Panama may be best known for its astounding Panama Canal, but the potential to inspire awe doesn’t stop there. What else can be found in this ecological haven? To start, Panama has more bird species than Europe and North America combined, and more plant diversity than the United States and Canada combined. That’s because Panama is uniquely located at the point where North America and South America connect, allowing plant and animal life from both continents to merge and flourish over time. This incredibly rich biodiversity—combined with the fact that Panama is the most forested country in Central America at 63% coverage—has made the tropical rainforests of Panama the most researched in the world. In fact, the Smithsonian has been studying the tropical biology of the area for over 100 years. And, you can come see it, too!
A visit to Panama will put you up close and personal with some of the most beautiful natural environments in the world, including 3 Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the only urban capital with a tropical rainforest within its city limits, and over 1,400 tropical islands featuring stunning beaches that you may have thought only existed in postcards. With a strong cultural emphasis on environmental conservationism, Panama is the perfect destination for hikers, animal lovers and nature enthusiasts of all kinds. It’s a top world destination for birding, white water rafting and snorkeling—and that’s just a handful of the outdoor activities you’ll find in Panama.