Panama is a very privileged country, geographically positioned in the narrowest and most central part of the American continent, where the history of many nations, ethnic groups and cultures have lived here for many decades.

The Republic of Panama (extension of 77,082 km².) is made up of ten provinces and six indigenous regions. It limits to the East with Colombia, to the West with Costa Rica, to the North with the Caribbean Sea and to the South with the Pacific Ocean.


Due to its geographical position between two seas and its narrow shape that looks like an inverted “S” or a “Boomerang”, Panama has a humid tropical climate, with a dry and a rainy season. Panama has a tropical climate throughout the year in its lowlands and a temperate climate in its highlands. At sea level the average temperature is 29°C.


The official language of the country is Spanish, although a good part of the population has an intermediate or advanced knowledge of English.

Transportation System

Driving in Panama

When you come to Panama as a tourist, you can drive with your country’s license for a maximum of 90 days, that period counts from your day of entry that appears in your passport, both documents must be presented if you are stopped by the transit authority.


Panama City fares are based on a zoning system. A cabbie must show you his zoned map of the city if you challenge his charge. If you have a bunch of places to visit round town, the easy way is to hire a cab by the hour, depends on the distance between places and the driver. Prices differ between small taxis and large taxis. Between Tocumen Airport and Panama City´s hotels the official rate is $30.00 for two people to the same destination, $20.00 per person for different destination.

Smartphone Taxis

In Panama you can call for a taxi by clicking your smartphone. Today you have Digital Apps like Uber, Cabify, In Driver and Tu Chofer.  The best thing is that they accept credit cards and the service is monitored by GPS, offering great security and peace of mind. Also, various Apps accept cash payments if you don’t have a credit card.

Buses to the Interior: Routes to the Interior: When in Panama people say: “El interior”, it refers to the sector of the country west of the Canal. The country is full of bus routes connecting cities with surrounding towns. The longest routes start from the Albrook Bus Terminal, with routes to David, Bocas del Toro, Santiago, Chitre, Las Tablas, Penonome, Aguadulce, La Chorrera, Arraijan among many others.

Panama City: A fleet of modern buses (Metrobus) dominates the streets today. To use them you must pay with metro bus cards, available at Metro stations and at the Albrook Grand Terminal. The same card can be used on the Metro system. For information on schedules and routes visit:

Metro System

Panama City is the only country in Central America with a metro system, which runs two lines and a third one under construction that will run from Albrook to West Panama’s cities (crossing the Panama Canal) during 2025 when it opens and other lines in planning stage. 

Line 1 runs from north to south starting from Albrook station to the San Isidro station (it runs for 14 stations and 16 kilometers). Line 2 begins at San Miguelito station (here it interconnects with line 1) and passes through 16 stations to Nuevo Tocumen in the outskirts of the city on a 21-kilometer route. This year it was inaugurated the Tocumen international airport station that makes it easy for tourists to travel throughout Panamá City without needing to take a cab or rent a car. For more details: visit

Boats to Taboga / Contadora


  • Barcos Calypso       314-1730/ 314-1729

    • Taboga Express      6261-1740/ 6234-8989

  • Contadora and Saboga – Sea Las Perlas Fast Ferry: 91-1424

International Airlines

  • Tocumen International Airport: Tel. /Phone: 238-2700

Airlines with Schedule passenger flights:

  • Air France – France: Tel. /Phone 833-6171/ 833-7607
  • Air Canada – Tel. /Phone 269-6444
  • American Airlines – North America : Tel. /Phone 800-633-3711
  • Avianca/Taca – Central & South America, Miami: Tel. /Phone:  206-8222
  • Laser-Venezuela, South America: Tel. /Phone 833-9441
  • Copa Airlines – North, Central, South America: Tel. /Phone 217-2672
  • Delta Airlines – North America: Tel. /Phone 800-221-1212
  • Iberia- Spain – Tel. /Phone 308-4260
  • KLM – Holland- Tel. /Phone 833-9698
  • United Airlines- Tel. /Phone 6899-7114
  • Panama Pacifico Airport (former Howard Airforce Base)Aeropuerto de Panamá Pacífico (antigua Base Aérea de Howard) Tel. / Phone: 316-1567/ 6962-6627
  • Wingo Airlines
  • Nature Air – Costa Rica
  • Marcos A. Gelabert Airport – Tel. /Phone 501-9272/501-9800

Domestic Airlines

Domestic airlines fly from Marcos A. Gelabert Airport at Albrook with scheduled flights to all parts of the country. They also offer charter flights to any of the republic´s 150 or more airstrips.

  • Air Panama: Phone: 316-9000. Perlas Islands: Contadora, San Jose; San Blas: Achutupu, Playon Chico, Puerto Obaldia y Muletupo; Darien: Bahia Piñas, Jaque; Bocas del Toro, Changuinola; David, Pedasi and Chitre.
  • COPA Airlines – David 217-2672
  • Flytrip: Bocas del Toro, Contadora, Chame.Tel./ Phone 315-0478
  • Aeronaves y Helicópteros: Helicópteros Personales Tel./ Phone 315-1542/315-0612/ 6674-5435

Legal Matters

A tourist can remain in Panama for 90 days. This is normally not extendable but exceptions can be made for such valid reason as visiting familly members or for medical reasons. In these cases visitors must apply for a Short Term Visa. Citizens of the U.S., Canada y Great Britain do not need tourist visas.

Panama National Holidays 

It is wise to be aware of Panama´s National Holidays when the whole country closes down and businesses and bank are closed. Most are fixed dates but Good Fridays and Carnival vary each year since they are calculated from the date of Easter.

  • Jan. 1 – New Year
  • Jan. 9 – Martyr´s Day
  • Feb. 10/13 (2024)– Carnival /Carnaval 
  • March 29 (2024) – Good Fridays / Viernes Santo 
  • May 1– Labor Day
  • Nov. 3 – Independence from Colombia
  • Nov. 5 First Cry of Independence (from Colombia) in Colon /
  • Nov. 10 – First Cry Independence from Spain in Los Santos
  • Nov. 28 – Independence from Spain
  • Dec. 8 – Mother´s Day
  • Dec. 25 – Christmas Day


Currency: The U.S. dollar. Panama´s own coins match U.S. coins in size and value, and are thus acceptable in casino slot machines.

Cinema: Movies are mostly shown in English with Spanish subtitles, but an increasing amount of movies Rated for All Public comes translated. It costs $6.00 per person approximately.

Hospitals: Panama has a number of very up-to-date hospital the principals being Centro Medico Paitilla (Phone. 265-8800), Clinica Hospital San Fernando (Phone. 305-6300, Hospital Nacional (Phone.207-8100), Panama Clinic (Phone. 310-1111) and Hospital Punta Pacífica/ Pacifica Salud (Phone204-8000).

Ambulance: Emi Panama Phone 236-6060.

Electricity: 110 voltios; 60 cycles.

Time Zone: Eastern Stardard time.


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