Provinces of Panama
Chiriquí is the western province of Panama bordering Costa Rica and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Mainly famous for its highlands, it offers a wide variety of sceneries, but all have something in common: the greenness. Mountain lovers find in this province exciting trails, whitewater rivers and the most florid agricultural production of the country, especially high quality coffee.
The capital of the province is David, convenient transportation hub to visit the rest of Chiriquí. Lowlands includes a National Marine Park, Golfo de Chiriquí and other nice palm lined beaches along the coast, still not crowded.
Bocas del Toro
Bocas del Toro is the other western province with Chiriquí bordering Costa Rica. They share the central mountain area, home of the international park PILA, but Bocas faces the Caribbean Sea. This province offers the typical tropical landscapes made of banana plantation, idyllic islands, virgin woodlands and rain forests.
The most popular destinations of the province is the namesake archipelago, home of the oldest marine park of Panama, Isla Bastimento. The capital is Bocas Town and is located on the main island Isla Colon and it's a coloured live town with all the tourism facilities.
Veraguas is the only one province of Panama whit coasts on both oceans. The Caribbean side is one of the less developed area of the country and due to this, it offers a lush pristine vegetation. The Pacific side has a more marked growth and several big investments. Wonderful gems have home also here as Coiba National Park, the famous surfers spot Santa Catalina and in addition the lovely mountain town of Santa Fé.
Santiago is the capital city located on the Pan American Highway that serves as the starting point between the tourism destinations of the province.
The Azuero peninsula is a region in the middle of the country that leans out towards the Pacific Ocean and includes Herrera, Los Santos and part of Veraguas provinces. Here there are strong influences from the Spanish Culture brought by “Conquistadores”( The Settlers), as well as an important tradition of folkloric festivals and carnival celebrations. Furthermore there are great spots for surfing, diving, and wildlife observing.
Herrera's most interesting sites are Chitré, with the close La Arena and Playa El Aguillito, Parque Nacional Sarigua and Parita.
Los Santos is well known for its capital Las Tablas that have the most famous carnival in the country. Pedasí and Isla Iguana, the turtles refugee of Isla Cañas and finally the surfer paradise Playa Venao follow each other on the coast.
It's the province between Panama Oeste and Azuero Peninsula on the Pacific Coast. It offers the best resorts beaches of the country like Playa Blanca and Santa Clara, charming mountain villages like El Valle de Antón and the less famous El Copé. In addition you can find authentic traditional towns with interesting activities.
Around Penonomé, the capital of the province, you can visit the appreciable handicraft market and the cigars factory in La Pintada.
Moreover the small town of Natá boasts the oldest Catholic church of the western hemisphere and Aguadulce, surrounded by shrimps farms and sugarcane fields need a visit.
This province, mainly known for the capital city, borders Veraguas and Guna Yala Comarca on the Caribbean Sea. This long coast is still undeveloped especially the western side known as Costa Abajo.
The town of Colón, on the opposite side of Panama City, hosts one of the busiest free trade zone of the world and important cruise and commercial terminal.
The Gatun locks of the Panama Canal, Parque Nacional Soberania and Monumento Natural Isla Barro Colorado are other highlights of the province.
Fuerte San Lorenzo and Portobelo have impressive ruins of the Spanish colonial fortress and port. Costa Arriba has gorgeous beaches and diving spots as Playa Blanca and Isla Grande.
Panama and Panama Oeste
Panama is the province with more population, thanks above all to the capital Panama City, gateway for the majority of travellers landing in the country. The city itself has many highlights and the Canal is the icing on the cake.
Outside the city, following the Canal, there are some national parks. Isla Taboga and Las Perlas Archipelago stand out in the waters surrounding of the Pacific Ocean
In January 2014 Panama Oeste (West) has been separated from Panama province. The capital is La Chorrera and the highlights are the popular beaches of Playa Coronado, Playa El Palmar and all the others in the area called Panama's Riviera.
Darién is the eastern province of Panama bordering Colombia and known for the gap of the Pan American Highway.
It's the wildest area of the country and there are not many tourism facilities.
You can find here nearly all the 927 species of birds of Panama and Darién National Park has been declared Biosphere Reserve of Human Kind by the United Nations. Furthermore there's a forest reserve considered part of the Central American Biological Corridor.
Here there are also the Comarca of Emberá and Wounaan and some settlements of Guna Indians.
San Blas is the province that is mainly popular for the 365 islands on the Caribbean Sea than for the rest of the land on the coast.