All you need to know before visiting Panama

Budget

Prices in Panama vary from affordable to fairly expensive.

• Prices for private rooms for two start at 20 USD (17 EUR) in Bocas del Toro province, and 22 USD (19 EUR) in Panama City.

Food prices are generally low. A budget dinner costs somewhere between 6 and 10 USD (5 – 8.6 EUR). Street food prices vary from 2 to 5 USD (1.7 to 4.3 EUR).

Transportation costs are low in Panama. Public transportation fares within the cities start at 0.25 USD (0.21 EUR). Intercity bus rides cost between 10 and 20 USD (8.6 and 17 EUR).

To save some more money, check out our Budget cutting tips.

Panama canal

Where to stay

You can find great accommodation options on Booking. Make sure to search for private rooms popular for romance. 😉 On Airbnb you can rent furnished apartments – those are usually cheaper than most hotels and they offer you the real Panama experience.

Best time to go

Weather-wise the best time to visit Panama is during the country’s dry season (from December to April). However, tourist places tend to get somewhat crowded and prices a bit higher this time of year. If you wish to avoid crowds and high prices, you should consider visiting Panama during the rainy season (May through November), but expect occasional showers.

Other information

Planning and preparation: check out our planning routine here.

Packing: check out the honeymoon adventurers’ ultimate packing list here.

♦ For other travel tips check out Travel like a pro, Travel for couples, Honeymoon styles, Honeymoon activities, Responsible tourism, and Travel resources.

Language: The official language in Panama is Spanish. Check out the typical travel vocabulary (in English) here. Learn useful travel phrases in Spanish here.

Panama city

Currency: Panamanian Balboa (PAB) and United States dollar (USD) (exchange rate 1:1)

♦ Visa or other entry requirements: All visitors to Panama are required to have a valid travel document. Visa requirements depend on the traveler’s nationality. For example, citizens of Australia, UK, Canada, USA and all EU countries don’t need a visa to enter the country. For more information check out their website.

♦ Electricity standards: The power plug types in Panama are A and B, the standard voltage is 110 V and 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.

♦ Time zone: UTC-05:00

Immunization recommendations and requirements: There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Panama. However, it is recommended to get travel vaccines and medicines for tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, hepatitis A, rabies, yellow fever, and malaria. To prevent malaria avoid mosquito bites. Currently, Zika virus is a risk in Panama.

Panama city water

Health and safety tips:

You should always make sure to follow the usual travel safety precautions:

  • Leave your jewelry and other valuable belongings in the hotel safe.
  • Keep your emergency cash apart from the rest of your money.
  • Dress comfortably and carry only the items you will need for the day.
  • Don’t carry a lot of money.
  • Always make sure to lock your room before leaving the hotel.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Try to maintain a low profile and do your best to fit in.
  • Carry a travel wallet/money belt/money pouch for carrying money and documents safely.
  • Avoid contact with potential scam artists.
  • Avoid showing off valuable belongings (like cameras) in public.
  • Don’t count your money in public.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

For other common safety concerns in Panama, check out Lonely Planet’s safety tips. For common health concerns check out Lonely Planet’s health tips.

To stay healthy while traveling, check out our health travel tips.

Tap water is potable in most parts of Panama, except in Bocas del Toro province and Guna Yala province. In those areas drink bottled or filtered water instead.
* Always make sure to reuse a water bottle to cut down on waste.

• Panama is relatively close to the equator and the sun is very strong. Therefore, always make sure to use sunscreen.

Panama Bocas del Toro beach

Local Customs: Panamanians are friendly, polite and very conservative. Address strangers with usted instead of tu. When entering a room, it’s customary to say hello to everyone (buenos días or buenas tardes). When meeting someone personally a friendly handshake is customary; friends kiss on one cheek. Eye contact is perceived as a sign of integrity. There is no particular dress code required on the streets of Panama. Locals tend to dress stylishly. Avoid wearing a bikini elsewhere than on the beach. Revealing clothes may be frowned upon. Always make sure to ask permission before taking someone’s pictures. Bargaining is only acceptable at street markets.

Check out top things to see and do in Panama, as well as top romantic experiences and adventures here.

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