Panama is a country in Central America. Just like its neighbors Colombia and Costa Rica, Panama also has coasts facing both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. The weather is always hot, but the temperature is especially higher as you move towards the Caribbean coast. Around 880,000 of the country’s 3.6 million population live in its capital, Panama City. Get a car for hire in Panama so that you can explore the UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Panama City at your own pace. It might come in useful if you intend to visit other UNESCO heritage sites such as Portobelo, and the Coiba National Marine Park offshore from Boca Chica.
Panama City has layers of historic attractions to explore. The first one is Panama Viejo – the Old Panama,a Spanish City which was built in 1519. The second layer is Casco Viejo, the walled inner city built in the 17th century after Panama Viejo was razed to the ground. Within this historic inner city, you will find architecture from many different eras, and styles from art deco to French colonial buildings. Get a car for rent in Panama to see everything from St. Joseph Church’s golden altar to Plaza de Francia and Salón Bolivar. Don’t miss the Panama Canal, while you are here.
Coiba National Marine Park is comprised of the waters around the Island of Coiba and includes several other islands and smaller islets. The marine park, a UNESCO listed world heritage site, is located in the Gulf of Chiriquí about 30 miles offshore from the city of Boca Chica. If you are in the capital and plan to drive to Boca Chica, you will enjoy a long six hour drive on the Carretera Panamericana. The road follows the coast till Nata, and barrels through the interior past Santiago. Boca Chica is located about an hour before David. Coiba National Marine Park is a spectacular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, with waters teeming with exotic marine life that you will not find elsewhere on the planet.
After exploring Panama’s Pacific coast you can move to the Caribbean side, to Portobelo in Colon Province. It is also a historic port city, established by the Spaniards in 1597. Apart from the beaches such as Playa Blanca and Playa Frances, you can also visit the historic ruins of Spanish forts, such as the UNESCO listed Fort San Lorenzo.
No doubt a coastal drive is an attractive option, but the question is on which coast and how far. Book your car rental in Panama right now and plan a Pacific coast drive from Panama City to David, or the other way from Panama City to La Palma. The Caribbean coast is not that well connected by road, but you can still drive for about 45 minutes from Portobelo to the City of Colon, with plenty of coastal towns and beach resorts along the way.
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