As people search for travel destinations around the world, more and more people are enjoying tourism in Panama. The country is a very easy journey, especially for the people of the United States and Canada and has an astonishing amount to offer even the most seasoned tourist. Tourism in Panama can take you to the mountains, the beach, the rainforest, or even the past. Due to its long-term affiliation with the United States, many things about Panama are familiar to Americans, but the beauty of tourism in Panama is that no matter where you come from, you can find something exciting and new.
- Government: Elected democracy
- Current Head of State: President Ricardo Martinelli
- Badge: US dollar (called Balboa) National paper money is not printed, but there are coins of the same size and denominations as US coins.
- Sales tax: VAT is 5% (10% for imports)
- Zone: 75,990 square feet kilometers
- Population: 3,360,000, 2009 est.
- Capital: city of Panama
- Time zone: GMT-5
- Telegram: Available at hotels and major post offices in major cities.
- Press: La Prensa, El Siglo and El Panamá América are among the most important newspapers.
- Mail: Mail to North America takes about a week. Post office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. M. At 4:00 p. M., And Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. M. At 1:00 p. M. For express services, FedEx and DHL are available in most areas. Mail forwarding services are available in locations like Miami, FL for approx. $ 25 per month. These services provide an address and forward mail regularly based on a charge by weight.
- Policeman: If you are the victim of a crime, report it immediately to your local police, especially if you are filing an insurance claim. The tourist police, or tourist police, are better equipped to deal with foreigners and are more likely to speak English. They usually wear white armbands and ride bikes.
- Electricity: 120 volts AC, 60 Hz
- Emergency numbers: Police 104, Fire 103, Tourist Police 269 8011), 911 is for medical emergencies only.
- Language: Spanish (official), English 14% and it is the second official language.
- Religion: 85% Catholic, 15% Protestant
- Cell phone: There are roaming agreements, but most people buy their minutes on a calling card.
- Fax: Available at most post offices and hotels
- Directory Assistance: Dial 102
- National dialing code: 507
- Telephone: IDD is available. International calling cards are available and widely used. Many internet cafes also offer VoIP calls.
- Nap time: There is no siesta or rest at noon in the city. In some areas of the interior it makes sense and is still the custom.
- Internet: Internet cafes are common and inexpensive. (generally less than $ 1 per hour) Some restaurants and coffee shops now offer wireless access points.
- Pets: Have your veterinarian prepare a standard International Health Certificate no more than 10 days before traveling to Panama. The certificate must include the pet’s name, breed, owner’s name, and current country of residence. It must indicate that the pet is healthy and free of parasites. It should also contain a list of inoculations, including type, manufacturer, and lot number.
- Tip: 10 to 15 percent is common in hotels and restaurants. Taxi drivers do not expect tips, but it is advisable to arrange the rate before the trip.
- Of smoking: Panama is now a non-smoking city. You can smoke outdoors if no one is around and no one else is present in your home.
With the continued growth of the Tocumen International Airport in Panama, tourism in Panama has become an easy adventure. With direct flights from Miami, FL and Houston, TX, Panama is just over two hours from the U.S. Other countries, including several in Europe, also offer direct flights to Panama, connecting Panama tourism with the rest of the world. world. The United States government is very favorable to travel to Panama, listing only a small part of the border area with Colombia as dangerous to travel.
When you arrive in Panama City (practically all international flights to Panama arrive in Panama City), the first thing you will do is buy a tourist card. This $ 5 document gives you permission to travel within the country for up to 90 days. Once you leave the airport, there are a variety of travel options to use: city buses, intercontinental buses, taxis, rental cars, planes, and boats.
- City buses – The brightly painted buses of Panama City are almost tourist attractions in their own right. This is the cheapest form of transportation and also an interesting cultural experience. They are called Red Devils, Red Devils. Expect them to be crowded and noisy.
- Intercity buses – The country has a well-developed bus system, similar to the US Greyhound system.For $ 30 you can travel from Panama City to San José, Costa Rica. If you show them that you are over 55 years old (with an (ID) it will cost you $ 24. This is a great way to see the geographic beauty of Panama. Also, buses are typical forms of transportation to remote areas like Boquete.
- Taxis – These distant relatives of the US taxi system are now all yellow and will honk their horns to alert potential passengers that they are available. Taxis are very reasonably priced and can even be hired by the hour or for trips to specific destinations.
- Rental cars – Many of the same companies that serve the US are also in Panama. Rental car prices can be reasonable online, but very high at the office. The driving style in the country suggests that tourists to Panama be careful when renting cars and seriously consider purchasing insurance.
- Planes – The country has a good regional service for tourism in Panama. The rates are reasonable and the service connects the main destinations in the country, such as David, Bocas del Toro, the Pearl Islands and Colón.
- Boats – Along the coasts, there is some use of boats for tourism in Panama, but this is not a general practice. Boats are also not recommended for tourists traveling from Panama to Colombia due to border security issues; only air travel is feasible between these two countries.
Panama is a country full of activities. Starting in Panama City with the ruins of the old city, the rainforest, the Panama Canal are all an interesting visit. Across the country, Carnival (held near the end of February), numerous fairs, concerts, and traditional events dot the country. The country is a fan of its national baseball league and Panamanians like Mariano Rivera who play in the major leagues. Soccer and basketball games are always available to be enjoyed and activities such as swimming, surfing and fishing add to the tourist attraction of Panama for the athlete. If you are a truly avid fisherman, take a charter to the “Tuna Coast”, the Pacific Ocean off Panama, where a host of sport fishing world records have been set.