Panama is a country in Central America famous for its canal, gorgeous beaches and the great shopping that it offers. It is definitely a country that should be on your bucket list. Plus, it is a wonderful place for a vacation.
Here are 35 fun facts and info about Panama
Historic Facts About Panama
- The Panama isthmus was first explored by a European named Rodrigo de Bastidas in the year 1501.
- Panama becomes Spanish Vice-royalty of New Andalucia (later New Granada) in 1519.
- Up to 1821, Panama was a Spanish colony, originally settled in the sixteenth century.
- That same year when it got independence from Spain it joined the Republic of Gran Colombia.
- The Republic of Gran Colombia was dissolved in 1830.
- Between 1850 and 1900 Panama had 40 administrations, 50 riots, 5 attempted secessions, and 13 U.S. interventions.
- Panama finally achieved independence on November 3rd 1903 with assistance from the US.
- The treaty to construct the Panama Canal was signed on November 18th 1903 between Panama and the United States.
- The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914.
- Between 1904 and 1913 some 5,600 workers died due to disease or accidents.
- The cargo ship Ancon was the first vessel to transit the Canal on August 15, 1914.
- The lowest toll paid was $0.36 and was paid by Richard Halliburton who crossed the Canal swimming in 1928.
- The country had a dictator, Manuel Noriega, who was deposed in 1989.
- Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal in 1999, previously the U.S. troops controlled it.
- Panama elected its first female President in 1999 as Mireya Moscoso.
Interesting Facts About Panama
- It is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic.
- At its narrowest distance, only 80 kilometers separate the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean.
- Panama has set multiple world records in bird watching and fishing.
- Panama has the most diversified wildlife of all the countries in Central America because its territory is home to species native from both, North and South America.
- Panama houses over 10,000 different plants species, including 1,200 varieties of orchids.
- The US Dollar is the official currency but the national currency is called Balboa.
- Panama gets almost no hurricanes because it is located south of the hurricane alley.
- Panama has the lowest population in Central America.
- Elevation runs from 0 m at the Pacific Ocean to 3,475 m on top of Volcan de Chiriqui.
- It has 5,637 kilometers of coastline and more than 1,518 islands.
- Baseball is the most popular sport in the country. Boxing and soccer are also among the favorites.
- Panama is considered one of the best places for retirees.
- The canal generates one-third of Panama’s entire economy.
- Panama was the first Latin American country to adopt the U.S. currency as its own.
- Seven out of ten Panamanians haven’t heard of the song “Panama” by Van Halen.
- Senator John McCain was born in Panama, in the Canal Zone that was, at the time considered U.S. Territory.
- The Panama Hat is really made in Ecuador.
- The oldest continually operating railroad is in Panama. It travels from Panama City to Colon and back.
- Panama City is the only capital city that has a rain forest within the city limits.
- The Panama Canal stretches 80 kilometers from Panama City on the Pacific coast to Colón on the Atlantic side.