(Panama City, Panama, October 11, 2011) – Panama is proud to offer an alternative for tourists who are looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the country’s rural areas and experience the joy of connecting with nature by giving travelers the opportunity to interact, first hand, with the land, harvesting fruits, feeding livestock and enjoying the Panamanian countryside.
Once again, Panama surprises with its inventiveness and vision to maximize and share with the world its beauty and natural resources. Today, farmhouses are a reality in the country whose primary crops include bananas, cocoa beans, coffee, coconuts, corn, and sugar cane. More than 35 farms have opened their doors to offer accommodations and agricultural activities for recreation and visitor learning; a sector that authorities expect will grow in the near future. The Ministry of Agriculture has certified 105 farms offering agritourism as part the country’s tourism master plan.
In these farms, the “agritourist” is immersed in the rich agricultural tradition and culture of Panama while also enjoying horseback riding, bird watching, outdoor sports with the chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery in areas like the beaches of the Pacific, Bocas del Toro, CoclÃ©, Colon, ChiriquÃ and the outskirts of Panama City. Some of the themes of these farm excursions include: cultivation of exotic fruits, coffee planting and harvesting, planting vegetables, raising thoroughbred horses, and cultivating timber and fruit trees, among others.
In Panama and throughout world, a growing number of people are attracted to this type of tourism as it gives the visitors the opportunity to learn new skills while reconnecting with nature. “The agritourist is trying to feel and experience a connection with the local culture, its rural lifestyle and indigenous traditions. On our farms, visitors are greeted by simple people who have learned the value of the spontaneous, entertaining them with the usual warmth of Panamanian rural areas,” said Ernesto Orillac, Deputy Minister of Panama Tourism.
Agritourism also provides an opportunity for farmers to make extra income. A joint program between the Ministry of Agricultural Development and the Panama Tourism Authority provides technical assistance to stakeholders in the implementation of appropriate methods for agriculture, livestock and crafts, as well as pricing and marketing strategies.
“In addition to bringing people out of the city and into the countryside, agritourism farms offer the chance to diversify investments and create more tourism in the provinces,” says Orillac.
For more information visit http://www.visitpanama.com.