Panama Travel Facts

The Basics

Country: Panama

Where is it?: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica

Why do people go here?: Besides the 50-mile canal that thousands of ships squeeze through every year, Panama is home of the infamous Darien Gap and troublemakers who do their best to keep it in the spotlight. Other attractions include the vibrant capital, Panama City, and beautiful nature.

What are the main entry points?: Flying is common, but so are buses and taking boats from nearby countries. Even if you think you want to be like Robert Pelton, take our advice and avoid the Darien Gap.

Currency used: Balboa (PAB); US dollar (USD)

Country Code: 507

Religion: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%

Population: 3.2million

Ethnic Breakdown: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%

Government: Constitutional democracy

Languages: Spanish (official), English 14%, many are bilingual

Travel Information

Major Cities: Panama

Attractions: Darien Gap, Panama Canal, Panama City

Accommodation: Panama Hostels, Panama Hotels

Tourism Office locations and links: Panama-Instituto Paname�o de Turismo (IPAT) Apartado 4421, Centro de Convenciones ATLAPA, V�a Israel Panam� 5 +507-226 3167, +507-226 4614; FAX +507-226-3483;//

Health Issues: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is recommended for all travellers going to Chepo, Darien and San Blas. Low malaria risk occurs throughout the year in three provinces: Bocas del Toro in the west and Darien and San Blas in the east. Chloroquine is recommended except for in eastern endemic areas, where mefloquine is recommended.

Tips for Visiting

When to go: The dry season in the beginning part of the year is the most crowed and hot, but at least you’re dry.

Specific Events/Holidays: Independence Day, 3 November (1903)

Getting Around: Boats or bus

Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into Panama is the Tocumen International Airport.

Need more information?: Check out the Panama travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.

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