Panama, everything you have to know before you go

Panama is a popular holiday destination and thousands of people are arriving here every year. Tourists are attracted by the beautiful tropical islands, wild rainforests, coffee plantations and the capital full of luxury restaurants, fancy bars and modern infrastructure.

However, even the most dream trip can turn into a nuisance if we do not prepare properly for it. Check below to find the most important information about Panama.

Visa Policy:

photo credit: Wikipedia

Public Transportation:

In Panama you can move by metro, public and private buses, as well as taxis or Uber.

To use the bus or metro you need to have a special electronic card called „Metrobus”, which you can top up for any amount of money you choose. The card can be purchased at any bus station (e.g. Albrook – the main bus station in the city) at a cost of about $2.
The card is not personal, which means that more than one person can use it.

No cards are needed if you dare to ride in the famous „Diablos Rojos„.
These fast, non air-conditioned buses (often with no windows 😉 stop whenever and wherever they want.
You can pay in them only with cash

Safety in the city:

Panama is generally a safe country. Maintain basic safety precautions: don’t hang around with jewelry, do not parade with a camera or an expensive phone in your hand, and in buses/metro keep your backpack in front of you.

If you’re going to Casco Viejo in the evening, don’t venture into the neighborhood: El Chorrillo – That would be asking for trouble.

I also do not recommend walking in these areas: Curundu, Santa Cruz, Veracruz, Chorrillo, Barraza, Santa Ana or in the vicinity of the airport Tocumen.

Travelling with children:

If you are going to Panama with minors, remember to pack their birth certificates as you may not be allowed to enter the country without this document. The birth certificate is usually required both; on arrival to Panama and on departure.

Other useful information:

  • Currency – Dollar and Balboa (1:1)
  • Electrical plugs – type A,B
  • Language – Spanish, some people speak English
  • Water – tap water fit to drink
  • Car rentals – there are several of rental companies here, so you can easily find something for yourself. Tourists can legally drive up to 90 days with the license issued by their country.
  • Weather – In Panama, high temperatures are maintained throughout the year. There are two seasons: Dry (January – April) and rainy (May – December) seasons.


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