Panama owes its existence to the canal, which has marked the life and politics of the country since it seceded from Colombia in 1903, and which remains today one of its greatest assets. There's no surprise then, that the contemplation of quiet yachts and great ships as they pass through the Miraflores locks must rate high on the 'to do' list of anyone who visits the capital. Here, between the Pacific Ocean and tropical rain forest, the old quarter of Panama City offers a fascinating trail of discovery back into the past through four centuries of history. And beyond lies a veritable melting pot of landscapes and cultures that the generous embrace of the tropical seas has made bright, warm and vibrant and whose name is said by some to mean 'abundance of fish, trees and butterflies'.
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