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Panama

San Jose Church, Catedral Viejo,the Presidential Palace in Panama City;the Metropolitan National Park;os Altos de Maria; waterfalls of El Valle;Taboga Island; marine world of the Coiba National Park, Bocas del Torah, Contadora Island, and La Viuda.

All Dive Centers in Panama (1)

The Republic of Panama is located on the same-name isthmus between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea on the lands of two Americas - South and Central. The nearest neighbors of Panama are Colombia and Costa Rica. In the ancient Indian dialect Panama means "a place full of fish", which clearly describes the feature of the country. Here there is the main source of income of the country - the famous 80-mile Panama Canal is an outstanding refinement of civil engineering and serves as an important waterway of the world, linking the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. In 2012 the authoritative American edition of the "New York Times" gave Panama the first place in the list of countries that are recommended to visit. Panama’s climate is as sub-equatorial.

The capital of the country, Panama City, is a fine example of Spanish architecture of colonial times. One should pay attention to the ancient San Jose Church and to the original buildings of churches La Concepcion and La Compañía de Jesús, to the medieval tower of Catedral Viejo, to the massive monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, to the Presidential Palace and to the original Metropolitan Church. Fans of Indian culture should visit the Panama Viejo Historical Museum. The rich flora and fauna of the country can be viewed in the Metropolitan National Park, located in the outskirts of the capital, in the picturesque National Park Bastimentos in the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, in the Soberanía National Park, in the Altos de Campana National Park, which managed to preserve endemic species of gold frogs, as well as in the Summit Botanical Garden. It is interesting to take an excursion to the city of Los Altos de Maria, which is located right in the heart of the tropical jungle, and to the valley of the extinct volcano El Valle, where there are the most beautiful waterfalls of the country. Fans of close touch with the exotic wildlife should visit the picturesque Taboga Island.

Two currencies have free circulation in Panama – the Panamanian Balboa and the US dollar.

International airports in Panama

• Tocumen International Airport (PTY)
The main airport of the country is located thirty kilometers from Panama City and serves only international flights. All domestic flights are served by the old airport.
• Marcos Gelabert International Airport (PAC)
The airport, formerly known as Paytilla, is located a mile from the center of Panama City, and serves both international and domestic flights.
• Enrique Malek International Airport (DAV)

Diving in Panama

Panama offers unique opportunities for diving. In addition to its wonderful climate, beautiful beaches and diverse underwater fauna, which includes tropical blacktip and whitetip fish, whales and tiger sharks, humpback whales and rare sea turtles, the geographical location of Panama allows divers from all over the world to dip both into the Pacific Ocean – for example, to swim with whale sharks, and in the waters of the Caribbean, which are famous for colorful coral reefs.

The Coiba National Park, located on the same-name island, is the most suitable place for successful diving. The park is under the protection of the local administration, and visits are allowed only on production of the pass. Such measures are good for the local underwater inhabitants who feel very comfortably. Here you can see hundreds of fish species, which include marlins, barracudas, snappers, yellowtails, killer whales and several species of sharks. The perimeter of the island is surrounded by the largest in the Pacific coral reef. Divers also like such places as Santa Cruz, where among hard corals, unusual for this area, you can meet horse mackerels, eels and sea slugs, La Viuda, where you can meet stingrays and sharks, the Pearl Islands, where the famous "Last Hero" was filmed, Contadora Island, where among the unusual coral formations you can see angelfish, pearl-shells and butterfly fish, as well as the Channel, famous for complex underwater rocks.

Another popular place on the Caribbean coast is Bocas del Torah, where there are many picturesque fiery-red coral reefs and where you can meet sea slugs, arrow- crabs, cowries, starfish, reef sharks and nurse sharks, and giant sponges. Good diving area is the eastern part of the archipelago, the San Blas Islands.

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