Stretching 80km from Panama City in the south to Colón in the north, the Panama Canal is a work of mesmerizing engineering brilliance. One of the largest and most ambitious human endeavours, the waterway allows massive vessels – which otherwise would have to travel all the way south around Cape Horn – to traverse the isthmus in less than one day. East of the canal spreads the rainforest of Parque Nacional Soberanía, the greatest possible contrast to its mechanical might. Delve into the park’s humming, humid atmosphere on one of its many accessible pathways, and you’ll discover unparalleled biodiversity. Colón, at the Atlantic entrance to the canal, and only a boat or train or bus ride away from Panama City, seems like a different world from the capital – a brief tour of the poverty-stricken city from the safety of a taxi leaves you in no doubt about the canal’s socioeconomic importance, and the depth of Panama’s social inequalities. Some 45km northeast of Colón lies another port – Portobelo – whose glory days are even more distant. Its riches once proved irresistible to such pirates as Sir Francis Drake and Henry Morgan, and its once-mighty fortifications are now atmospheric ruins.

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16 pictures that show the colours of Panama

16 pictures that show the colours of Panama

After a recent trip to Central America, travel photographer Nori Jemil shares some of her best pictures of Panama.  The geographically strategic isthmus of …

30 Dec 2015 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
10 things you didn't know you could do in Panama

10 things you didn't know you could do in Panama

There’s a whole lot more to Panama than its famous canal. Hiking, rafting, surfing and diving are just a few of the excellent adventure activities on offer, a…

08 Sep 2015 • Megan Eileen McDonough insert_drive_file Article
A little piece of paradise: visiting Panama’s San Blas Islands

A little piece of paradise: visiting Panama’s San Blas Islands

Let’s clear one thing up straight away: getting to the San Blas islands is not easy, whichever way you’re coming from. And that’s quite deliberate. The…

23 Oct 2014 • James Rice insert_drive_file Article
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