In Panama, a Central American country located just north of the Equator, the climate is tropical and hot all year round. The main difference is found in the rains, which are determined by the seasonal shift of the sun, which in turn determines the prevailing currents.
Panama has a hot and humid, tropical climate, with a long rainy season from May to January and a short dry season from January to May. The rainy season is between May and December and brings an estimated 250-700 millimeters (mm) of rainfall across the country.
Panama is an all-year-round destination; there is no bad time to come. The best time to visit Panama is between January and mid-April. This is the driest part of the year and shows off this tropical country at its most stunning.
However, it’s also worth considering traveling to Panama during the rest of the year, when you can experience local events and festivals.
As the Panamanian Government may change the entry regulations any moment, no responsibility is taken for the correctness of the details provided.
A tourist legally entering Panama and complying with the regulations below can remain in Panama for 90 days.
Valid Passport: All tourists must carry their passport, valid at least 6 month beyond the period of stay.
Valid return or onward flight ticket.
Economic solvency: A minimum of USD 500 in cash or equal in credit card.
Depending on nationality:
Countries whose citizens do not require visas nor tourist cards Germany, Hungary, Argentina, Israel, Austria, Italy, Chile, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Poland, El Salvador, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Finland, Greece, France, Singapore, Guatemala, Switzerland, Honduras, Uruguay, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Bolivia.
Countries whose citizens can enter Panama with a tourist card Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, South Korea, Curaçao (Dutch Antilles), United States, The Vatican, Grenada, Greece, Guyana, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay, Western Samoa, St. Kits and Nevis, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome & Principe, Sweden, Surinam, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela.
Countries whose citizens require a stamped visa Chad, Cyprus, Egypt, the Philippines, Peru, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Ecuador.
Citizens of all other nations
They need an authorized visa to enter the country Stamped Visas can be obtained at Panamanian consulates abroad. Authorized Tourist Visas can be obtained at Panamanian consulates abroad with the authorization of the Immigration Bureau in Panama and the approval of the National Security Council.
Best Places To Visit in Panama:
- The Panama Canal
- Panama City, Panama Province
- Bocas del Toro Islands
- Boquete, Chiriqui Highlands
- Pearl Islands, Panama Province
- El Valle de Anton, Cocle Province
- Azuero Peninsula
- Santa Catalina, Veraguas
- Chiriqui Golf, Chiriqui Province
Panama Tocumen Airport (IATA: PTY) serves not only Panama with domestic and international flights, but is also a hub between South America, the Caribbean and North America.
The airport is located 17 km (10.5 miles) northeast of Panama City.
For domestic flights, Panama officially has over 100 airports, making it the country with more private airstrips per square mile than any other country in the world.
If you are flying on domestic airlines, it is important to take into consideration that weight limits and sizes apply.
Maximum luggage allowance: 2 luggages per person, 23 kg and carry on luggage 4 kg including camera equipment.
Excess luggage is subject to space on the aircraft and charged with USD 5.00 per kg.
Many believe that travel through this canal would be a straight shot from east to west, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality, the Panama Canal zigs and zags its way across Panama at a sharp angle.
The longest distances from one destination to another can be 3 hours of driving, covering 190 kilometers between destinations.
The $5 tourist fee may be in your arrival ticket and the $40 departure tax may be in your departure ticket. The only tax is a $1.25 Tocumen tax.
If you are traveling from the USA, you do not need electrical adapters. Outlets in Panama are 110 V with two-prong. If you are traveling from any other country that uses a different voltage, like European countries you do need a converter or adapter.
CLOTHES & GEAR
- Casual clothes for traveling in towns and cities.
- Long and short shirts.
- Thick sweater for the mountains and soft light or jacket for the lowlands.
- Pants: cotton hiking pants or light pants (jeans are not recommended) too slow to dry.
