16 Oct

Amusing and Interesting Facts About Panama

Panama may be one of the smaller countries in the world, but it’s one of the most interesting. It has a rich and varied history. Panama is home to many manmade and natural wonders. Marvels of engineering surrounded by thick rain forests and shimmering turquoise waters create a wonderful balance between the natural, modern, and historic. Read some interesting facts about Panama—you’ll marvel over how so much can happen in such a small area.


  1. The oldest artifacts found in Panama date back to 2500 B.C.
  2. Panama gained independence from Spain in 1821.
  3. It took 10 years to build the Panama Canal, from 1904 to 1914.
  4. A 130 lb. yellow fin tuna was caught at a Boca Chica, Panama fishing tournament in 2009.
  5. Three locks in the canal lift ships 85 ft. above sea level.
  6. There are more bird species in Panama than in the U.S.
  7. The U.S. dollar is legal tender in Panama.
  8. During Prohibition, U.S. ships registered to Panama, so they could serve alcohol.
  9. Two million people live in the capital, Panama City, which makes up half the population of the country.
  10. 20 different species of parrot live in Panama.
  11. The first ocean-to-ocean flight took place over Panama.
  12. Five species of big cat live in Panama; puma, jaguars, jaguarundis, margays, and ocelots.
  13. The world’s largest rodent, the capybara, lives in Panama.
  14. Catholicism is the main religion.
  15. Tocumen International Airport is the largest airport in Central America.
  16. Panama is the only place in the world you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic. Think about it for a second.
  17. Almost 500 rivers flow throughout Panama.
  18. Panama was the first country outside the U.S. to sell Coca-Cola.
  19. There are 365 islands in the San Blas Archipelago.
  20. The lowest toll to ever pass through the canal was 36 cents.
  21. American Richard Halliburton swam across the canal in 1928.
  22. The national bird is the Harpy Eagle.
  23. Panama elected its first female president in 1999, Mireya Moscoso.
  24. The inventor of “Murphy’s Law”, Edward Murphy Jr., was born in Panama.
  25. Former U.S. Senator John McCain was born in Panama.
  26. Volcán Barú is the highest point in the country at 11,401 ft.
  27. Over 1,600 islands surround Panama.
  28. Panama is home to 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites.


This list of interesting facts just scratches the surface. If you want to know everything about Panama’s waters, find a rental in the marina, and hit the high seas.