Panama Is An Eco-Adventurer’s Paradise
Panama is home to 940 species of birds. That’s more than any other country in Central America, including Costa Rica (where you can find 838 kinds of birds)…
Panama is also home to 218 species of mammals, 226 kinds of reptiles, and 22 kinds of freshwater fish (“Panama” means “where fish abound”).
Again, more, in every case, than in Costa Rica.
Twenty-one percent of the land mass in Costa Rica is protected; 19% of the land mass in Panama is protected.
These fun facts are courtesy of expat Kevin O’Brien.
Kevin is the owner of Barefoot Panama, our favorite Panama tour company.
Kevin helped us close our show last week. He was the penultimate presenter for our Live and Invest in Panama Conference on Friday.
“Everyone thinks Costa Rica is the ultimate eco-destination. That’s just not the case,” Kevin explained for the group.
“Costa Rica is great. I love Costa Rica. But I’ve chosen to base myself and my eco-tour business in Panama because, frankly, Panama has more to offer the eco-adventurer.
“In addition to the extraordinary biodiversity,” Kevin continued, “Panama offers a much more noteworthy history. Historically, Costa Rica isn’t that interesting.
“It was in Panama, for example, that Balboa discovered the Pacific. There’s a statue of the guy on Avenida Balboa.
“Panama boasts five World Heritage sites, including the fortifications at Portobelo on the Caribbean coast and Casco Antiguo.
“When I moved there, it was known as ‘Casco Viejo.’ Somehow the name has been changed. Now this region is not old but antique. I take it as a sign that Panama is finally getting a little more sophisticated in its marketing efforts.
“Whatever you call it, this peninsula where the Spanish, then the French, and most recently the Americans hung out and left their architectural marks is one of the most impressive colonial zones in the Americas. It’s also more cleaned up, more walkable, and more charming all the time. Today, the roads are freshly paved with brick, the sidewalks repaired, the utility lines underground, and the garbage regularly collected.
“As a result, Casco Antiguo is a great place for a fun Saturday night out or a pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll.
“What else to see or do in Panama?” Kevin carried on for the group.
“Well, there’s the little thing known as the Panama Canal,” he reminded everyone…
“Plus beaches, islands, and mountain villages… rivers, waterfalls, and caves…
“In Panama you can go snorkeling, diving, fishing, surfing, tubing, kayaking, zip-lining, hiking, horse riding, bird watching, whale watching (the season is upon us)…
“This is a land of abundance,” Kevin explained. “Everything from the sunshine to the opportunity for adventure is available in great abundance…”