Adventure racing fans have a new international sporting event to look forward to: Adventure Race Panama (AR Panama) – taking place February 19-27, 2022. As part of the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS , for its acronym in English), AR Panama consists of an endurance racing circuit in which adventure teams will compete across a variety of disciplines including orienteering, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canyoning and escalation, for a grand prize of $25,000.
A total of 26 teams from 15 countries around the world, including men and women, will have the opportunity to tour Panama, known for its rich history and extraordinary biodiversity, with just the help of a map and a compass. The race will take place for nine consecutive days, with more than 600 international visitors and a total distance of 500kms through the provinces of Chiriquí, Veraguas and Los Santos.
The members of each team, representing countries such as France, Spain, Estonia, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Colombia, must stay together throughout the competition until they reach the final goal, demonstrating their skills as adventurers and their capacity for teamwork, coordination and effort.
“Adventure Race Panama is a world-class event that will have a great impact in establishing our country as a leading sustainable destination for active travelers and adventurers,” said Iván Eskildsen, Minister of Tourism of Panama. “It is an opportunity to showcase the rich offerings of authentic communities that lie beyond Panama City, while also investing in their infrastructure and development.”
The introduction of AR Panama on the popular ARWS series schedule is not only an important step in the continued visibility and growth of the sport, but it is also an opportunity to further showcase the beauty of Panama to the world. As one of the best hidden treasures in Central America, Panama offers exotic and wild natural environments, cultural diversity and impressive beaches, which are ideal to challenge the best adventure runners in the world, as well as those who have participated in the events. of ARWS since the series’ inception in 2005.
With unique landscapes of the coast, mangroves, mountains and jungles, the provinces of Chiriquí, Veraguas and Los Santos will now be the scene of one of the most epic adventures on the planet. The race will start in the Chiriquí Highlands, in the city of Volcán, which can be reached by road (a 7-hour drive from Panama City) or by a short domestic flight (less than an hour) to David, Chiriquí, followed by a 45-minute road trip to the Tierras Altas district. Participants will cross the finish line on the Pacific coast of Panama, in the city of Pedasí, known for its pristine beaches, abundance of water activities and its proximity to several national parks and wildlife refuges.
During the race, spectators will be able to follow the location of the participating teams in real time through the Track the Race live platform, enjoying views of the beautiful Panamanian cities and the checkpoints that the teams pass through. The event will also be filmed for a National Geographic documentary, which will air in more than 70 countries around the world.
“We are delighted to bring together talented athletes from around the world to get to know the destination,” said Fernando Fondevila, general director of PROMTUR Panama. “Serving as host, Panama’s distinctive landscape, radiant culture and vast biodiversity provide an incredible setting for this global sporting event.”
AR Panama, which is sponsored by PROMTUR Panama, the official destination marketing organization (DMO) of Panama that works closely with the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), will have a great impact on the establishment of Panama as a world-class adventure destination. Participation in the event supports Panama’s Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, which was recently recognized by UNESCO as an example of innovation and sustainability, highlighting Panama’s unique tourist routes. The plan reactivates Panama’s Tourism, Conservation and Research (TCI) strategy, and focuses on three fundamental areas: Cultural Heritage (multifaceted culture), Green Heritage (extraordinary biodiversity) and Blue Heritage (ocean wonders).