Mention the country Panama and immediately images of the Panama
Canal linking the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean spring to
It can also truly lay claim to an untouched coastline that
merges into huge tracts of virgin rainforest. In fact the name
reveals everything. Panama, in one of the indigenous dialects,
literally means "an abundance of fish and butterflies".
The archipelago Bocas del Toro is spread over densely forested
islands, small sandy atolls and two outreaches of the mainland that
form protective arms from Atlantic waves. This is the area of
Panama's oldest marine park - the Parque Nactional Marino Isla
Bastimentos. In the north of the island there are nesting grounds
for sea turtles while the southern coast consists of mangrove
islands and coral reefs.
The jungle is a whole different world, so untouched in parts
that even the elusive jaguar can still be found along with boa
constrictors, sloths, rare birdsand the hanging lianas. The
area is trying to balance tourism with the native way of life of
the Ngobe-Bugle people who still have settlements in the area and
are clinging to their traditional lifestyle.