There are so many reasons to fall in love with Panama’s San Blas Islands that it’s hard to count. Exotic birds, lush vegetation, white beaches and sapphire colored seawater will all make you never want to leave. Stretching from the Panamanian coast to almost the Columbian border, the San Blas Islands are as relaxing as they are enticing. With 378 islands to choose from, you will have a hard time deciding which one to lounge on.
The Kuna Indians inhabit the San Blas islands and are able to operate away from the national government for the most part. This allows them to preserve their own cultural heritage and economic system. While visiting, you will feel like you have stepped into the past as you experience their distinctive dress, language, music, and traditions. There is so much to do on the San Blas Islands, you won’t know whether to kick back and relax or take part in something adventurous.
Time moves a bit slower in the San Blas Islands, so there is plenty of time to enjoy your accommodations or soak up the sun with a delicious cocktail. You may also choose to go swimming in one of the pools or at the beach. Snorkeling is a particularly exhilarating experience as there are thousands of colorful fish living in the coral reefs. If you want to do a bit of shopping, you can walk among the Kuna traders. You will find wares of coconuts, fish and hand-crafted items. Be sure to keep an eye out for beautiful fabrics fashioned with bright colors and eccentric designs.
The most popular of the San Blas Islands are Achutupu, Kangantupu, and Coco Blanco. These islands are all pretty close together, so its possible to visit all three. They are just a plane ride away, or if you have a spontaneous streak, you can ask a Kuna merchant ship to take you along as they travel from Colón. Between April and June is the best time to visit, as the temperatures are just right and the sea life is the most active.
The San Blas Islands offers visitors a little slice of heaven. Sun, sweet drinks, crystalline waters, soft sand, and friendly people all come together to make the San Blas Islands one of the most beautiful vacation detinations.
Nestled between Zambia and Zimbabwe is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. Victoria Falls is a waterfall that is 1.7 kilometers wide and 108 meters tall, which makes it the largest in the world. This waterfall has to be seen, as it is a testament of how powerful nature can be.
Victoria Falls is known by the locals as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” and has been an object of intrigue for travelers for over a hundred years. Scottish explorer David Livingstone journeyed to Africa in the 19th century and wrote about his experience with Victoria Falls. In his work Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries, he describes the waterfall as something that is so majestic that it is hard to put into words. Victoria Falls still continues to mesmerize onlookers more than a century later.
While the height and width of the falls is astounding, even more interesting is its geological makeup. Other great waterfalls like Niagara were formed by the slow recession of rock over which the river falls, while it seems that Victoria Falls seems to have been formed by a crack across the river. This mighty rift is the reason why spectators can see the entire length of the falls head on.
Visitors travel to Victoria Falls every year to marvel at the power of the river. In 1989, it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both geological and ecological values. If your travels will take you to Zambia or Zimbabwe, make sure you adventure out to see the Victoria Falls. It will be an experience you won’t forget.
Panama is a very diverse country. Its inhabitants are from many different types of backgrounds. Spanish, Indian, West Indian, Chinese and other culture have blended together to create the vibrant country that we know today. However, before these ethnicities came together, there were indigenous tribes that hunted, gathered, and carved out their own traditions in the land. There were seven main tribes that made up Panama’s indigenous people. Let’s take a closer look at the three most prominent.
The Kuna live mainly on the San Blas islands. This culture has traditionally been a “warrior” tribe and they have managed to survive by being open to the change that modernization brings. While they are open minded people, they strive to maintain their culture and identity.
2. Ngobe Bugle
The Ngobe Bugle cultures represent over 63% of Panama’s indigenous population and are centered in the Bocas del Toro, Veraguas and Chiriqui provinces. The main economy of this tribe is agriculture, primarily banana and coffee. Handcrafts have become increasingly important as the Ngoble Bugle are known for chaquiras. These are necklaces and bracelets made with plastic beads.
3. Embera Waounan
The Embera Waounan peoples originally came from South America and now live in the Darien Jungle. This tribe survives on agriculture, fishing and hunting. If you were to visit, you would see tradition clothing, body paint and jewelry still in existence.
Most of the people in Panama live in urban areas equipped with modern day amenities. Interacting with these indigenous people give us a glimpse of how love was many years ago and also an insight into how these proud cultures adapt with the world but still maintain their identities.