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    United States: Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Go Now!

    United States
    Explore the vast openness and wildlife found roaming in the western United States, including Theodore Roosevelt National Park (pictured) in North Dakota. Begin Your Journey!

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    Trinidad & Tobago: Beautiful Coastline. Go Now!

    Trinidad & Tobago
    These Caribbean islands mix Indian, African, and European cultures alongside beautiful beaches. Go Now!

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    St. Kitts & Nevis: Nevis Island. Go Now!

    St. Kitts & Nevis
    This island nation mixes aspects of European, African, and Caribbean culture... not to mention incredible beaches. Go Now!

  • Honduras!

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    The original banana republic, Honduras has made a name for itself with the banana trade; however foreign influences have also vastly altered the culture. Go Now!

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Social Life in Panama


The Panamanians are conservative in most aspects of their lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on the doctrines of their Catholic faith. However, there is also great variety in the way the Panamanians behave as the country is quite diverse ethnically and geographically.

As a visitor to Panama try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Panama Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.


The national dress of Panama is called la pollera, which is a colorful dress likely inspired by the flamenco dancers of Spain. This one- or two-piece dress is typically white and is usually filled with patterned embroidery of numerous images, but generally of flowers or animals. Men don't have such a particular national dress, but the light-colored woven Panama hat is popular, despite the fact that it originates in Ecuador; it gets its name from the fact that most hats were shipped to Panama prior to shipping to Europe when they first became popular.

Today the people of Panama generally wear western-styled clothing, not unlike that which they have worn since Spanish colonization. However, the Panamanians can be fairly conservative in the way they dress; in cities long pants and long-sleeved shirts are common for most occasions, but on weekends and along the beaches shorts and short-sleeve shirts are popular. As a visitor you are welcome to wear just about anything you desire, but in business and religious settings the clothes should cover up your arms and legs and dress is on the more formal side. On the beaches sunbathing naked or women sunbathing topless is often restricted so check with locals before doing so.

This page was last updated: December, 2013