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Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and rich heritage of Panama through its finest exports. From captivating films and enchanting books to mouth-watering cuisine and essential key phrases, our guide will prepare you for an unforgettable holiday in this awe-inspiring country. Discover the heart and soul of Panama before you even set foot on its soil. Let the journey begin!

Watch 📺

"God is a Woman" is a documentary highlighting the Kuna people of the San Blas Islands. Originally crafted by French filmmaker Pierre Dominique Gaisseau in the 1970s, the film faced a financial halt, leading to its confiscation by the bank. As a result, the Kuna community never had the opportunity to view the original production.

Set against the backdrop of Panama City, "The Tailor of Panama" presents an engaging spy thriller featuring Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush.

"Quantum of Solace" spans across various Latin American countries, including Mexico, Chile, and Panama. Filmed in Panama City's Casco Viejo and around the Panama Canal, the movie showcases these locales, transforming them into settings resembling hotels in Bolivia and Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

Read 📖

"Panama Fever" by Matthew Parker delves into the historical narrative surrounding the construction of the Panama Canal. Drawing from authentic accounts, the book chronicles the excavations, engineering feats, and the profound impact on the lives of those involved.

Cristina Henríquez's "The Great Divide" offers a meticulously researched fictional tale set against the backdrop of the Panama Canal's construction. Through the lives of diverse characters from varied backgrounds, the narrative weaves together their intersecting stories.

In "Come Together, Fall Apart," also penned by Henríquez, a collection of short stories unfolds against the backdrop of Panama's turmoil and instability in the 1980s.

John Steinbeck's "Cup of Gold," while considered one of his earlier works, is set in the 17th century and narrates the adventures of a pirate determined to conquer Panama.

Taste 😋

Sancocho, Panama's national dish, is a hearty chicken and vegetable soup featuring local staples like ñame (a type of yuca), chicken, and coriander. Carimañolas, a popular snack, are homemade yuca rolls filled with ground beef, chicken, or cheese, often sold by street vendors. Panamanian gallo pinto, translating to "black rooster," is a variation of the Central American staple, comprising rice and beans along with pork for added flavour.

Listen 🎶

Like many Latin American destinations, the music of Panama echoes its diverse cultural mosaic. Immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats of Kafu Banton, a trailblazer in reggae en Español whose compelling lyrics and infectious rhythms resonate across Panama and beyond.

Explore the poetic narratives of Ruben Blades, a musical legend whose socially conscious songs and soulful melodies have garnered global recognition and embark on a jazz odyssey with Danilo Perez, a masterful pianist whose innovative compositions blend traditional Panamanian sounds with contemporary jazz elements.

Say 🗣️

To blend in with Panamanian locals, try using the phrase "Que xopa?" (pronounced "que sopa"), which means "What's up?" in English. Another handy phrase is "Dale pues" (pronounced "da-lay pwez"), which is an informal way of saying "OK" or "go for it." Also, when traveling in any Central American country, you'll often come across the famous old American school buses adorned with colourful and decorative artwork known as "trambillas."

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