• Panamá

      The capital of Panamá is Panama City.

      Panama's motto is "Pro Mundi Beneficio," which means "For the Benefit of the World."

      Panameños (Panamanians) refer to themselves as "canaleros".

  • World Records

    According to the Guinness World Record, Panamá is the home of the largest fried plantain (patacón) in the world. 134 people participated in the making of the patacón.

    In 2011, Panamanian Gary Saavedra surfed the longest distance wave (43.1 miles) on the Panama Canal in Panama City. Saavedra covered the distance for 3 hours 55 minutes and 2 seconds, breaking also a record for the longest time spent surfing a wave. Saavedra was the first person ever allowed by the Panama Canal Authority to surf the canal.

    In Escudo de Veraguas, a small island off the coast of Panama, lives the world's rarest species of sloth--the pygmy three-toed sloth (scientifically described as a new species in 2001). Only approximately 300 specimens are thought to exist. They live exclusively in red mangrove trees.

    In 2018 the Guinness World Records certified Panamá as the holder of the world's largest registry of ships with more than 8 thousand ships, which is about 18% of the world's maritime fleet.

    Panamá has the most artists contributing to the same painting simultaneously. To celebrate the 100th year of the Panamá Canal, a total of 5,084 people contributed to the final artwork, which took hours to paint and arrange. The artwork reads in Spanish "2014 A Century Uniting the World."

    Panama City is the only capital city in the world that has a rain forest within its city limits. 

  • Other Interesting Facts

    Panamá is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic.

    Panamá's biodiversity is believed to be 3 times higher than the United States, Canada and Europe combined.

    Panamá was the first Latin American country to adopt the U.S. currency as its own.

    You can swim in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in the same day.

    The national language of Panamá is Spanish, but English is widely spoken.

    Panamá is the only country that touches South America.

    The Panama Canal is a constructed waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans across the Isthmus of Panama.

    The Panama Canal is 40 miles long from shoreline to shoreline.

    The canal generates fully one-third of Panamá's entire economy.

    More than 25,000 workers died during the Panama Canal's construction.

    In 1904, when the US took over building the Panama Canal, Theodore Roosevelt appointed General William Gorgas to be the Chief Sanitary Engineer. General William Gorgas understood the role of mosquitoes as carriers for diseases. In two years he was able to eradicate yellow fever from the Canal Zone and brought malaria under control, therefore removing the 2 obstacles to building the Panama Canal.

    Hospital Gorgas in Panamá is named after General William Gorgas.

    Approximately 14,000 ships cross the canal every year.

    The toll charged to cross the canal is based on the ship's weight. On average the toll is about $150,000.

    The largest toll ever paid to cross the canal was $450,000.

    The lowest toll ever paid was 36 cents by American Richard Halliburton who swam the canal (1928).

    As 0f 2018, about $1.8 billion in tolls are collected annually. 

    It takes a ship between 8 to 10 hours to cross the canal.

    Ship's captains are not allowed to navigate through the canal. A specially trained canal pilot takes navigational control of each vessel to guide it through the waterway.

    in 2010 the 1 millionth ship crossed the canal since it was opened in 1914. 

    In December of 1999, according to the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, the United States transferred control of the Panama Canal as well as the Hospital Gorgas to Panama.

    In June 2016 the canal's expansion project was completed. The expansion allows the canal to handle today´s megaships.

    On June 1963, 16 NASA astronauts took part in survival training in Panama's Canal Zone.

    Senator John McCain was born in Panamá, in the Canal Zone that was, at the time considered U.S. Territory.

    Panamá has a rich and diverse music history. It has made contributions to cumbia, saloma, pasillo, punto, tamborito, mejorana, bolero, jazz, salsa, reggae, calypso, rock and other musical genres.

    On April 29, 2017, the Disney Wonder was the first cruise ship to pass through the newly expanded Panama Canal.  

How does the Panama Canal work?

Disney Wonder Canal Crossing

Panama Canal Cartoon

The Expanded Panama Canal

Building the Panama Canal

7 facts about panama