Panama City enjoys unique geographical location between the Pacific Ocean and tropical rain forest. This wind brings some precipitation to the Pacific lowlands, modified by the highlands of the Península de Azuero, which form a partial rainshield for much of central Panama. The mountain range of the divide is called the Cordillera de Talamanca near the Costa Rican border. Location and Geography. Panama is a narrow, s-shaped isthmus located between Colombia and Costa Rica, bordered by both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. Celebrated as “the door to the seas and key to the universe,” it served in the 1530s as the staging point for the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire, and until the 19th century it was a transshipment point for gold and silver destined for Spain. The divide does not form part of the great mountain chains of North America, and only near the Colombian border are there highlands related to the Andean system of South America. Water in the Panama Canal does not flow from coast to coast; rather, it is released from the rain-fed Gatún and Alajuela (Madden) lakes in the central highlands. This S-shaped part of the isthmus is situated between 7° and 10° north latitude and 77° and 83° west longitude. Coiba is the largest island in Central America, off of Panama´s Pacific Coast at 503 square kilometers. total: Learn how and when to remove this template message, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Geography_of_Panama&oldid=993468570, Articles needing additional references from November 2017, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the Library of Congress Country Studies, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the World Factbook, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 10 December 2020, at 19:44. The Panama isthmus was first explored by Spanish conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas in the year 1501. This Central American country is bordered by Costa Rica and Colombia, and is situated between the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The apex of a highland that includes Panama's richest soil, the Volcán Barú is still referred to as a volcano, although it has been inactive for millennia. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. History. A cosmopolitan city where skyscrapers tower above whitewashed bungalows, it enjoys a handsome setting and a growing importance as a commercial and financial services centre for the region. The country is a natural land bridge connecting the South American continent with Central America. The over 350 San Blas Islands, near Colombia, are strung out for more than 160 km (99 mi) along the sheltered Caribbean coastline. The building of the Panama Canal is considered one of the great engineering feats of history. The terrain of Panama is interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills. Panama - GEOGRAPHY Panama. During the rainy season the Tuira is navigable for some 40 miles (60 km) and the Chepo for 20 miles (30 km). Omissions? Nearly 40 percent of all Panamanians have ancestors who were neither Spanish nor Indian, but who had came to the isthmus over the last 110 years to build or traverse the canal. failed wretchedly. Areas of alluvial soils (which develop from clay, silt, sand, and gravel deposited by streams) are especially fertile but are limited to the lower parts of river valleys. party to: History of the Panama Canal . Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? water: Panama forms the land link between the North and South American continents. Learn about the history and culture of Panama, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Rainfall is generally much heavier on the Caribbean than on the Pacific side. The provinces are divided into districts, which in turn are subdivided into sections called corregimientos. Configurations of the corregimientos are changed periodically to accommodate population changes as revealed in the census reports. And despite cutting through Panama, it was all American. A third influence that is present during the late autumn is the southwest wind off the Pacific. The dominant feature of Panama's landform is the central spine of mountains and hills that forms the continental divide. In some areas, exceptionally fertile soils have developed from volcanic ash. Panama Vacations Experts Since 1999 1 … Enjoy a snapshot where water is as important as land, unemployment is less than 5% and legal tender is the U.S. dollar: quick Panama facts. The canal also secures Panama’s ongoing role in international affairs and world commerce. Mostly unnavigable, many originate as swift highland streams, meander in valleys, and form coastal deltas. Area 30,193 square mi (78,200 square km) Capital Panama City Population 3.868 million 2014 Highest Point 11,400 ft (3,475 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $46.21 billion There is also a museum of contemporary art in Panama City which houses many modern paintings and sculptures that blend native influence with European and North American styles. exclusive economic zone: The Caribbean coastline is marked by several good natural harbors. The movement of people throughout the country's history created a melting pot of cultures that resulted in a highly diverse and unique national identity. As a whole, the range between Costa Rica and the canal is generally referred to by Panamanian geographers as the Cordillera Central. Temperatures are markedly cooler