About Panama

The City Skyline and its Colonial Cradle

The two most striking faces of Panama City meet on the coastline of the capital, where you can see both the striking skyscraper forest and the cradle of colonial architecture in the city in Casco Viejo (Old Quarter).

Built in the 17th century and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, Casco Viejo becomes the center of IFF Panama during each edition. Here, theaters, restaurants, hotels, bars and terraces contrast with the cobbled streets, squares and colonial ruins to provide a unique atmosphere to the festival.

Also, the film festival extends to the most modern side of the city, where the imposing buildings host large shopping centers, the best restaurants and countless day and night venues that conquer tourists.


Panama Canal

Credit: Panama Canal Authority

A visit to Panama is not complete if it does not include the Panama Canal.

The country's privileged geographical location was key to the construction of the interoceanic channel, a masterpiece of engineering that has operated continuously since its inauguration in 1914 and has since been named one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. In 2016 an expansion process was completed which added a third transit lane and the construction of three sets of locks that allows to double its capacity and the transit of boats Neopanamax.

One of the seven wonders of the modern world, the Panama Canal offers viewpoints and facilities that include video rooms, simulators and samples of historical pieces of machinery that was used for its construction.


Museo de la Biodiversidad

A stunning and colorful building stands by the entrance of the Panama Canal on the city’s Causeway. This museum houses the story of the Isthmus of Panama and how it rose to divide two continents and a vast body of water, changing life on the planet forever.

The remarkable structure, inaugurated in October 2014, was designed by the famous American architect Frank Ghery. The museum contains eight galleries that show, among other things, the birth of this natural bridge, the exchange of species between North and South America, the evolution of the Pacific and the Caribbean and the rich biodiversity of the Panamanian territory.

The Museum’s privileged location at the Amador Causeway offers visitors a generous selection of restaurants and bars, as well as several of the most beautiful views of Panama: the Casco Viejo (Old Quarter), the city skyline, the Ancón hill and the Bridge of the Americas.


Bridge between two oceans

Panama’s narrowest stretch, which separates the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, is only 80 kilometers (50 miles)  wide. They are so close in Panama. This is fantastic for those who love the ocean, the beaches and the islands, for divers and surfers alike.

On its Atlantic or Caribbean side, Panama offers more than 1,200 Km (745 miles) of coast, and more than 600 islands with a natural paradise beauty, such as those that form the well-known San Blas and Bocas del Toro archipelagos. Meanwhile, the warm Panamanian Pacific Ocean covers 1,700 Km (1,056 miles) of coast that welcome bashful swimmers and bold surfers alike.

Our “South Sea” (the Pacific ocean) also surrounds more than 1,000 islands of unbeatable charm, such as those comprising the Pearls archipelago with its popular Contadora Island, as well as the beautiful and important Coiba Island, also known as the “Galapagos of Panama”.


The tropic

Between the two oceans and from border to border, the diversity of shades of green of the most generous and penetrating vegetation covers Panama. It is not all about the ocean. There are rainforests and highlands, such as those in Chiriqui with its Baru Volcano, there is Santa Fe in the mountainous area of Veraguas  and there are El Valle and Campana, closer to the capital city, which also offer beautiful mountain views among many other spots. A cool climate seals the contrast.