Panama offers a lot more than a canal

Panama may be famous for hats and its world-changing canal, but the central American country offers a lot more to the visitor. Where else can you look north to the Atlantic Ocean and south to the Pacific?

Panama is a birder’s paradise, and especially impressive when you consider that a country about the size of South Carolina is home to more species of birds than Canada and the U.S. combined. The Audubon Society of Panama lists more than 1000 birds native to the isthmus.

Panama attracts naturalists from all over the world, and ecotourism is definitely a growth industry. Naturalists are attracted by the fact that the country’s natural wonders are relatively easy to get to, when compared to some other locations.

Of course, Panama also offers a good selection of the things that most Canadians heading south want: excellent shopping with a wide array of products from around the world, beaches and night life. The added bonus is that a side trip to the jungle or the mountains is very easy to arrange. Just be sure to wear your hat.