Panama Information

Panama City

The business hub of Central America, Panama City sits on the eastern side of the Panama Canal. With its modern infrastructure, easy air access, and a wealth of cultural and natural attractions, Panama has long been a best-kept secret among meetings and incentives planners.

Friendly economic and tourism policies also make Panama City a highly attractive, affordable option. As the world’s second largest Free Trade Zone, U.S. dollar is the official currency, and is also part of the IRS tax exemption.

Getting Around

Metro Bus

  • A card can be purchased at the bus terminal in the Albrook Mall or some supermarkets
  • There are 2 rates, $0.25 (for the non-corredor routes) and $1.25 for the corredor routes

Taxi

  • 24 hr services at taxi stations, available nationwide at a pre-established cost per route
  • Taxis in Panama City along the main avenues of Vía España, Transístmica, Tumba Muerto and Avenida Balboa can cost approximately B/.2.00 to B/.3.00 balboas, with fares varying up to an additional B/.1.00
  • An added fee of approximately $0.25 to $0.50 cents is charged per additional passenger

Time Zone

  • Panama is in the Eastern Standard Time Zone

Weather

  • Panama enjoys a mild, tropical climate with warm weather year-round
  • The average Panama temperature is 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • The wet or rainy season runs during August
  • Humidity is high year-round and rainfall and thunderstorms can occur at any time throughout the year
  • Rainfall, however, tends to be brief, coming in short, heavy bursts

Electricity and Power

  • 110 volts
  • 60 cycles

Currency

  • Panama uses the US dollar as its currency
  • The official name for it is the balboa, but it’s exactly the same bill
  • Panamanian coins are of the same value, size and metal as US coins

Shopping

  • Vía España accommodates both high and low end shops, as well as grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Multiplaza Pacific offers the most in terms of selection and quality, yet it is the most expensive in town
  • Colombian-owned Multicentro, conveniently located across from the Radisson on Avenida Balboa, has a number of Latin-diva-style boutiques along with a cinema and a casino

Tipping

  • In Panama, tipping is not compulsory,  but is good etiquette and supplements the low wages of the employee
  • If you’re happy with your service, it is standard to leave a 10% gratuity

Language

  • The main and official Panama language is Spanish
  • However apart from Spanish, another popular Panama language is English, which is fluently spoken by around 14% of the population

Emergency and Safety

To ensure the comfort and safety of all guests, Panama grants all visitors free medical emergency insurance for 30 days from entry.

  • San Fernando Hospital Clinic – Vía España, Panama City
  • Paitilla Medical Center – Ave. Balboa and 53rd Street
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