolested.  A true silver lining in one of man’s most horrible moments.  Of course, with the prison gone and the supervising staff woefully under funded, Coiba’s next challenge is fending off poachers preying on the abundant wildlife of the park.

The Black Race Proudly Celebration

May, month of the black ethnicity, is enthusiastically celebrated by black civic and folkloric groups in Colón who take advantage of the time to present their culture, contributions to the nation's history, way of thinking, music and, above all, their famous cuisine

Painted Hat

In our country, men in the countryside use a type of hat commonly known as the "sombrero pintao" , or painted hat. They are usually made using natural fibers from plants such as rush, a type of reed, bellota, a type of miniature palm frond or pita, similar in appearance to the aloe vera plant, which are suitable for our climate. The dark color for the stripes is obtained from the chisná plant, whose leaves are boiled along with the fibers to be dyed. This whole process is carried out by hand, using techniques passed down from generation to generation.

The quality of these hats is defined by the number of times the fiber had to go around to make the hat, so the simplest hats have 15 or less rounds and very fine hats with 16 to 24 rounds, which are much more expensive. For example, a painted hat with 16 rounds can cost from about 150 to 500 dollars.

In the rural countryside other types of hats are made using different materials, such as the white hat in the central provinces, the reed or cream colored hat in Veraguas, Los Santos and Coclé and the hat from the spinning palm, in northern Santa Fe de Veraguas.

The hats are divided according to how they are colored, or painted. The Mosquito style has many black spots on the braids. The Blanco, also known as the "ñopito" hat is totally white, and according to the taste of the buyer, may have a small black coloring on one side of the crown. The Junco is very durable, named so because it is made naturally with rush fiber. The Pintao is one of the most popular, named not because it is made in the town of La Pintada, but because it is decorated with a combination of white and black colors.

The hat known as Pepita de Guate is woven by inserting the black bellota fiber in between the white bellota strands.

The Talco style is similar to the "pintao," but the difference is that the former has a double row of black decorative fibers instead of one. The so-called Tumba Hombre, perhaps referring to the swirling women's skirt that dizzied men, has a combination of round black spots on the base, crown and brim.
In addition to these, there are other types of hats, such as the Reatilla, Talco Plumilla and Talco Encontrado.

These hats have managed to become an important part of typical dress for male Panamanians. Our women also use them, for example when wearing the common dress of the pollera Montuna, as well as when they get dressed up to attend the cantaderas, festive singing and performing parades.
There are no protocol parameters for its use, as it can be used both as a garment for a gala occasion, and also for daily use, without disrupting the custom or folk pattern for use of the traditional hat.
The way to wear the hat and fold its brims reveals a cultural expression, as well as the mood of its user, according to the following peculiarities:

1. Fold the front and back brims of the hat: a characteristic made famous as the Pedra style of wearing the hat, which attributes the wearer to being a successful person at a stage of splendor and pleasure in his life, and also synomynous with masculine charm and fighting skills.

2. Fold only the back brim of the hat: its wearer is considered an intellectual person with vast knowledge in a certain area of science or knowledge.

3. Fold only the front brim of the hat: indicates that he who wears this style is a ladies' man, ready to conquer a woman.

3. No fold on the hat brim: no particular interpretation is ascribed to this style, which is used during outdoor work to protect from sunlight.

4. No fold, with the front part of the hat tilted forward: the person wearing it is feeling low, dismayed, distressed, and is very commonly used by those in grieving.

Visit Coiba: Granito de Oro Island


A small islet off the northeastern coast of Isla Coiba named Granito de Oro has emerged as one of the most popular stops for visitors interested in snorkeling the abundant waters of Coiba National Park and picnicking on one of the most pristine beaches in the world.

Its steep volcanic outcropping forms a structure which holds the beautiful white sand in place and creates a reef structure which shelters a large variety of beautiful marine life. It is the aquarium of Coiba, offering easy access to eels, turtles and large schools of fish.

Granito de Oro offers the casual snorkeler a diversity and volume of marine life that many avid scuba divers spend their lives trying to see. The waters surrounding it have been called one of the top 10 diving destinations in the world