Panama is the southernmost country in Central America. Situated on an isthmus, it connects the Americas, and is bordered by Costa Rica to the north-west and Colombia to the south-east. Panama enjoys a rich Pre-Columbian heritage of native populations whose presence stretched back over 11,000 years. The country is best known for the US-built Panama Canal ... that was opened in 1914, and turned over to Panama in 1999. Small and amazingly diverse, Panama makes it possible for a traveler to visit not only two different oceans in one day, but be able to combine a diversified natural experience (white sand beaches, cloud or rain forest, mountains or valleys) in less than a week, with a wide range of cultural experiences (seven Indian tribes, Afroantillian and Spanish Colonial culture), several historic monuments and a 300 year old World Heritage Site.Show More
American and Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended return date in order to enter and depart Panama.Tourists must also provide proof of return or onward travel. Each traveler is responsible for ensuring that his/her passport is up to date. Citizens of other nationalities should check with respective authorities before departure. Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from the original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed the replacement process should you lose your passport.
Both Canadian and American citizens traveling on regular passports for business or tourist purposes do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Please note that if you are staying longer than 90 days, obtaining a visa is your responsibility. This may be different for citizens of other countries. These requirements change often and therefore it is recommended that you check with the Embassy of Panama for the most up- to-date information.
For more visa information please visit:
Cancelation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended. Medical facilities within Panama City are very good, but outside of the capitol they are limited. Insurance can safeguard against in-country medical emergencies as well as lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty medical bill.
No vaccinations are currently required to enter Panama, although it is strongly recommended to vaccinate against Malaria and Yellow Fever if visiting rural areas.
It is advised to consult a travel doctor 4-6 weeks before departure in regards to the recommended vaccinations below:
For all vaccinations and health requirements, you can also refer to the recommendations from:
World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov.
If there are any medical items essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.
Other recommended Items:
Due to its proximity to the equator, the temperature in Panama varies little throughout the year. Temperatures are uniformly high, as is the humidity. Temperatures are generally between 24 °C and 29 °C during the day. In the higher mountain regions, temperatures are cooler and frosts will occur occasionally. The rainy season lasts from May through to November.
For up-to-date forecasts, check www.weather.com.
Suggested items to pack:
Photographers: Remember to pack sufficient memory cards, a spare camera battery, charger and dust-resistant case.
Electricity: Electricity in Panama is provided at 110V/50Hz, using the same outlets as the US. If you are using a Canadian or American appliance, you should not need an adapter.
Phone: Coverage is good throughout most of the country. Check with your phone company if there are roaming agreements before your departure.
Internet: Internet cafés and wireless access is available in most urban areas, airports and hotels with good connections and speed.
The official currency of Panama is the Balboa, although USD is also accepted throughout Panama and is the preferred currency in the country. ATMs are available in most cities but it is still best to carry alternative forms of payment as not all accept international cards. For current exchange rates please visit www.xe.com
Capital: Panama City
Language: Spanish, English
Currency: Panamanian Balboa and US Dollar
Religion: Roman Catholic
Time Zone: UTC -5
Telephone: Country code for calling Panama is +507
Calling North America: Dial 001 plus area code and your 7-digit number
Emergency numbers in Panama: Police: 104, Medical Emergency Services: 103, Firemen: 103, General emergency number: 102