The embassy of Panama in Israel and Polaris Company hosted these days a special cultural tourism event, hoping to tighten the tourism relations between the two countries and encourage tourism traffic from Israel to Panama 8th, 2013 in Tel Aviv
At the event, Panama City and Tel Aviv pronounced Sister Cities, and a special dress (Pollera) embroidered with pearls and diamonds was presented. One of the most expensive dresses in the world, the Pollera is Panama’s traditional garb, presented mostly at special celebrations
The embassy of Panama in Israel and Polaris Company host these daysa special cultural tourism event in Tel Aviv hoping to tighten the tourism relations between the two countries and reveal Panama’s wonderful tourist attractions. Among the participants in the colorful upbeat traditional Panama cocktail party were Panama’s ambassador in Israel, Hector Aparicio, head of the marketing administration at the Panama Tourism Authority and senior officials in both countries’ tourism industries.
As part of the event, Tel Aviv and Panama were pronounced Sister Cities. Additionally, a special dress (a Pollera - Panama’s traditional garb) embroidered with diamonds and pearls and valued at tens of thousands of dollars, making it one of the world’s most expensive dresses, was presented at the event. The Pollera dress takes roughly one year to make. Its glorious history dating all the way back to the 16th century, today, the Pollera is only used on special celebratory occasions.
Located in Central America, The Republic of Panama borders on the Caribbean to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south, Colombia to the east and Costa Rica to the west. Its territory is approximately 78,000 square kilometers and it is home to approximately 3.6 million residents. The name Panama means "abundance of fish and butterflies". Ethnically, most of the country’s citizens are of mixed origins: the most predominant group is “Mestizos” – people whose ancestors were both European and Amerindian, counting 69% of the population. Most of the population is catholic (roughly 80%). The climate in Panama is tropical and hospitable all year round. There are 7 autonomous communities of indigenous Amerindian peoples in Panama, all living an authentic lifestyle.
Panama offers a huge variety of scenery: sandy, white Caribbean beaches dotted with palm trees; tropical rain forests, cold, high mountaintops; enormous swamps and dormant volcanoes. Over 25% of Panama’s territory is dedicated to national parks and nature reserves, home to over 1,000 species of birds, 220 species of mammals and over 10,000 different species of vegetation. Panama offers about 2,000 islands and beautiful, exotic beaches. A visit to the beaches to the west and east of Panama would provide an opportunity to see sea turtles in large numbers. Considered one of the world’s richest places in birds, Panama is blessed with hundreds of species of colorful, beautiful avian creatures. Adjacent to Panama’s beaches are hundreds of islands. The main two groups of islands are San Blas and Bocas del Toro, a stunningly beautiful archipelago in the Caribbean with amazing coral reefs, home to a large variety of fish. Additionally, visitors can observe dolphins on the open ocean and tour the Beach of Red Frogs. An autonomous district run by the Kuna tribe, San Blas is a cluster of 400 tiny, picturesque islands that look as if they were taken straight out of a postcard. Living mostly on fishing, the members of the Kuna tribe travel between the islands in narrow canoes. Surprisingly, the locals have successfully preserved their economy, language, customs and culture. It is an ideal place for swimming in the midst of shawls of tiny silver fish, with dozens of brown albatrosses soaring above and diving into the water.
Other good diving, snorkeling and deep water fishing options are available at the beaches of the Pacific, near the islands of Coiba and Pearl. Here, one can go kayaking in stormy waters, visit national parks teeming with wildlife, go snorkeling in the Caribbean and swimming in the Pacific.
The capital of Panama, Panama City, is a cosmopolitan city filled with skyscrapers that resembles New York from afar. The city boasts a large variety of national museums and a rich history. The 5.25 billion dollar Panama Canal expansion project is due to be completed next year – 100 years after the opening of the first canal. 33.5 meters wide, the canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and is one of the largest and most difficult engineering challenges in world history. The canal’s construction has had a great effect on travel between the two oceans. 4% of all the world’s goods pass through the canal, making it Panama’s main source of income. Over 14,000 ships sail through the canal each year.
Another exotic tourist attraction is Golfo de Chiriqui: a bay enclosing beautiful islands, surrounded by beaches, hot springs and fertile valleys. Most of the area has been pronounced a nature reserve and it offers plenty of options for diving, surfing, bird watching and fishing. Most of Panama’s eastern region is taken up by the Darien district; its virginal rainforests pronounced a biosphere reserve and a world asset by UNESCO.
Photo Silvia Golan
Photo Silvia Golan