Historic and Fun Facts of Panama

Marissa Strniste | Flickr

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

  1. The Panama isthmus was first explored by a European named Rodrigo de Bastidas in the year 1501.
  2. Panama becomes Spanish Vice-royalty of New Andalucia (later New Granada) in 1519.
  1. Up to 1821, Panama was a Spanish colony, originally settled in the sixteenth century.
  2. That same year when it got independence from Spain it joined the Republic of Gran Colombia.
  3. The Republic of Gran Colombia was dissolved in 1830.
  4. Between 1850 and 1900 Panama had 40 administrations, 50 riots, 5 attempted secessions, and 13 U.S. interventions.
  5. Panama finally achieved independence on November 3rd 1903 with assistance from the US.
  6. The treaty to construct the Panama Canal was signed on November 18th 1903 between Panama and the United States.
  7. The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914.
  8. Between 1904 and 1913 some 5,600 workers died due to disease or accidents.
  9. The cargo ship Ancon was the first vessel to transit the Canal on August 15, 1914.
  10. The lowest toll paid was $0.36 and was paid by Richard Halliburton who crossed the Canal swimming in 1928.
  11. The country had a dictator, Manuel Noriega, who was deposed in 1989.
  1. Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal in 1999, previously the U.S. troops controlled it.
  2. Panama elected its first female President in 1999 as Mireya Moscoso.

Interesting Facts About Panama

  1. It is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic.
  1. At its narrowest distance, only 80 kilometers separate the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean.
  2. Panama has set multiple world records in bird watching and fishing.
  3. 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.
  4. Panama houses over 10,000 different plants species, including 1,200 varieties of orchids.
  5. The US Dollar is the official currency but the national currency is called Balboa.
  6. Panama gets almost no hurricanes because it is located south of the hurricane alley.
  7. Panama has the lowest population in Central America.
  8. Elevation runs from 0 m at the Pacific Ocean to 3,475 m on top of Volcan de Chiriqui.
  9. It has 5,637 kilometers of coastline and more than 1,518 islands.
  10. Baseball is the most popular sport in the country. Boxing and soccer are also among the favorites.
  11. Panama is considered one of the best places for retirees.
  12. The canal generates one-third of Panama’s entire economy.
  13. Panama was the first Latin American country to adopt the U.S. currency as its own.
  14. Seven out of ten Panamanians haven’t heard of the song “Panama” by Van Halen.
  15. Senator John McCain was born in Panama, in the Canal Zone that was, at the time considered U.S. Territory.
  1. The Panama Hat is really made in Ecuador.
  2. The oldest continually operating railroad is in Panama. It travels from Panama City to Colon and back.
  3. Panama City is the only capital city that has a rain forest within the city limits.
  4. The Panama Canal stretches 80 kilometers from Panama City on the Pacific coast to Colón on the Atlantic side.