The Republic of Panama is a large isthmus strip with a total area of 75,517 km² and 2,210 km² of surface waters, for a total territory encompassing 78,200 km². The country is located in Central America at 7° 11' longitude and 9° 37' north latitude.


Panama is politically divided into 10 provinces and 5 indigenous territories To the north, it borders the Caribbean Sea and to the south, the Pacific Ocean. Panama shares its borders with the Republic of Colombia to the east and with the Republic of Costa Rica to the west. Its borders measure 555 km in total, 225 km of which are on the Colombian side and 330 km on the Costa Rican side, and its coastline is 2,490 km long.


Panama's two coastlines are referred to as the Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast, and are less frequently described as the North and South coasts, respectively. Colombia is located to the east and Costa Rica to the west. Due to the location and contours of the country, the directions shown on the compass can be surprising. For example, a trip through the Panama Canal from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean implies traveling not to the east, but to the northwest, and in Panama City, the sun sets to the east, over the Pacific Ocean.

Pacific coastal waters are extraordinarily low. A depth of 180 meters is only reached once outside the perimeter of either the Gulf of Darien or the Gulf of Chiriquí and wide mud flats extend up to 70 kilometers seaward from the coast. As a result, the tidal range is extreme.


Most of the Panamanian territory consists of lowlands (70%). The majority of Panama's population lives in these warm low-lying lands. This category includes the southern lowlands and plains, the hills and plains of the Central Isthmus, the eastern depressions and the northern plains and lowlands. The remaining 30% of the Panamanian territory is highlands. These lands are composed of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. In this category, we can find the Barú Volcano, the Central mountain range, the northern eastern Arch, the southern eastern Arch, southern Massif and Volcanic Chain.

Political Division

Panama is divided into 10 provinces, 75 districts, 621 municipalities and the following 5 indigenous reserves: Guna Yala, Ngäbé-Bugle, Emberá-Wounaán, Madungandí y Wargandí.

Province of Bocas del Toro: Its capital is Bocas del Toro, which is located on the island of Colón, and it is divided into 3 districts. The province is composed of nine main islands. Its land is suitable for growing bananas and cocoa.
Population: 125,461 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 4,643.9 km²

Province of Coclé: Its capital is Penonomé and it is divided into 6 districts (Natá, La Pintada, Olá, Aguadulce, Antón, and Penonomé). Its land is suitable for agriculture and raising livestock.
Population: 233,708 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 4,927.4 km²

Province of Colón: Its capital is Colón and it is divided into 5 districts (Donoso, Chagres, Colón, Portobelo and Santa Isabel) and 91 municipalities. It is considered a commercial city because of its Free Trade Zone and the Panama Canal.
Population: 241,928 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 4,868.4 km²

Province of Chiriquí: Its capital is David and it is divided into 13 districts (Alanje, Barú, Boquerón, Boquete, Bugaba, David, Dolega, Gualaca, Remedios, Renacimiento, San Félix, San Lorenzo and Tolé) and 91 municipalities.
Population: 416,873 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 6,547.7 km²

Province of Darién: Its capital is La Palma and it is the largest and the least populated province. It is divided into 2 districts (Chepigana and Pinogana).
Population: 48,378 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 11,896.5 km²

Province of Herrera: Its capital is Chitré and it is divided into 6 districts (Las Minas, Los Pozos, Ocú, Parita, Pesé and Santa María) and 44 municipalities.
Population: 109,955 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 2,340.7 km²

Province of Los Santos: Its capital is Las Tablas and it is divided into 7 districts (Guararé, Las Tablas, Los Santos, Macaracas, Pedasí, Pocrí and Tonosí) and 79 municipalities.
Population: 89,592 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 3,804.6 km ²

Province of Panama: Its capital is Panama and it is divided into 11 districts (Arraiján, Balboa, Capira, Chame, Chepo, San Carlos, San Miguelito, Taboga, La Chorrera, Panamá and Chimán) and 97 municipalities.
Population: 1,713,070 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 11,670.92 km²

Province of Veraguas: Its capital is Santiago and it is divided into 12 districts (Atalaya, Calobre, Cañazas, La Mesa, Las Palmas, Mariato, Montijo, Río de Jesús, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Santiago and Soná) and 85 municipalities.
Population: 226,991 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 10,629.6 km²

Guna Yala Indigenous Region: Its capital is El Porvenir.
Population: 33,109 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 2,340.7 km²

Emberá-Wounaan Indigenous Region: Its capital is Unión Chocó.
Population: 10,001 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 4,383.5 km²

Ngäbe-Bugle Indigenous Region: Its capital is Buadidi.
Population: 156,747 inhabitants (2010 census)
Size: 6,968 km²