About Panama


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Panama is located at the southern end of Central America, bordered on the west by Costa Rica, on the east by Colombia, on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and on the south by the Pacific Ocean.

Panama Facts

Panama is located at the southern end of Central America, bordered on the west by Costa Rica, on the east by Colombia, on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and on the south by the Pacific Ocean.

Panama covers an area of 75,517 square kilometers (29,340 square miles).

Population: There is an estimated population of 2,329,329 (1990 census).

Climate: Panama has a tropical climate. Temperatures are around 80 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit (25 – 30 Celsius) and humidity is always high. Dry season goes from December to April and rainy season from May to the end of the year.

Time Zone: Panama is in Eastern Standard Time Zone (five hours behind GMT).

Language: Spanish is the official language.English is widely spoken and understood in the major cities.

Currency: The monetary unit is the “Balboa” which has the same value as  one US dollar. The US dollar is legal tender in Panama, since Panama doesn’t print its own bank notes and only mints its own coins.Traveler checks and credit cards are widely accepted.

Customs: Depending on your nationality, you may be required to have a valid passport and a visa or a $5.00 tourist card. Tourist cards may be bought at the airline counter or at the Immigration Office at Tocumen International Airport after you have arrived in Panama.  Tourist cards give you an automatic 30-day stay and are extendable for another 60 days at the Immigration and Naturalization Head Office in Panama City if you submit a request at least 7 days before expiration. The International departure duty is US$20.00, payable in the airport.

Notes

No vaccines or pills are necessary prior to visiting. Although Panama is indeed a tropical country, mosquito control is effective. Exceptions would include hiking and overnights in the jungle, in which case you should use protective insect repellant. Panama is the only country in Latin America where you can drink water straight from the tap.

The hotel tax is 10%.

The added tax value to products and services, with the exception of food and medicines, is 5%.