XplorMor ventured to Panama, one of Central America’s most diverse destinations, for the Darien Archaeological and Terrain Research Expedition. The country is a kaleidoscope of unchartered rain forests, precious ecosystems, colorful cocktail bars, gorgeous pristine Caribbean-blue water beaches, coffee plantations, skyscrapers and mountain peaks blanketed in cloud forests.
In contrast to the surrounding provinces, Panama City boasts a modern downtown skyline comparable to Los Angeles, with a booming economy and continued growth from the take over of its famous Canal. Thankfully historic areas, like Casco Viejo, meaning “Historic District”, and Panama Vieja, meaning “Old Panama”, that represent the country’s origins are well protected from bulldozers and builders through their recognition as UNESCO World Heritage Site No. 790.
An extensive portion of the Darien Province that borders Colombia was also successfully nominated as a World Heritage Biosphere and Site No. 159. This area is now known as Parque Nacional Fronterias Darien, or in English, Darien National Park. The only section not included is part of and protected by the Comarca de San Blas, or Region of the San Blas People. More forest and jungle lands could use this same protection to ensure the survival of their uniquely precious ecosystems.