- Hiking shorts
- Socks: bring extra in case your feet get wet
- Swimwear, 1-2
- Poncho, raincoat or small umbrella
- Hat (s) – with visor for protection against rain and sun (the larger the visor, the more protection)
- Small and light flashlight with new batteries to walk in the twilight and move between the buildings in the most remote ecological lodges.
- Camera and additional memory cards, batteries, and chargers.
- Your personal toiletries.
- Ziploc bags for spillable toiletries
- Additional prescription eyeglasses (if applicable)
- Any necessary prescription drugs (if applicable) for your trip, add an additional 6 days.
- Plastic bags for wet items that have not had time to dry (put them in a suitcase pocket somewhere
- Sunblock 30 + SPF
- Insect repellent
- Reusable water bottle, especially for walks
- Binoculars (8×42), minimum of 7×32 are recommended (see wildlife close up is really rewarding)
- Chargers for all electronic devices. Especially your camera and if you plan to use it on your phone!
- For European travelers: a 220V to 110V output adapter.
- If you are bringing something with a 3-pin plug (such as an apnea monitor), carry adapters to plug 3-pin cables (not common in Costa Rica) into two tip sockets.
The best time of year to view whales is in June through October, the chances of seeing cetaceans are very high.
Isla Caña and La Marinera are among few public beaches in Panama where you can come and see the turtles nesting. The rainy season lasts from September to December, that is when huge crowds of tourists come to see the turtles laying their eggs or the hatchlings moving to the sea.
When it comes to birds, Panama boasts the highest diversity of species in Central America; the country’s advantageous location at the convergence of two continents makes it the prime respite for migratory birds from both North and South America.
Spend time birding in two distinct regions—the tropical rainforests bordering the Panama Canal, and the midlands and highlands of Chiriquí Province in western Panama—for the chance to see a multitude of species at varying elevations.
- Hike the world-famous Pipeline Road, where target species include Black Hawk-Eagle, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Masked Tityra, and hundreds of others.
- Scale the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center’s 130-foot tower for the chance to see upper canopy species, including the coveted Blue Cotinga.
- Search for Resplendent Quetzals in Volcán Barú National Park and on the Pipeline Trail in Boquete, near the border with Costa Rica.
- Visit Panama’s highest elevation natural wetlands at Las Lagunas, 4,000 feet above sea level, where you may see Masked Duck, Chiriquí Yellowthroat, and Crested Guan.
Central America surf season on the Caribbean coast is from December to March (Bocas del Toro, Isla Grande in Panama; Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica) and this region also receives a few swells in July. For the rest of the year, the spots might be either flat or very small.
In the Pacific side, in general, the best surfing conditions can be found during winter months, in each respective hemisphere, when the waves tend to get bigger and the swells are more reliable. Summer months are usually less consistent and with smaller waves.
The best surf spots in Panama
- Riviera Pacífica. Escape to Riviera Pacifica, offering an array of white-sand beaches on the Pacific coastline
- Bocas del Toro
For all the details on Panama and Covid-19, visit our dedicated Covid-19 information page here.
Panama is known to be one of the safest countries in Latin America. Panama is safe for travelers and it is also safe country to live in/ retire to for Expats. Panama’s high level of safety is a product of Panama being both economically and politically stable.
The Panamanian Ministry of Health recommends having a valid yellow fever vaccination for tourists. Travelling to the eastern part of Panama Province, San Blas and Darien Province.
Departing Panama to Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela in South América, and Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo D.R., Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Sudan in Africa.
While Panama does not make the vaccination compulsory, other countries may demand that travelers returning from Panama have the Yellow Fever WHO International Vaccination Certificate.
The malaria pill is not required in Panama, but tourists wishing to enter the jungle or contact with nature are advised to take precautions.
Panama has a rich tradition in the culinary arts. Due to its location the country is home to a vast array of fresh and tasty fruits, herbs and vegetables as well as delicious seafood. However, if you’re new to traveling, especially in a country with different food handling regulations or standards than your home country, you’re going to want to develop some common sense and instincts to help you keep you safe.
