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Santiago de Veraguas, PANAMA

Veraguas is located in the central provinces area of the Republic of Panama, it has the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the South. To the east it has Colon, Cocle, Herrera and Los Santos and to the west it has Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro. It is made up of 11 districts: Atalaya, Calobre, Cañazas, La Mesa, Las Palmas, Montijo, Río de Jesús, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Santiago and Soná. Its name comes from the term "Veracua", which is how the indigenous people called this territory. It is also the only province in the republic that touches both oceans, and it has a great diversity of flora and fauna in its jungles and mountains.

Santiago being the capital of Veraguas is still a small town vibrant in traffic with a recent increase in banks like Banco General, Multi Credit Bank, BanIstmo, Caja de Ahorros, Banco Nacional de Panama and Credit Corp Bank among others. Presently the city has about 55 thousand inhabitants.

Veraguas has for a long time being a gateway to Chiriqui. It is almost always a stop for travelers going to and coming from Chiriqui. There is a McDonalds (very clean by the way) on the main highway and a KFC restaurant there.

Santiago, is also a marketing centre for the rice, coffee, corn, livestock, and other products from the hinterland. It also has a modern bus terminal, where you can find buses to take you to the different cities around the country. The buses to Panama City leave every 30 minutes during the daytime. An airport is being built now to accomodate people wishing to fly in instead of driving.

The city's saint is apostle Santiago, and it celebrates on the 25th of July every year with catholic walks, parades ,parties and other religious activities that take a turn to show off folkloric customs . This celebration is not just a religious celebration but also an opportunity to celebrate the history of the town and its legacy in the panamanian culture.

Thousands of people flock yearly to nearby Atalaya to celebrate the Cristo de Atalaya, better known as Jesus of Nazareth, to give thanks and to ask spiritual, physical or material favors. Some drive, some walk, some crawl and some get there by taking 2 steps forwards and 3 steps backwards, sometimes taking almost a week to get there.

The celebrations start the day after carnivals end and go on until sunday of that week. The local priest who is appointed to the Basilica Menor de Jesus de Nazareno at Atalaya, says that there are at least 200 thousand people who come to the district from different parts of the country and abroad.


Santiago has about 15 hotels, 5 motels, more than 60 restaurants and some 20 places for night activities.

The people of Santiago are simple and joyous people who are glad to help tourists in any way they can.


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Last Modified September 12, 2007