If you’re lucky enough to be going to Panama for the first time, you are in for a treat. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll want to spend at least a week. But if you prefer to explore the national parks, and see jungles, beaches and mountains, the geography of Panama definitely provides those opportunities.

Panama geography shows that it is between Costa Rica to its south and Columbia to its north. The Panama Canal is at the lowest and narrowest point of the country, so that you can go from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. There are lush mountains in the west, a hilly interior, and a low chain of mountains in the east. In the middle of the country, at the highest point which is Volcan Baru, it is said on a clear day you have a thrilling view of both the Caribbean and the Pacific. A Panama map shows this clearly.

It is this Panama geography that allows you to enjoy the beach, the dramatic jungles and the frosty mountain peaks all within 24 hours. There is almost no other place in the world that allows you this panorama of scenery in one day. Panama history itself is a delightful country with friendly people, excellent restaurants and charming hotels, some right on the beach. For the adventurers, they can go wild with climbing the peaks, swimming in their choice of ocean or trekking through jungles and observing the wild life. Over 900 species of birds exist in the country, including some that are very rare.

The name “Panama” means “abundance of fish” revealing it as a virtual paradise for boating, fishing and swimming.

Traveling is easy in Panama. Panama City, the capital, is a sophisticated urban area that some say is like Miami. It offers museums of art, fashionable shops and remarkable dining establishments. And yet, there are many indigenous tribes in the jungles, still alive and well, and living according to the same ancient cultural traditions as their ancestors.

This exceptionally vibrant civilization, along with the opportunity to delight in two different oceans, thrilling mountains and lush rainforests, are compelling reasons to visit Panama, as tourists to the country have found.

Another good thing: hurricanes, which can hit the countries surrounding Panama very hard, bypass Panama itself. That is because of its geographical location. It is not very possible that the country could be in the way of hurricanes, which usually hit further north.

In business, Panama also excels. It has well developed banking interests with approximately 80 banks from many countries with local branches. The government enthusiastically supports business and development. It is predicted it will continue to grow at a healthy rate for years to come.

Because of its geographic location, the Canal remains a significant transportation link. The country is more highly developed than the countries that surround it. It has new hospitals, roads and airports.

About 25,000 U.S. citizens live in Panama so if you were thinking of moving there you will have a lot of company.