Visit this Central American country for adventure, civic engagement, and global enrichment.
Positioned between two continents and two oceans, Panama is the one place in the world where the sun rises over the Pacific and sets above the Atlantic.
Travel to the picturesque mountain town of Boquete, Panama’s eco-adventure capital, located on the slopes of the Volcan Baru in the westernmost Province of Chiriqui. Embark on an aerial adventure ziplining through the lush vegetation of the green mountain highlands and discover how coffee is made in one of the preeminent coffee-growing regions of the world.
Venture to country’s vibrant capital, Panama City, world-famous for its beautiful beaches, diverse culture, and tropical forests teaming with life. Soak up the sights, sounds, and sun as you learn all about the isthmus nation’s ecology and history! Visit the Panama Canal and engage with the impact it has had on globalization and work with scientists on projects that utilize local resources to solve environmental problems.
Cross the border to Boquete. Experience the blissful vibes of beautiful Boquete. Known as the Bordeaux of coffee, the soil here contains elevated levels of volcanic ash which, in combination with the cool alpine air, produces some of the finest coffee in the world. Take a tour of a local farm to see how coffee comes to be in Boquete, from seed to bean to cup.
Explore on your own. Enjoy two free days to experience Panama City. Framed by the Pacific Ocean and the Panama Canal, the hustle and bustle of this lively Latin American city is juxtaposed by its proximity to one of Central America’s richest rain forests.
Learn from the locals. Be a force for positive change and put your eco-conscious passions to practice by collaborating with scientists on projects that utilize regional resources to solve environmental problems.
Take adventure to new heights. Enjoy amazing aerial views as you zipline through the Boquete treetops. Discover unique flora and wildlife while exploring the intricate ecosystem of jungle canopies.
The Land Divided, The World United. The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific. Acting as an essential conduit of maritime trade, annual traffic is estimated to be between 13,000 and 14,000 ships transiting the Panama Canal. With passage taking an average of 8 to 10 hours per boat, it comes as no surprise that the American Society of Civil Engineers has ranked the Panama Canal one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Work to maintain the watershed. Practice mangrove reforestation to assist in improving the Panama Canal’s coastal ecosystems while providing additional protection to the surrounding rainforests.
Annabel H., EF Gap Year Class of 2019 Boston University Class of 2023
My gap year took me out of my comfort zone so many times—and my life is better because of it. Now, as I head off to college, I am able to focus on my excitement rather than feeling nervous, because I have built so much confidence within the past year. If anyone is searching for a path to follow, a way to achieve their goals, or even just who they are, they need to take a gap year.