Reading list inspiration for travel
Books & eBooks
- America’s Prisoner: The Memoirs of Manuel NoriegaView on Amazon Noriega's story, independently investigated by the author, a top foreign correspondent who has reported on Latin America for more than twenty years. By Peter Eisner.
- Canal Zone Daughter, an American Childhood in PanamaView on Amazon In 1964, Edwin and Jean Armbruster left their home in the United States to raise their family on the Panama Canal Zone, a little known American territory in the Central American country of Panama. In Canal Zone Daughter, Judy (Armbruster) Haisten chronicles her unique childhood culminating to the crushing loss when former President Jimmy Carter signs treaties that effectively eliminate her former home. By Judy Haisten.
- Superstition, Pirates, Ghosts and Folklore of Bocas del Toro, PanamaView on Amazon Superstition, pirates, ghosts and folklore of Bocas del Toro, Panama is a collection of legends and stories as told by the local inhabitants of the archipelago. By Malcolm Henderson.
- The Birds of Panama: A Field GuideView on Amazon The isthmus of Panama, where North and South America meet, hosts more bird species than all of North America. This is a user-friendly, portable and affordable identification guide. By George R Angehr; illlustrated by Robert Dean.
- The Captain and the EnemyView on Amazon A late novel from the master novelist, it follows Vincent in his quest to learn more about his estranged benefactor-supporter "the Captain," eventually tracking him down in drug-dealing Panama. By Graham Greene.
- The Darkest JungleView on Amazon The harrowing story of America’s first ship canal exploration across a narrow piece of land in Central America called the Darién, a place that loomed large in the minds of the world’s most courageous adventurers in the nineteenth century. By Todd Balf.
- The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914View on Amazon Tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans By David McCullough.
- The Tailor of PanamaView on Amazon Harry Pendel, tailor and spy, decides to take matters into his own hands by deceiving everyone and masterminding a scheme so brilliant that his life careens into a deadly game of politics and deception, in a humorous and fast-paced thriller. By John le Carré.
- The Tapir’s Morning BathView on Amazon A behind-the-scenes account of life at a tropical research station on Panama's Barro Colorado Island. By Elizabeth Royte.
- Tropical NatureView on Amazon Two biologists offer a highly engaging review of the tropical rain forests of Central and South America. By Adrian Forsyth and Ken Miyata.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “Aboard a Cargo Colossus”View NYTimes.com In the chess match that has global powers looking for new ways to move goods around the world, the Mary Maersk and nine other sister ships are the biggest pieces. By Danny Hakim.
- “Biomuseo Showcases Panama’s Ecological Diversity”View NYTimes.com The recently-opened Gehry-designed museum reveals Panama’s role as the last key piece of land in the Central American isthmus that joined North and South America nearly three million years ago — and the consequences it had for the world’s ecology. By Judith H Dobrzynski.
- “Panama City Rising”View NYTimes.com Over the past 13 years, Panama City has been racing to become a world-class metropolis, and for travelers, the changes have been enormous. By Tim Neville.
- “Submerged Cultural Resource Reconnaissance, Mouth of the Río Chagres and Approaches”View on academia.edu This report provides unrivaled insight into historical developments along the Rio Chagres, "for four centuries...the bond of union between the two great oceans of the world." By James P Delgado PhD, Frederick Hanselmann MA and Dominique Rissolo PhD.
- “The Art of Precolombian Gold”View on MetMuseum.org A compilation of scholarly illustrated essays from art experts on the subject. Edited by Julie Jones.
- “The Commandante’s Canal”View on NewYorker.com Will a grand national project enrich Nicaragua, or only its leader? By John Lee Anderson.
- “The Evolution of the Kuna Mola: From Cultural Authentication to Cultural Survival”View on rmit.edu In this thesis, the author explores the dual symbolism of the distinctive mola blouse worn by the indigenous Kuna women of Panama. By Diana Marks.
- “The Last Penal Colony”View Esquire.com The island of Coiba rises out of the Pacific off the coast of Panama, a tangled beauty of pristine jungle wilderness, home to countless species of the most exotic wildlife in the Americas and some of the best diving anywhere. It is kept pristine by its only other inhabitants: 250 murderers and thugs. By Scott Anderson.
- “The San Lorenzo Protected Area: Panama’s Caribbean Treasure”View on psu.edu This report by the International Institute of Tropical Forestry provides a quick, thoughtful review of the history, geology and ecology of the area, situated on the Caribbean coast at the mouth of the mighty Rio Chagres. By Peter L Weaver, Gerald P Bauer, and Belkys Jiménez.
If you won’t have ready access to wifi during your travels, consider saving these articles for offline reading using the Instapaper app.
- Newsroom PanamaVisit newsroompanama.com English-language news for the country.
- Trade in PanamaVisit atlas.media.mit.edu Excellent, highly-graphical summary of the country's exports and imports.
- Travelers’ Health | PanamaVisit CDC.gov Get the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for vaccines and medicines.
- Weather: El Niño, La Niña and EnsoView on ucar.edu Background on these key factors in year-to-year weather and climate variation.
- World Bank | PanamaVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
Just for Kids
Who to Follow
- Instagram: Casco Antiguo PanamáFollow @cascoantiguopty Somos la revista digital del Casco Antiguo de Panamá.
- Twitter: CascoViejo.orgFollow @Casco_Viejo The definitive website for information, events, travel & tourism, real estate and community info for Casco Viejo Panama.
- Twitter: Expat in PanamaFollow @ExpatPanama Expat living the good life in Panama! You Gotta Try this!
- Twitter: Smithsonian PanamaFollow @stri_panama The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is part of the Smithsonian Institution.
- Twitter: The Panama CanalFollow @thepanamacanal Welcome to the official Twitter account of the Panama Canal.