Souvenirs from Panama
The Republic of Panama offers tourists a history lesson steeped in beautiful landscapes and rich cultural traditions. Native tribes produce remarkable handicrafts that will provide pleasant memories and wonderful Panamanian souvenirs. One of the most remarkable is the mole embroidery produced by the Kunas, done in a reverse applique style. Embera Indians create hand-woven baskets in distinctive geometric designs, and also carve delicate sculptures from the tagua nut. Souvenirs from Panama can also be found in the jewelry stores, where authentically detailed pre-Columbian gold jewelry can be purchased for special presents. Looking for something a little more fun? Stop by the markets to pick up sheaves of picture postcards, brightly colored refrigerator magnets, key chains with costumed characters, slogan T-shirts and wooden necklaces. Items featuring the Panama Canal are especially popular. Of course, you can't leave Panama without purchasing the famous Panama hat.
Things to Do in Panama
Truly, the most famous attraction in Panama is the Panama Canal. Built during the 1800's, it was constructed to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans without having to sail the dangerous voyage around South America. You can spend an afternoon watching ships go through the series of locks that move through 50 ft. of altitude, or visit the Panama Canal Museum to learn about the history of its building and the men who died to make it. The Pan-American experience is another draw for tourists, who come to learn more about the native tribes, Spanish conquest and the modern blending of the cultures. Temples, villages and museums introduce visitors to the greater meaning of all that they see. The attractive natural vistas are a siren song for outdoor lovers, who can spend time on either coast, surfing and snorkeling in the blue waters, or hiking and biking through the green interior of rainforests.