Latinamerica Collection
Basic Facts

• Capital City: Panama City (Metro Area Population: 1.1 million)

• Location and Borders: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica

• Administrative Divisions: 9 provinces (provincias, singular: provincia); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, and Veraguas. 1 territory (comarca); San Blas (Kuna Yala).

• Area: Total: 78,200 sq km
Land: 75,990 sq km
Water: 2,210 sq km

• Climate: tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)

• Population: 3,242,000

• Demographic Growth Rate: 1.56%

• Industries: construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling

• Languages: Spanish (official), English 14% with many bilingual Panamanians

• Government System: constitutional democracy

Regions of Panama

Though Panama is not the most diverse spot on the planet, it does have some important characteristics that cannot compare to other countries. For example, though the country may not be the most biodiverse, it is part of the main center of plant diversity on the planet. Additionally, the isthmus is a bird watcher's paradise with 10% of the world's bird species.

Nature reserves, wilderness areas, and national parks account for 471,000 hectares of the isthmus of Panama. When including natural monuments and all other protected areas, this number jumps to 1,454,000 hectares, which is nearly one-fifth of Panama's entire land area. Additionally, Panama is home to three internationally protected wetland sites covering a total area of 111,000 hectares. Finally, there are over 1.5 million hectares of land designated as Biosphere Reserves in Panama.

As part of the main center of plant diversity on the planet, Panama is the location of nearly 10,000 species of plants, nearly 200 of which are currently endangered. Panama's important flora has been used for centuries as medicines and foods for its inhabitants as well as construction materials.

In addition, Panama's fauna is also very extensive. Home to over 200 mammals as well as hundreds of bird, reptile, amphibian, and fish species, Panama does indeed sport an immense amount of biodiversity compared to many other countries.

Compared to the rest of Central America and the Caribbean, Panama has a very high percent of its landmass established as protected areas. Though not the most diverse nation in the world, it is home to hundreds of important animal species and many thousands of lush plant species making it a nature lover's paradise.