Eco-Tourism in Panama

Eco-Tourism in Panama


Ecotourism is becoming a growing part
of Panama’s tourism offering. While previously better known for its
skyscrapers and business activity, Panama is now out to prove that its
richness lies not in the manmade, but in the natural. Be it nature, adventure,
cultural or agro tourism, sustainable development and
environmental conservation remain the country’s key areas of focus. And with the country moving toward a green economy, ecotourism is taking center stage. In total, Panama boasts more than
100 protected areas, 14 national parks, and nearly as
many forest reserves: in total more than 30,000sqkm of
nationally protected territory. 97% of its coastline is lined
with mangroves, and it is home to 10 wildlife refuges, containing over 10,000 varieties of plants, 1,500 species of trees, 220 mammals, and 354 reptiles
and amphibians. In addition, with over 1,000species of birds, Panama is one of the countries
with the highest density of birds per square kilometre. The UNESCO Natural World Heritage
site Coiba Island, part of the Pacific Marine Biological Corridor, is a must-see spot for whale-watching enthusiasts. Elsewhere, boasting no less than 498 rivers, Panama is a destination par excellence for rafting. In addition, its archipelagos, islands,
and kilometers of untouched beaches make it a hotspot for snorkeling,
sailing, and kayaking; it mountains and volcanoes
attract climbers, hikers, and adrenaline junkies of all types. For those seeking a more sedate,
educational experience, Panama’s cultural tourism offerings
include pre-Columbian sites, as well as conquistador routes. It is home to seven different indigenous groups, and while tourists can experience wonders
such as the jungle of Darien, the habitat of the Embera Indians, the authorities work hard to ensure
this tourism is conservation compliant, upholding a duty to protect
all citizens and their habitats. And finally, if that is not your cup of tea, maybe you’ll want to try a cup of
Panama’s homegrown coffee, on the so-called Coffee Route. A route with circuits to choose from
gives tourists as chance to sample different varieties of acclaimed coffee,
including the world’s most expensive. One of the main factors that will draw
crowds to Panama is its excellent connectivity The country’s award-winning airport, Tocumen International currently serves 84 destinations, and its capacity is expected to increase  following the opening of a
new terminal early next year. By 2025 annual footfall is
predicted to be 25 million. Remote, untamed, and underexplored, Panama is turning on its natural appeal, hoping to attract tourists looking for
something a little off the beaten track – figuratively speaking, but not literally.

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