Tradition is Calling

Panamá is where worlds converge. Where oceans meet and rainforests thrive just outside city limits. Where seven indigenous communities and African and Spanish ancestry come together. See how our small yet mighty country has become the connecting point between people, lands, and ideas for more than 3 million years.  

Settled thousands of years ago by ancient civilizations, modern-day Panamá boasts a rich mosaic of cultural diversity where indigenous roots meet African heritage and Spanish influence. With the arrival of Europeans, Afro-descendants, Chinese, and North Americans, our country's heritage has been enriched and can be appreciated through its customs: music, gastronomy, art, and beyond.

What to Do

Learn about spiritual connection to nature through the eyes of Panamá’s seven indigenous people. These native communities practice ancestral wisdom and hold on to their deep cultural expressions which they enjoy sharing with visitors, all while passing on to their future generations. Visit the Ngäbe people in high mountains, the Naso in the Bocas del Toro Province, the Embera-Wounaan nestled deep in the rainforest, or the Guna people by the Caribbean Sea. Wherever you go, you will experience an unparalleled sense of cultural immersion.

When exploring Panamá, the Spanish influence is undeniable. Our national dress “The Pollera” accompanying golden jewelry, was influenced by our Spanish ancestors. The sombrero pintado, an example of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, is another accessory that dates back to the Spanish settlers. Visitors can travel back in time by taking in the Spanish architecture of Casco Viejo and Panamá Viejo in Panamá City. Discover the “Diablico sucio” which translates to “dirty devil,” at Corpus Christi celebrations and carnivals, in Los Santos provinces, the mecca of our Folkloric expressions. 

Visitors can learn about the country’s Afro heritage, a cultural, gastronomic, artistic, and musical history that goes back more than five centuries. This cultural legacy can be best experienced in Colon–especially in Portobelos–and Bocas del Toro, with an authentic atmosphere, where you can learn, the ritual and festive expressions of the Congo culture, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, preserved by descendants of the African people who were brought to Panamá during the middle passage and Afro Antillean migration during the mid-nineteenth century who came to work on the construction of the first Interoceanic railroad and then 30 years later for the construction of the Panamá Canal.




Culture and History

Herencia Afropanameña


Canal Out

Panama Viejo

Where to Go

From witnessing the Panamá Canal, one of the seven wonders of the modern world, to exploring Panamá Viejo Archaeological Site, a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site, strolling through the picturesque brick-paved streets in Casco Antiguo and mingling with locals in the heart of the nightlife scene, it’s easy to find captivating beauty, history, and authentic experiences in Panamá.

Take a step back in time and behold Colon’s forts, “magnificent examples of 17th and 18th-century military architecture,” as described by UNESCO when designating Fort San Lorenzo and Portobelo as World Heritage Sites. 

Travel just 160 kilometers to the southwest of Panamá City to discover one of  Panamá’s most important archeological sites, El Caño Archeological Park, where you can learn about the existence of a pre-Colombian civilization that lived in the area between 700-1000 AD.

What to Taste

Panamá has a plethora of delights for any palate. That’s why it’s no surprise that Panamá City has been a UNESCO Creative City in Gastronomy since 2017. Our unique climate, lush vegetation, and diverse ancestry make for a diverse and fresh array of highly sought-after foods. 

Like many other Latin American countries, Panamá’s food is rooted in the native ingredients used by its indigenous people, as well as cuisine brought over by Spanish and French settlers. Rice, beans, and corn are basic staples, as well as olive oil, pork, and spices. 

In addition to European flavors, the forced relocation of people from West Africa, the West Indies, and China influenced our cuisine greatly. Afro-Antillean-inspired dishes include fried cod fritters, coconut rice, and plantains, while dim sum and shumai dumplings are also popular with Panamanians. The use of fresh fruits and vegetables and its Caribbean roots are evident in many of our seafood dishes. So whether you try the ceviche or opt for the sancocho, you can’t go wrong with our diverse cuisine. 



Fish market

The Adventure Continues

Get the most out of your trip and truly discover all that  Panamá has to offer.