Capital: Panama City
Time zone: GMT – 5
Telephone services: Country Code: 507
Outgoing Code: 00
Emergency telephone numbers: Police – 104, Fire – 103, Ambulance – 225 1436 / 228 2187.
Tourist information: Instituto Panameño de Turismo (IPAT), Apartado, 4421, Centro de Convenciones ATLAPA, Via Israel, Panamá 5, Republic of Panama Tel: 226 3167 or 226 4614 or 226 7000 Fax: 226 3483.
Passport information: Valid passport required by all. Requirements may change at short notice. Contact the embassy before departure.
Visa information: Regulations are expected to change at short notice. Contact the consular authority before finalising travel arrangements. Panamanian immigration procedures are rigidly enforced and non-compliance will result in transportation at the visitors expense to their country of origin
Health information: Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended (for Typhoid).
Malaria: Exists in the Vivax variety throughout the year in certain areas. The Falciparum variety is also present in certain areas and is reported to be highly resistant to chloroquine.
Yellow Fever: Vaccination is strongly recommended for travellers planning to travel outside the urban areas. A vaccination certificate is recommended for those planning to visit the province of Darien.
Other Health Risks: Rabies. Dengue Fever.
Food & drink: Water is untreated and not safe to drink.
Currency: Balboa (Ba) = 100 centesimos Exchange: Banks and Gambios All major credit cards are accepted. Only US dollar travellers cheques are accepted.
ATM availability: Over 150 locations
Cost of living: Caters for all travellers and budgets.
Languages: Spanish. English is also spoken.
Weather: Hot all year with rains from May – Sept especially on the Pacific coast
Electricity: 120 Volts AC, 60 Hz. Plugs are flat 2 pin American type
Post: 5 – 10 days
Transport: FLIGHTS: Internal air services are operated by local companies which Panama City with all centres in the Interior. ROAD: BUS: Services between most large towns although they are very slow. TAXI: Fares are often not metered so agree fare in advance. CAR HIRE: Available in city centres and airports. DOCUMENTATION: A national driving licence will be sufficient
Special information: Crime is rife in areas of the city. In the San Felipe district most of the cheap accommodation can be found, but it is not safe to venture out at night in this area. Colon is renowned for danger. Common sense precautions should be taken, deposit valuables in the hotel safe. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against travelling to, or transiting in the Darien as there are risks of violence and kidnapping.