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Location

Panama is located in the middle of the American continent. To the East lies Colombia and to the West Costa Rica. Panama forms a natural isthmian bridge, 80 kilometers in its narrowest part that joins the Atlantic Ocean in the North with the Pacific Ocean in the South.

Climate

It is 100% tropical with temperatures around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (about 25 - 30 degrees Celsius).  There are two seasons: the dry season from December to April and the rainy season from May to November. You can also enjoy temperatures of 12 to 15 degrees Celsius in the highlands of the Province of Chiriqui close to the border with Costa Rica as well as in the Valley of Anton and Cerro Azul at one hour and a half and 40 minutes from downtown Panama City respectively.

Population, Language and Currency

There is an estimated population of 3,191,319 (July 2006 census)

Spanish is the official language.

The currency is the Balboa which has the same value as the U.S. dollar.  The U.S. dollar is legal tender in Panama by a 1904 agreement between the two countries.  Therefore Panama does not print bank notes but only mints its own coins.  Panamanian coins are 50c, 25c, 10c, 5c and one cent.

Forest

Panama has a wide range of tropical landscapes including pristine beaches, rain forests, cloud forests, over 900 species of birds, 1500 species of trees and over 7000 vascular plants. Without a doubt, Panama is a real tropical paradise for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers.

Panama covers an area of 75,517 square kilometers with more than 1,000 miles of coast and 1,000 islands on the Pacific side and 800 miles of coast and 600 islands on the Caribbean side.

Economy

Because of its key geographic location Panama's economy is service-based, heavily weighted toward banking, commerce and tourism. The Colon Free Zone and the Panama Canal play a very significant role in the country's economy by generating employment and services.  Another important employment generator is the Trans-Isthmian Pipeline, which goes from ocean to ocean, from Puerto Armuelles in the Province of Chiriqui to Chiriqui Grande in the Province of  Bocas del Toro.

For Informartion
http://www.visitpanama.com

Pictures from Panama taken by the artist July 2006:

(Click on illustrations for larger image)

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