Being Green in Panama
Although all tourism affects the environment, it’s getting easier to travel around Panama in reasonable comfort and with a moderately clear conscience. Here are some travel tips for those who want to stray from the beaten path without beating down a new one.
Visit the Azuero Peninsula
The Azuero Peninsula sees relatively few foreign visitors and was deforested generations ago. It’s unlikely visiting will do much harm, and it’s a way to get to know what Panamanians consider the “real” Panama.
Volunteer in Panama
It’s increasingly easy for foreigners to volunteer with community and environmental projects in Panama. Hostels and language schools can often arrange volunteer work, sometimes offering discounts as incentives. Local non-profits and eco-lodges also sometimes accept volunteers.
Many of these volunteer opportunities are listed throughout this travel guide and some of the most popular can be found on the Volunteer Opportunities page.
Every day seems to bring a new luxury hotel tower or beach mega-resort to the isthmus. But every time I tour the country, what impresses me most are the little places, many of which add more to their natural surroundings and local community than they take.
For the first time, it’s possible to go from one end of Panama to the other and stay only at these charming little places, with hosts that go out of their way to make you feel at home. Here are some of my favorites from various regions:
Casa de Campo Pedasí
Hostal Cielito Sur Bed and Breakfast
Former Canal Zone:
Playa Santa Catalina:
La Buena Vida
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition