Top 10 Most Interesting Panama Facts
A great deal of the common Panama facts surrounds the long history, which most people are aware of. After all, the Panamanian people spent years fighting for independence. The country dates back to 2500 BC and has ancient relics and artifacts to support this time frame. However, over the centuries, many explorers made claims and as a result, many wars ensued. Colonization began in 1510. Today, Panama is more industrialized than any other Central American country, this despite them having a very low population.
The top 10 most interesting Panama facts are located right below for you to enjoy:
1. There are only two major religious denominations in Panama, Catholic and Protestants. Catholics have the majority, 85% while Protestants hold the minority of 15%. This is actually one of the strangest Panama facts, considering 70% of the total population is a combination of the original native inhabitants, or Native Americans and Europeans.
2. Another one of the more intriguing Panama facts is the size. Yes, it is a very narrow strip of land, but at its most narrow point, it is just 80 kilometers or 49.7 miles from end to end. This means less than 50 miles separates the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean.
3. During 2003 and 2005, the number of U.S. seniors retiring to Panama, specifically, Panama City tripled. As of 2006, that number rose by 200%. This is due to the cost of living. The average couple can live off $1,200 per month.
4. Panama has a total of 14 national holidays and they celebrate some of the same as the U.S. including, New Year’s Day, Labor Day, Independence Day and Christmas Day. There are some variations, however. For example, Labor Day is May 1st and Independence Day is November 3rd. Before you book your vacation, double check with the official Panama travel guide just to make sure you aren’t traveling during one of their holidays.
5. Panama only has 2 seasons, because the climate is consistently tropical. Their 2 seasons are dry and rainy. This is why many Panama attractions are closed during certain times of the year. For example, the Boquete Outdoor Adventures, which features white water rafting and kayaking, is generally available only during December to May, or the dry season.
6. Panama tours and vacations produced well over $2 million dollars in 2010. Considering the majority of the world was submerged in financial crisis, this was indeed an incredible feat. In addition, the number of tourists has continued to rise, and as of 2011, more than 1.25 million visitors spent their vacations there.
7. One of the most startling Panama Canal facts is not so much the history of its construction, but the number of cargo that passes through each day. There are well over 13,000 ships and 312 million tons containing commercial products, containers and other materials that would otherwise spend days sailing 8,000 miles around the two major land masses; Cape Horn and Drake Passage.
8. Panama has a wide variety of media outlets that do not associate with the Internet at all. In fact, while many countries, including the U.S. are straying from printed news, Panama actually has 8 daily papers and 20 magazines. They also have 3 non-commercial television stations.
9. Panama is a major export country. They export coffee, lobster and shrimp, bananas, tobacco and cotton. They also produce their own sugar, metal products and textiles. They have their own veal and beef ranches as well.