Water is potable in most of the country; however, we recommend that you drink bottled water in remote areas.
Please be aware of the following when visiting Beach destinations in Panama.
- It is very normal to find rip tides, strong currents, and big waves. Sometimes they appear unexpectedly, so always check with the hotel or the beach warnings.
- Lifeguards are not common on beaches.
- Be careful with beach-inhabiting animals and do not feed them.
- Try not to swim alone and swim within designated area.
- Most beaches are marked with flags to let people know the conditions of the surf.
- Red flags indicate that the water is unsafe, yellow flags indicate that the conditions are rough, green flags indicate normal conditions.
If you need to purchase medicines while you trip in Panama, pharmacies are always available even in remote places. Please note that for some medicines, you need a prescription and they would most likely need to be translated to Spanish. Pharmacists can usually prescribe medications and in some pharmacies, they either have a doctor on staff or will instruct you how to reach a clinic.
Private and public hospitals are available 24 hours all 365 days of the year. Some of the most popular hospitals in Panama include:
- Punta Paitilla Hospital in Panama City
- Hospital Pacific Salud in Panama City
- Coronado and David Chiriquí
- Clinica Hospital San
- Fernando in Panama City and David Chiriquí
All of these hospitals are private. However, most towns have clinics and pharmacies.
Panamas Currency since 1904 is the Balboa (PAB). Since its implementation the Balboa has been tied to the US Dollar, which is also legal tender in Panama, at an exchange rate of 1:1. Coins up to 1 PAB/USD exist in both currencies, from 1 PAB/USD on, only US Dollar banknotes exist.
Money exchange offices at the airport or in the city.
Credit cards are widely accepted in Panama. Mastercard and Visa are the most accepted.
American Express is accepted at most hotels, restaurants and stores but you may encounter places where they do not accept it. Discover Card is not accepted in Panama.
Here are some guidelines to help you with tipping in Panama:
Porter & Housekeepers
Drivers on pre-arranged transfer & excursions
Panama City, Corregimiento San Francisco, Calle 50 y 71, PH Plaza Morica building, 10th floor, office 1005.
At the airport, you will have a Meet & Greet with our Tour Manager, he will provide his Whatsapp number and is available 24 hours. In addition, when you receive the confirmed itinerary, you will have all the information of our Emergency and Concierge numbers.
For immediate assistance or life-threatening situations, dial 911. In addition, you can always call Panama Trails emergency numbers that will be provided to you upon arrival, these numbers are 24-hours.
Our core business is to offer meaningful life changing journeys, enriching the lives of our visitors and simultaneously protecting the environment and the communities they visit. Our range of products include:
Tailor Made Itineraries: We help you deliver elegantly tailored itineraries with new and original experiences.
Special Concierge Service: They monitor every single service of your clients the same day it happens, before it happens.
Tour Manager Service: Helps ensure that your clients ́ needs and expectations are always satisfied and exceeded. They not only assist guests but also serve as your key liaison by keeping you informed about every detail of your client ́s experience while in the country.
Exclusive Hotel & Villa Portfolio: We’ve handpicked a portfolio of premium accommodations in the country.
Exclusive Added Values: We offer your clients exclusive amenities and added values.
Premium Fleet: Safe and comfortable transfers throughout the country.
Yes, we do work with groups, FIT, and families
Travelers who are seeking immersive, authentic off-the-beaten-track experiences that capture the essence of our unique destinations.
We continuously dedicate a large number of resources to research and innovation. We have always stood out in the travel industry for delivering new original experiences and for giving great importance to every single detail of our services.
Our philosophy is to provide unique and innovative tourists services. Our travel services outstand in terms of quality, creativity, educational content, and diversity of experiences offered.
The vast experience of working with many guests has taught us that each person is unique and therefore expects different services. Our target customers are travelers that are looking to come to Panama to combine enrichment, enjoyment, and education in a way that is personally meaningful to them.
