Panama General Information
Duration of the flight to Panama:
The flight takes approximately 16 hours from Europe to Panama.
Information on the Panama airport
Tocumen International Airport is 15 kilometers away from downtown Panama City. It takes an hour to reach the city by bus (USD 0.35) and half an hour by taxi (20 dollars). The departure tax for international flights leaving the country has a cost of USD 20.
Safety in Panama
The old town of Panama City called Casco Viejo “, should be avoided in the last hours of the night, like the neighborhoods of El Chorrillo, Curundu, Rio Abajo and San Miguelito. The assaults on tourists are very common in these areas. Therefore, should follow the basic safety measures: Driving with the doors and car windows closed, avoid the use of jewelry or valuables, do not wander far from crowded places on their own, etc.
Colombia’s guerrilla and military forces are present in the Darien region along the border with Colombia, and therefore more than ever, tourists should not go there for any reason. The rest of the country poses no threat. Possession of drugs, whatever the drug is and even if only a tiny amount, is strictly prohibited in Panama. Many foreigners are currently serving a prison sentence for illegal possession of narcotics.
Tips for Traveling to Panama
If you like to party, do not miss the carnival town of Panama or the Azuero Peninsula, which take place in February, four days before Ash Wednesday: These carnivals are a real crazy! Kuna Indians allowed to take photographs of them for a small fee, from USD 0.25 to USD 1 per photo.
To call Panama from the UK, dial 00 + 507 (country code) followed by the number you’re trying to achieve.
To call the UK from Panama, dial 00 + 44 followed by the number you’re trying to achieve, without the initial 0.
LANGUAGE of Panama
Spanish is the official language but English is widely spoken. 14 other languages are spoken in the Isthmus of Panama, eight of which are used by the seven Indian tribes. You can speak Creole, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, Creole French and English.
Migration in Panama
To enter Panama, a valid passport is required. On arrival, you are asked to show your return ticket.
Religion in Panama
85% Catholic, Protestant 5%, 5% Muslim and Baha’i 1%, and a small community of Jews and Hindus.
CURRENCY in Panama
Panama adopted the U.S. dollar as its currency. The Balboa is still in circulation but no longer print bank notes (1 balboa = 1 USD). We recommend bringing small bills cash as many merchants refuse to change $ 100. Be careful because there are many counterfeit $ 50 bills in circulation. The dollar travelers checks are generally preferred and are accepted at some stores. In all of Panama City credit cards are widely accepted, and the withdrawal of money is very easy to get into the ATM. Bring cash with you when you go to remote places. Banks are generally open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9:00 to 12:00 pm Saturday, but opening hours vary widely bank.
MOVE around in Panama
Ensure domestic flights air links across the country. Allow about $ 100 for a flight back to Panama City / Bocas del Toro. The bus network is excellent and is still the cheapest way to travel within Panama. There are many car rental agencies in Panama City. Allow up to USD 40 per day to rent a car in Panama. Boats are also a common means of transportation to get from one place to another along the coast of Panama.
For those who are traveling in these areas and the San Blas Islands and the province of Darien, it is advisable to make a treatment against malaria because this disease is still present in Panama. It is also recommended to be vaccinated against yellow fever and typhoid fever.
Tap water is drinkable everywhere except in the region of Bocas del Toros.
ELECTRICITY in Panama
110 V is almost everywhere, sometimes you have 220 volts.
Bring an adapter to Panama is advisable.
Statistics in Panama
In the year 2010 702.000 tourists visited Panama.
Taxes and gratuities in Panama
As for car rental in Panama note that it is more advantageous to rent the car once it reaches the country and do not advance. As for the hotels, you must add 10% to the price of the room because Panama is a tourist tax. Except in the local school holidays, public holidays and long weekends you can negotiate the price of hotels, especially in large cities and tourist centers where competition among hotels is more active.
In restaurants, you must add 10% of the total for the service if this is not included in the final price.
Moreover, some stores will not disclose the tax of 5% so when you pay to be added to the price set for each product by 5%. Only basic foods and medicines are exempt from tax.