Wonderful country in the heart of Central America, home to the Panama Canal, marvelous beaches, biodiversity and cultural treasures.


Country name:

Republic of Panama


Panama City


75,517 km2 (Approximately one-fifth of Japan, one size smaller than Hokkaido)


4.159.000(2019 estimate)

Time difference:

-14 hours (GMT-5) 14 hours behind Japan, no summer time


Spanish, English (widely spoken)




Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 13%, Others (Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.) 2%


Mixed race 70% African 14% European 9% Indigenous 5% Other 2%

Administrative division:

9 provinces, 5 comarca (Indigenous peoples reserves)


Constitutional Republic unicameral assembly (71 seats, 5 years term 2009-2014)


President Laurentino Cortizo ( Appointed July 1st 2019, term of office is 5 years)


Subtropical climate Dry season: January to April Rainy season


110 Volts 60 Hertz (Outlet plug shape is A type same as Japan)


Spaniard Rodrigo de Bastidas, first european that discovers Panama Isthmus.


Spaniard Vasco Núñez de Balboa, first european that discovers the Pacific Ocean.


Spaniard Pedro Arias Dávila founded Panama City on the Pacific Ocean side.


The constructed base city was given the coat of arms by the King of Spain to become the capital city of Panama (present-day Panama Viejo)


The city of Panama was abandoned by the attack by the British pirate Henry Morgan, and the base city was rebuilt 10 km ahead of it (now the old town of Casco Viejo).


Independence from Spain. Became part of the Colombian Empire (now Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama).


Separated from Colombia, the Republic of Panama is born. Concluded a "Canal Treaty" with the US government and became under real US government control.


Start of construction work for Panama Canal


Panama Canal completed


General Torrijos took control of the government by a coup, and the military regime ruled for about 20 years thereafter.


"New Canal Treaty" signed by General Torrijos and US President Carter.


US Army invasion of Panama. Panama military dictatorship leader General Noriega arrested.


Complete withdrawal of US troops stationed on the Panama Canal (complete return from US to Panama government)


Martín Torrijos (PRD) administration launched


Start of canal expansion work


Ricardo Martinelli (Democratic Change Party: CD) government launched


Juan Carlos Varela (Panameñista Party) government launched


President Laurentino Cortizo (PRD) administration launched


January 1

New Years

January 9

Martyrs Day

Between Feb to March


40 days before Palm Sunday

Ash Wednesday

Between March and April

Holy Week (Semana Santa)

May 1

Labor day

August 15

Old Panama Foundation Day

November 2

Day of the dead

November 3

Independence Day from Colombia

November 4

National flag day

November 5

Separation Movement in Colon City

November 10

Anniversary of Declaration of Independence from Spain (Villa de Los Santos First Independence Day)

November 28

Independence day from Spain

December 8

Mother's Day

December 24

Christmas Eve (afternoon only)

December 25


December 31

New Year's Eve (afternoon only)

More information


Panama is a country formed by Native people, Europeans who came after the discovery of the Isthmus, Africans and Chinese who were brought for labor force of the Panama Railroad and Panama Canal. In addition, many people came from around the world because of the economic development in the country. Because of this background, although Panama's population is small, a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society is rooted in diverse races and cultures is famously called a “melting pot”. It has a unique atmosphere that is different from other Latin American countries. The people of Panama generally have a cheerful, friendly and patriotic national character. Also, they are people who love music, dance and traditional culture.


Panama has a wide variety of natural environments, such as the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, tropical rainforest jungles, and plateaus. Its location, in the center of the Americas, has made it famous because it offers a wide variety of wildlife and plants in only one country. 

There are 1000 species of birds in the country, and Quetzal can be seen in the highlands of Chiriquí, and the harpy eagle, which is also a national bird, can be seen in the tropical forest of Darien.

Close to the coast, there are hundreds of islands and thousands of coral reefs that are being protected. The beautiful Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea are ideal for marine sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving. It also has the Pacific, Atlantic and canal lakes of Gatún and one of the world's best fishing spots.

In addition, Panama is also known as a "large flower garden" where you can enjoy from tropical to highland´s variety of plants. Inhabited by more than 10,000 species of plants, in particular 1200 wild orchids that grow naturally, and with its unique beauty, Flor del Espíritu Santo (Flower of the Saint Spirit) is the national flower of Panama.

Over 29% of the country is designated as 15 national parks, 12 forest reserves and 10 wildlife reserves.


Panama's staple food is rice (slender indica rice), and it is commonly eaten with meat, fish, and beans.

Typical Panama food


Chicken soup with meat and chicken bones. Cooked with chicken, ñame(yam), onion, corn, garlic, cloves, long coriander, oregano, red pepper, salt, etc. Generally eaten with rice.


Chicken pilaf. Rice dish cooked with chicken, onions, carrots, celery, peppers, olives, capers, garlic and long coriander.

In addition, Arroz Con Guandu (Guandu bean rice), Ropa Vieja (simmered beef with tomatoes), Ceviche (Marinated seafood using a fish called Corvina), Patacones (fried plantain for cooking), Carimañola (croquette of grated cassava wrapping minced meat). All this dishes generally matches Japanese people food taste.