Mr. Wilhelm von Breymann & Mr. Mauricio Alfaro are the General Directors of the company. Both share their passion for travel and want to reveal the beauty that their beloved Costa Rica and Panama offer. Being avid explorers gave them the opportunity to build up access to every corner of their country and to create unique experiences and adventures for their guests!
Moreover, we operate with a team of dedicated experts, guides, hosts, Operations, and sales staff, who take exceptional care of our guests.
We believe that the road can be more fascinating than the destination. Our fleet of vehicles provide the very best in comfort, safety, and technology along with the latest up-to-date carbon-friendly engines allowing our guest to enjoy our picturesque landscape at ease. We always use our vehicles as a first option.
Deluxe SUVs, are equipped with all luxurious features. We offer transfers that are more than a dash from point to point and provide the possibility to stop at cultural, natural, and historical sites along the way.
For bigger families, we use deluxe AC mini-busses offering a strong, modern exterior with a comfortable, convenient, and spacious interior.
All of our vehicles are equipped with the latest technology, including GPS tracking, allowing our operations team to pinpoint the exact location of the motorcoach at any time and re-route the driver if necessary. For those clients who prefer to drive on their own, we offer a wide selection of SUVs.
Yes, our numbers are toll-free.
Toll-Free USA: 1-888-803-3344
Toll-Free Canada: 1-866-865-7013
Send your inquiry to Maria Isabel Salas at firstname.lastname@example.org, she will be your main point of contact at Panama Trails for inquiries. Before sending, the request be sure to have the following information ready:
Names + Last Name of Passengers
Number of children, Name and Last Name
Would they mind domestic flights?
Activities they are interested in doing
Any other special requests or requirements (special diets, allergies, medical condition, disabilities, etc.).
Once the enquiry with the information is received, they will reach out with an itinerary proposal and a quote in 24 hours. We are always available by phone in case you need to reach us out to better assist you with you clients ́ itinerary, our main goal is to create an itinerary that matches the client’s expectations. This is why we are very open and flexible to all the changes that need to be done in order to meet the expectations.
Once you are ready to book with us we will send you a payment link. If the reservation is made less than 30 days before arrival, full payment will be required. If the reservations are more than 30 days away from arrival a $250 non-refundable payment will be required.
After the payment has been processed, our Reservations department will proceed with the confirmation of all services on the itinerary.
Within 24 to 48 hours you will receive a detailed itinerary made with Axus which will include confirmation of all services with dates, times, confirmation numbers, contact numbers, etc.
Please note that sometimes services require more time to be confirmed and we might not be able to send it at the designated time.
Once everything is confirmed, our Concierge team will contact you to assist you with any special requests that you may have for your clients, restaurant suggestions and reservations, transportation, a special gift or note for them, spa reservations, or Covid-test coordination.
All payments may be made in USD, by three different alternatives: a Wire Transfer, via a USF Check, or by Credit Card.
- A $250 non-refundable deposit per person is required at the time of the booking.
- Full payment must be made 30 days prior to the clients ́ arrival.
- For Easter Week, Christmas & New Year’s Eve, full payment may be required at the time of booking.
- Payment dates can change.
All cancelation must be received in writing. The following charges per person will apply when cancellation is made after the booking is confirmed by Costa Rican Trails:
EASTER WEEK, CHRISTMAS 6 NEW YEARS
- 75-61 or more days prior to arrival date USD $250 for single services or USD $350 for roundtrips (packages).
- 60 to 46 days 50% of the trip cost.
- 45 to 31 days 75% of trip cost.
- Less than 331 days 100% of trip cost.
REST OF THE YEAR
- 60 to 45 days prior to arrival date USD $250 for single services or USD $350 for roundtrips (packages).
- 44 to 31 days 50% of the cost trip.
- 30 to 22 days 75% of trip cost.
- Less than 22 days 100% of the trip cost.