78,200 sq km (30,193 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.):
Capital and largest city (2003 est.):
Panama City - 1,053,500 (metro. area)
Other large cities:
San Miguelito - 309,500; Colón - 44,400
balboa; U.S. dollar
Spanish (official), English
Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
GMT-5, no daylight savings time
120V/60Hz AC (North American standard plugs)
Panama is the southernmost country in Central America, bordered by Colombia
to the east, Costa Rica
to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Panama is situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America with Panama Canal dividing the country in its narrowest point and allowing passage from the Caribbean to the Pacific.
Panama's terrain is mostly mountainous, particularly in the west (Central Mountains), with moderate hills in the center and lowlands on both coastlines. Panama's highest point is the Volcán Barú, at 3,475 m (11,401 ft). The Caribbean area is heavily forested.
Panama Canal is the largest source of revenue for the country and also the most famous tourist destination. Panama is also known for excellent beach resorts, national parks, hot springs, abundance and diversity of fauna and flora and historic sites.
Due to the safety, cost of living, infrastructure, beauty and climate, Panama is also becoming one of the most favorite places for retirement living for U.S. citizens.
There are 17 pictures in our Panama gallery. Click the thumbnail to enter.