Panama has an area of 78,200 km ² and lengthways is crossed by two mountain ranges. The high Serrania de Panama Tabasara comes from the west. The highest peak is Baru, a dormant volcano with an altitude of 3475 m. The Cordillera de San Blas and the Sierra del Darien form the mountains of the interior. The region between the two mountain ranges consists of fertile hills, valleys and plains and is overgrown with forests. Within the two mountain ranges there are at least 325 rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean and another 150 that flow into the Caribbean Sea. The largest and most important river, the Chagres, occurs in the middle of Panama and is dammed at Gatun into an artificial lake.
Both coasts of Panama are rich in lagoons, bays and waves. The Gulf of Panama is located on the Pacific side and includes the Archipelago de las Perlas (Pearls of the Archipelago) comprising more than one hundred islands with a total area of 1165 km ². The Pacific side is covered with relatively dry crops. The Caribbean side of Panama is covered with tropical rainforest, rich in tropical plants and flowers.