in the higher parts of the mountain ranges, and frosts occur in the Cordillera de Talamanca in western Panama. This page has been viewed 646 times (0 via redirect) 0 watching users; Content is available under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike unless otherwise noted. It borders Colombia to the east, Costa Rica to the west, and the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean to the north and south. land: As a consequence, the tidal range is extreme. A variation of about 70 centimetres (2.3 ft) between high and low water on the Caribbean coast contrasts sharply with over 700 cm (23 ft) on the Pacific coast, and some 130 km (81 mi) up the Río Tuira, the tidal range is still over 500 cm (16 ft). ; About FamilySearch Wiki 1,080 km2, Land boundaries: In the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of the Empire, no other region would prove of more strategic and economic importance. 2.51% Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The new Panamanian government authorized French businessman Philippe Bunau-Varilla, to negotiate a treaty with the United States. Of the four quadrants thus formed, the southwestern has the largest number of settlements; however, the environs of the canal account for most of Panama’s population and commerce. The Río Chepo and the Río Chagres are sources of hydroelectric power. Embracing the isthmus and more than 1,600 islands off its Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the tropical nation is renowned as the site of the Panama Canal, which cuts through its midsection. 7.16% Arrowheads found near Lago Alajuela (Madden Lake) in the Panama Canal point to human habitation around 9,000 B.C., and there are traces of agriculture along Panama’s central Pacific coast that date back to 5,000 B.C. Geography. Panama is a country located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica. This official website of the Embassy of Panama in the U.S. provides general country information including history, culture, political structure, economy and tourism. Temperatures are uniformly high—as is the relative humidity—and there is little seasonal variation. The country forms the land bridge between the North and South American continents. It is 772 km (480 mi) long, and between 60 and 177 kilometers (37 and 110 mi) wide. Between 1850 and 1900 Panama had 40 administrations, 50 riots, 5 attempted secessions, and 13 U.S. interventions. The country’s highest peak is an inactive volcano, Barú (Chiriquí), which reaches an elevation of 11,401 feet (3,475 metres). This page was last edited on 18 April 2020, at 21:42. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Nearly as narrow is the portion of the isthmus traversed by the Panama Canal. Although rainy-season thunderstorms are common, the country is outside the hurricane belt. Spanish is the official language of Panama and is spoken by the vast majority of the people. Since 1914 the 51-mile- (82-km-) long Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, has afforded a long-sought shortcut for shipping and assures the country’s standing as one of the most strategic transportation hubs of the world. Geography Panama Homepage The Panama Homepage has provided a variety of information with regards to Panama's position in the world. Military. border countries: The highest point in Panama is the Volcán Barú (formerly known as the Volcán de Chiriquí), which rises to 3,475 meters (11,401 ft). The two principal ranges, the Tabasará Mountains (Cordillera Central) in the west and the Cordillera de San Blas in the east, are separated near the centre of the country by a saddle of lower land. Panama's tropical environment supports an abundance of plants. copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower, Land use: People. 90.33% (2011), Total renewable water resources: Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km, Maritime claims: The Panama Canal makes the small Central American nation unique among its neighbors. Brief History of Panama: Panama was originally inhabited by the Native American tribes of the Cocle and Cuevas peoples. 335,646 km2 (129,594 sq mi) and 200 nautical miles (370 km) or edge of continental margin, Climate: With the decline of the Spanish Empire, Panama lost much of … Panama was subordinated to the viceroyalty of Peru and remained in this status until 1717, when it was transferred to New Granada. Secession from Spain and union with Gran Colombia, Transcontinental railroad and canal projects, The Cold War Museum - Manuel Noriega and Panama, National Geographic Kids - Countries - Panama, Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Panama, Panama - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Panama - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Panama is located in Central America between Costa Rica to the West and Colombia to the South; Panama is at the southern end of a Central American Ithsmas and forms the land bridge between North and Southern America; Panama is slightly smaller than South Carolina. Paralleling the principal mountain chains, a lower mountain arc extends along Panama’s southern coast. They vary in fertility, and in many areas crops can be grown continuously only if fertilizers are applied. Panama is located on the narrow and low Isthmus of Panama. Of Panama’s many short rivers, those that flow to the Caribbean include the Sixaola, Changuinola, Indio, Cricamola, La Miel, and Chagres. 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