If this is your first visit to Panama, you may want to read a bit more about the country, its history, geography, culture and customs. Here is a list of recommended sites to learn about Panama:
Visitors to Panama require a visa unless they are citizens of one of the eligible countries who do not require a visa for up to 180 days. The list of eligible countries and the visa procedure for other nationalities can be found on the website of the Embassy of Panama in the USA.
Please make sure you have a minimum of three months of validity left in your passport and a round trip ticket.
Fifteen major cities in the USA offer direct daily flights to Panama City’s Tocumen Airport (PTY): Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington, Denver, Boston, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Worth, Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta, Orlando and San Francisco.
There are flights from Montreal, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Calgary.
There are regular flights from Madrid, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Lisbon.
Accommodation In Panama City
There’s a very wide range of hostels, guesthouses and hotels available in Panama City, from shared dormitories to high-end luxury hotels. One of the recommended places is the Best Western Plus Panama Zen Hotel on Via Argentina. This comfortable and affordable hotel is in a central part of Panama City and has many restaurants within walking distance. For other options, you can visit Agoda and Booking.com.
Money in Panama
The currency used in Panama is the Balboa, which is essentially the US Dollar for notes and Panamanian coins with size and denomination identical to US coins. You can use US Dollars in all shops, hotels, restaurants for payment, and credit cards are usually accepted everywhere in Panama City. Businesses usually frown upon 100 USD and 50 USD notes and prefer if you pay in smaller denominations.
The cost of living in Panama is about 25% lower than in USA and Europe.
- a commute from the airport to your hotel can range from 25 to 40 USD
- a meal can cost anything between 5 and 20 USD
- a coffee is 1.5 to 3.5 USD
- a taxi ride in town costs between 2 and 5 USD, but Uber and other options are usually easier than negotiating a fare with local taxi drivers.
For more info about the costs of living, check the Numbeo website.