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Visit Panama

Useful information for those planning to stay in Panama

Those wishing to travel to Panama are invited to visit Viaggiare Sicuri

to deepen the health, safety and mobility conditions in the country.

We invite Italian citizens who are planning a trip for business or tourism in Panama to report their presence in the country on the website Dove siamo nel mondo

For general information and to deepen the tourist offer of Panama, please visit the pagina dedicata on our website.

 

NB. In the light of the Covid-19 emergency, it should be noted that the information below does not take into account the emergency measures introduced by the local government and relating to entry into the country, health and safety conditions. For more information on this, see the links on the homepage and the website Viaggiare Sicuri.

 

Entry into the country

Passport: You do not need a visa to Panama if your stay is for tourist purposes and up to 90 days. It is necessary to present your own, with residual validity of at least three months (90 days) from the time of arrival in the country. Entry into the country is allowed upon presentation of the return ticket or other travel document that attests the exit from the country to a place other than the place of origin. The demonstration of means of subsistence not less than USD 500 may be required.  For any changes related to the remaining validity required of the passport it is advisable to inquire in advance at the Embassy or Consulate of the country present in Italy or at your travel agent

 

Currency and customs formalities

The currency that is legal tender in Panama is the US dollar. There is officially a national currency, called “Balboa”, with a value always equal to the US dollar but which is issued only in coins of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and 1 Balboa (the coins, except the 50 cents and 1 Balboa, are identical in shape, weight and color to the American ones). Upon arrival in the country must declare to customs the possession of currency for sums over 10,000 dollars.
Banks are almost never provided with a currency exchange service; at the moment the euro-dollar exchange is carried out only by some banks (BNP, HSBC) based only in the capital.
It is therefore advisable to travel with US dollars in tickets not exceeding the 50 dollar cut, as they are accepted with less difficulty. You can usually withdraw cash from local ATMs in major cities with Italian credit cards. Upon leaving the country, a boarding fee of $20 per person is charged, which is usually included in the cost of the ticket.

Time zone

– 6 hours compared to Italy; – 7 hours when summer time is in force in Italy.

Climate

The climate is tropical, very hot and humid. The temperature throughout the year is around 30 degrees, day and night. There are two seasons: a rainy and very humid from late April to late December, with stronger rains in the months of October and November, and a dry, with less humidity, from January to late March. The Atlantic coast is much wetter than the Pacific coast throughout the year.

Links with Italy

About 15 hours of travel, with at least one change of plane, there are no direct flights from Italy. Via Europa, you can reach Panama by flying with Iberia (with a stop in Madrid), Air France (with a stop in Paris), KLM (with a stop in Amsterdam), Lufthansa (with a stop in Frankfurt) and, from June 2019, Air Europa (with a stop in Madrid). Flying to Miami you can take flights to Europe of various companies, including Alitalia, which has direct daily flights to Milan and Rome. Additional flight solutions with a stopover in the United States are possible (for which ESTA is required).

Health situation

Health care is generally good in private facilities in Panama City, where there are some hospitals and clinics of similar level to the European one. In the province medical services are sometimes limited. The availability of medicines is good and presents no problems. Tap water is drinkable in Panama and major urban centers. Food precautions are not necessary: in supermarkets are available almost all normal products, including the most common Italian ones (pasta, olive oil, etc.). In the restaurants of the capital the hygienic level is good; it is advisable to avoid the kiosks along the streets, given their precarious hygienic conditions.
Malaria and dengue, both transmitted by mosquitoes, are present, but the cases are limited and limited to areas far from the capital and the normal tourist routes. Preventive treatments are not recommended, apart from the use of mosquito repellents, especially in the hours of sunset outside urban centers and in marshy areas.

Security situation

In general, Panama does not present particular risk situations. You can travel within the country without special precautions. It is however prudent to avoid going to the following areas: the eastern part of the province of Darién, especially the border area with Colombia; in the capital the neighborhoods of Curundù, Chorrillo and San Miguelito; the neighborhood of Playita in Colon, and in general the suburbs of larger cities. In cities, except as mentioned above, the security situation is normally comparable to that of Italian and European cities of the same size. The normal precautionary measures applicable to all major urban centres are therefore advisable. For more information visit the website Viaggiare Sicuri.

Driver’s license

For tourists who stay in the country for no more than 90 days is sufficient Italian license. To obtain a Panamanian driving licence the Italian citizen must present:

1) Passport

2)Residence permit

3) Examination of glucose

4) Original driving licence and certificate of validity of the licence issued in Italy by the Civil Motorization, duly apostillato (exclusively in Italy) and translated into Spanish.

Corrente Elettronica

120V 60 HZ. The sockets are identical to those U.S.A

Petrol (approximate price per litre)

Lead free …. $1.10
Diesel fuel………. $ 1,00
Prices, as of May 2022, are subject to fluctuations.