Herrera & Los Santos

The provinces of Herrera and Los Santos are famous for their colonial cultural roots, traditional festivals and outstanding carneval celebrations. Having been isolated from change for a long time, they lately get more and more touristic attention. People realized about their great surfing beaches, the posibility of going bird-watching and the development of eco tourism.

On the way to Pedasi, the center of the touristic activity, you will pass through a number of atractive small colonial towns. Around the city there are lots of things to do. Visit Iguana Island, which is just a short boat ride away or see turtle hatching at Cañas Island. During the months of September and October, whale watching is another tourist attraction over there. Last but not least, there is a laboratory situated on Iguana Island, where the yellow fin tuna is studied. So if you are interested in fish, you should definetly not miss that!

Las Tablas, the capital of the Los Santos province, is mainly known for its carneval celebrations. Every year thousands of Panamenians and foreigners travel to the city to celebrate carnevals there. There is a rivalty between two streets, Calle Arriba and Calle Abajo, and they are competing for the best music and the best costumes and marches. It is fun to take one side and scream at the people from the other side! But not just in this town, also in towns around like Chitré or Ocú the celebrations are big. During this time the hotels are overbook already months before, so most of the people just bring tents and sleep basically everywhere. But sleeping is something you won`t do much anyways during this 5 days of celebrations!

Another thing Las Tablas (and the nearby town Guararé) is famous for is the making of the "pollera", which is the traditional national custume for women. It is said to have its origional roots there. Women use it for example for the various folklore festivals that take place everywhere.
When you leave this central provinces, you will go with a great impression of what the panamenian culture is all about, and where it got its roots. So find out!