What is the landscape of Panama like?


The Panamanian landscape is a mixture of forests and mountains, beaches and wetlands, plains and pastures. Within this small country exists a wide sampling of terrain — from the towering primary forests of the Darién to the sunny Pacific coast beaches - there is a little bit of everything in Panama. Several mountain ranges run down the center of the country and separate the Pacific side from the Caribbean. One mountain range contains the country’s tallest peak, Volcán Barú, a dormant volcano that reaches up to 3,475 meters (11,400 ft.). Panama has seen periods of significant deforestation, but there are still solid sections of primary and secondary forest in much of the country.

Along the Pacific coast, rivers run towards the ocean and form estuaries. Mangrove forests are common, especially in the Gulf of Chiriquí. The beaches come in every color – white, grey and black – and merge into a warm portion of the Pacific Ocean. Rugged islands off the coast are fairly normal.

The Caribbean side of Panama is marshier and less developed. There are two fantastic archipelagos along this side of the country: Bocas del Toro and Guna Yala. The islands in these archipelagos are postcard perfect, with pristine beaches and warm, crystal-clear waters.