developing world

Panama: More Than A Gateway

Panama has long been a safe harbor for adventurers, schemers, and those with a piratical turn of mind.–Amy Wilentz

The tiny nation of Panama is a small Central American country primarily known for its famous canal that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It’s capitol, Panama City, is often referred to as the “gateway to the world.” Although the famous canal is front and center in the minds of most people, there is much more to see than just the Canal de Panama.

Panama City is a modern metropolis that has a lot to offer visitors. The city has beautiful scenic views and a spectacular skyline, while a plethora of historical landmarks, vibrant restaurants, shops and cafes await to be explored by visitors.

However, Panama is a nation of extremes.

The capitol city has the same modern advantages of any city in the global north. Public water fountains deliver safe drinking water, and the bathroom facilities are well kept; yet, a short drive outside of the metropolitan area, and the typical sites of a developing nation are present.

The further away from Panama City a person gets and the worse the conditions become. The bathroom facilities are less stellar and basic creature comforts disappear too. Small rusted rooftop shacks pepper the landscape while outdated cars, trucks, and equipment waste away along poorly kept roads and fields.

However, once a person travels outside of the sphere of Panama City’s influence, about 60-miles. Scenic pristine tropical jungles await visitors willing to leave the comfort of the city behind.

To see Panama’s extremes for yourself, A Crow’s View suggest traveling to San Blas. This small tropical island chain is part of the Archipelago’s islands. They are about a four-hour trip from Panama City. That includes a 4×4 ride along rugged off road trails and a boat ride.

This trip will allow a person to see the awesome beauty of Panama’s mountains, jungles, and the tropical Archipelago’s islands of the Atlantic ocean. You will even meet some native San Blas residence that are a pseudo-independent nation within Panama.

In the words of Gustave Flaubert, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”