National Geographic has just featured Panama in this wonderful article. Panama once again gets accolades as a world-class tourist destination. Panama is a fantastic place to live and to explore.
Are you ready for a journey off the beaten path? Panama’s captivating wilderness, from lush rainforests to secluded shorelines, awaits your exploration. Discover a new side of Panama through the eyes of its Indigenous and rural communities, guided by the innovative SOSTUR network. This digital portal connects travelers with local experts, offering immersive experiences ranging from jungle treks and wildlife encounters to traditional cooking and art classes.
Venture deep into Panama’s heartland, supporting sustainable tourism initiatives that preserve both nature and culture. Experience the Naso Trail, where ancient forests echo with the call of wildlife. Immerse yourself in the marvel of nesting turtles on Isla Cañas’ tranquil beaches. Embark on a pygmy sloth safari and delve into Indigenous crafting traditions in Rio Caña.
Learn more about this unique odyssey, embracing the spirit of eco-friendly travel and community engagement. Let the vibrant culture and untouched beauty of Chiriquí leave you spellbound.
“Panama is an adventure traveler’s playground, with rainforest hikes set to the soundtrack of howler monkeys and conservationist-led beach jaunts to watch sea turtles nest at night. Despite such natural draws, the country’s tourism has long centered on its famed canal and buzzing capital. However, a new community-based tourism initiative could change that.
Now, travelers can go deeper into Panama’s nature and culture with the people who know it best: Indigenous and rural communities via the SOSTUR network. The recently launched digital portal lets visitors book sustainable adventures in regions largely untouched by tourism.
Locals (chefs, artisans, conservationists) show globetrotters the country’s less-trodden side, from jungle treks and wildlife sightings to traditional cooking and art classes. Given the remoteness, visitors typically stay in village accommodations, such as guesthouses or cabins.
In turn, communities receive important tourism income that supports Panama’s rich flora and fauna. Here’s how to experience it.
SOSTUR is a first step to building Panama’s ecotourism momentum. The program’s website includes a roster of vetted and bookable tour operators that coordinate the logistics of reaching and partaking in community-based experiences across the network’s 10 pilot destinations. The network is part of the Panamanian government’s five-year, $301 million Sustainable Tourism Development Master Plan, which runs through 2025.
The strategy’s main goal is to grow visitor numbers in a way that prioritizes people and nature. “Community tourism is a link to conservation,” says Annie Young, president of SOSTUR and the Panamanian Foundation for Sustainable Tourism. “When a community realizes their natural and cultural heritage is their asset, they know they need to support it.”
Read the Full Article: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/panama-community-tourism-sostur