The picturesque country of Panama, which forms the narrow isthmus that connects North America to South America, is the southernmost nation in Central America. Situated between the countries of Costa Rica and Colombia, Panama is bordered to the north and south respectively by the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.  Since Panama is the site of the 48-mile long Panama Canal, it has become a popular tourist destination. Panama has a population of approximately 3.5 million people, with a land area of about 29,000 square miles, roughly the size of South Carolina. Panama City, the largest city in the country, is also the capital.

Spanish adventurers explored and colonized Panama in the sixteenth century.  After gaining her independence from Spain in 1821, Panama joined a union called the Republic of Gran Colombia with Nueva Granada (present-day Colombia), Venezuela, and Ecuador. After this union disbanded in 1831, Panama and Colombia stayed united.  In 1903, with the support of the United States, Panama broke away from Colombia. Panama then allowed the United States to build the Panama Canal, which connected the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. Control of the Panama Canal was transferred to the nation of Panama in 1999.

Today, Panama has a thriving economy. In fact, Panama has the third largest economy in all of Central America. The gross domestic product of the nation of Panama is greatly dependent upon the revenue of the Panama Canal tolls. Compared to other Central American nations, Panamaʼs economy is the fastest growing, and it is the largest per capita consumer in Central America. According to the Human Development Index in 2011, Panama was ranked 6th among Latin American nations and 58th in the world, with both rankings considered as “high human development.”  With a terrain ranging from forest, to jungle, to grassland, Panama is also home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. Such rare animals as jaguars, sloths, and armadillos are just a few examples of the many amazing creatures that inhabit Panama.  Throughout the various landscapes that cover the country, there are also thousands of different plant species that can be found. Tourists annually visit Panama to see and experience the many natural wonders that this tropical nation has to offer.

Panama Conventions is not affiliated or connected to the Panama CVB.  The Panama Convention and Visitors Bureau of Panama, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of Panama and its associated services, organize, market, conventions, conferences in Panama and internationally to promote Panama.  The Panama CVB was a partnerships with international organizations representing a wide variety of travel, tourism, and business connections including the International Congress, International Association of Convention Bureau and a member of ICCA, Cocal and Central American Convention Bureau.  To learn more about the the Panama CVB you may wish to Visit Panama.


Adventure Travel Resources

Wheeled Backpacks for Travel

The concept of a wheeled backpack may seem a contradiction in terms. After all, a backpack is supposed to go on your, well, back. But the truth is — particularly when you’re traveling — you don’t always need to carry your pack. There are going to be enough semi-smooth surfaces, paved and unpaved, to roll your backpack much of the time while traveling.

But because your travel adventure will likely includes some remote areas and long hikes, you also want to make sure that your bag is a proper backpack. Luckily, technology has kept up with backpacks that now include over-sized and all-terrain wheels. But before taking a look at specific wheeled backpacks, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of going wheeled.

The biggest advantages of wheeled backpacks, also known as rolling backpacks, are speed and comfort. If you have a four-mile walk from a bus depot to a remote village along a semi-smooth road, it’s just must easier to roll your backpack than to carry it that distance. And because the ground and not your back is carrying the load, you can move much faster than when you are shouldering the weight.

The greatest disadvantage of wheeled backpacks would be weight. The addition of wheels usually adds between 2.5 and 3 pounds to a backpack. So you trade a little more weight while it’s on your back, for the freedom and ease of taking it off your back. But unless you’re climbing Mount Everest or other severe, remote backcountry challenge, the addition of a few pounds will not significantly slow you down.

When choosing between a wheeled and non-wheeled backpack, you want to look at the type of travel you be doing. If it’s a combination of urban travel, such as Prague or Amsterdam, along with semi-developed travel, such as small South American villages, then a wheeled backpack is the right choice. If you’re going to be volunteering deep in the Amazon and will be moving from place to place exclusively in the jungle, then you’d be better off with a backpack without the added weight of wheels.

So let’s take a look at a few of the best wheeled travel backpacks on the market. All of the wheeled backpacks mentioned here are meant for rugged adventure travel across a variety of surfaces:

Caribee Fast Track 75 and 85 Liter Wheeled Backpacks: The Caribee Wheeled Backpacks (Fast Track series) are among the most versatile, full-sized wheeled backpacks available. At 75 and 85 liters, the Fast Track backpacks offer enough storage for clothing and gear for nearly any trip. But what makes these wheeled backpacks so unique, is that they also offer full, thickly-padded hip belts that allow you to carry your pack properly when it is on your back.

High Sierra AT6 Series Wheeled Backpacks: High Sierra Wheeled Backpack – AT605 Carry-On Wheeled Backpack  – and larger AT606 are perfect for slightly more urban or developed adventure travel.  When combined with their removable day packs, the AT605 carry-on offers 50 liters of storage in the AT606 offers 68 liters of storage. Both are full-size backpacks, but contained in more compact designs.

Lowe Alpine TT Roll On 40 Carry On Wheeled Backpack: And finally, one of the lightest wheeled backpacks available is the 40-liter Lowe Alpine TT Roll On 40. This pack weighs only 5.8 pounds, but offers a large, easily accessible main compartment with enough storage for extended travel. So if you’re looking for a lightweight, wheeled backpack that is large enough for long-term travel, but small enough to be a carry on, the Roll On 40 is a great choice.

So take a load off and let the ground do the work with a quality, versatile wheeled backpack.