flag Panama Panama: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organising Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization
List of Panamanian Embassies worldwide
For Further Information
Check IATA Travel Website for visa requirements and health advices.

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Organising Your Trip

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Panama City - Tocumen Intl (PTY) 23 km / 14 miles USD 20-25 / 25-30 min USD 0.60 / 60 min - -

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Train reservation services
Panama Railway Company

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Major airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Air Panama Commercial Yes Yes
Copa Airlines Commercial Yes Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Different Forms of Tourism

Today Panama City has the advantage of being able to offer a large architectural diversity.  The different structural styles that can be admired there originate from two distinct periods.  The first is the colonial period from which remain a few beautiful examples in Casco Viejo.  The second, much later, is associated to the opening up of the railway line linking Colon and Panama City as well as the construction of the canal.
Situated along Panama's North-eastern coast on the Caribean Sea, the Comarca of San Blas has the singularity of being the only province in the country exclusively populated by an American Indian population, the Kunas, who call their land the Kuna Yala.  It is also the only one that is exclusively governed by an American Indian population.
If the Panamanian fauna and flora is too often ignored by travelers, the same goes for the many island and beaches of the Panama province, which are scattered on its Pacific coast.

Isolated and difficult to get to, the Archipelago de las Perlas islands make up the biggest group.  Amongst these islands, the most famous is without a doubt the Isla Contadora.

Situated between South America and Central America, Panama covers 75,517 km2 and offers magnificent beaches on the coasts as much on the Pacific side as on the Caribbean: 80 km separate the two oceans.  The Panama isthmus offers a considerable variety of landscapes and an astonishing eco-tourism.  The city of Panama City is a mixture of a modern metropolis (in surprising expansion), old colonial districts (classified as world heritage) but also the ruins of the old town before Captain Morgan sacked it.

A visit to the canal is unavoidable!  There is so much to see in Panama! Not only the local folklore but especially the semi-independent territories of the different American Indian communities.  The Kuna Indians live in a magnificent archipelago of 370 islands.  Panama offers a still mass tourism-protected eco-tourism:  50% more bio diversity than Costa Rica, 10 times more forest and 450 migratory bird species (that is more than from Portugal to the Urals).  For more information on tourism in Panama, refer to the Panama Tourism Office.

Top Highlights in the Main Cities
Panama City
Colon city attractions
Top Highlights of the Country
Chiriqui Province attractions
Chorrera (Spanish Only)
Panama Canal.
Tourism Organisations
Panama Tourism Board

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions

- All rural areas situated at less than 1,800 meters in altitude have malaria however, malaria remains rare in towns.  The existing strains are very resistant to chloroquine in the Amazon (zone 3) and moderately resistant in the rest of the country (zone 2).

- Dengue fever is present in the whole country including in towns.

- Yellow fever is endemic in the Magdalena valley, the Eastern range, the region of Uraba, Orenoque, the Amazon and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

- People with respiratory, heart or hypertension diseases can be made uncomfortable by the altitude or affected by altitude sickness.

- Tuberculosis is common in the country.



- Hepatitis A: the vaccination is available for children from the age of one year.  People born before 1945, grew up in a developing country or have a history of jaundice could avoid an unnecessary vaccination by testing for antibodies in the serous (immunoglobulin G - Ig G).  Hepatitis B: the vaccination is available for children from the age of two months.

- Diphtheria, tetanus, polio: to be updated if necessary (recall every ten years).

For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Weather forecast
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Emergency Numbers

Police 104
Tourism Police 226.40.21 or 270.24.67
Panamanian Institute of Tourism, Legal affairs Management 226.30.15 or 226.70.00
Complaints center 262.69.79, 262.82.77 or 266.60.77

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Panama (GMT-5)
Summer Time Period
Panama is a tropical country and temperatures are generally uniform all throughout the year.  The average temperature is 81 degrees F (27° C).

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
The climate in Panama is very varied.  The mountains are the cause of three types of climate: the tropical humid zone of the Atlantic, the temperate zone of the Central Valley and the tropical zone of the Pacific characterized by its very hot summers and very intense rainy seasons.  The average annual temperatures vary between 90oF (32° C) on the coast to 63oF (17°C) inland. The Central Valley has an average temperature of 68oF (20°C)  all throughout the year and  is referred to as the eternal spring. The proximity of the equator determines the two seasons on the coasts:  a dry season from December to May, called summer. A rainy season starts in April or May and ends in December.
Hotel reservation websites
World Weather Information Service

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
Panamanian cooking reflects its population, a mixture of Spanish, American Indian, African and Asian cooking.  The meals often start with a vegetable or meat soup, the main dish usually has beef, pork or chicken accompanied by rice, plantains, red beans, cassava or potatoes and a salad.  The desserts are made of all sorts of fruits (apples, citrus fruits, bananas, strawberries, etc) of which many are tropical fruits.  For more information on Panamanian cuisine (typical dishes and recipes) click here (Spanish only).
The meals are accompanied by wonderfully tasting tropical fruit juices (lulo, passion fruit, pineapple, guava, papaya, tamarind or lemonade...) or sodas locally made and with a variety of flavors.  Coffee is served everywhere in little cups, even on the streets.
Dietary Restrictions
There are no food restrictions in the country.

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Domestic Currency
Panamean Balboa
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The Panamanian currency is officially the Balboa however, a Balboa has had the same value as the dollar since its beginning in 1904.  Panama therefore does not produce its own bills and uses United States bills.  On the other hand, Panama mints its own coins which are of the same size as US coins.  In the country Panamanian or US coins can be used indiscriminately, and traders give change with either.  The ISO code of the Balboa is PAB.
Possible Means of Payment
In the big cities, payment can be done by credit card; in the countryside and with small traders, payment is made in cash.

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Official Language
Other Languages Spoken
A lot of Panamanians speak English fluently. Several indigenous dialects are also spoken.
Business Language
Spanish and English, because of the many business and other relationships with the United States.

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Useful Resources

To Find a Job
Estas Contratado

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Latest Update: May 2024