If you are planning to go on a summer vacation, Panama is one of the great summer destinations that you will definitely enjoy. Of course it is important to explore the big city first. Here are some tips when traveling in Panama City.
1. Bring Shorts and Sandals
Panama City has a tropical maritime climate with hot and humid conditions throughout much of the year. They experience a short dry season from January to May, but the rest of the year is rainy. The bright side is that the daily showers only last for about an hour or two at the most leaving the rest of the day perfect for sightseeing.
2. Panama Accepts the US Dollar
The local currency in Panama City is the Balboa, but when purchasing goods and services the US dollar is accepted openly. The exchange rate is 1:1. That means visitors don’t have to worry about calculating an exchange rate or paying exchange fees. Instead you can simply enjoy browsing among the many unique markets and shops found here.
It only costs a few dollars for a short taxi ride in Panama City making this the best way to travel. One should negotiate the fee before starting out. Taxis found further out from the hotels and airports will offer a lower fee, and you can skip the bartering for a good rate.
4. Remote Beaches
Pack everything you’re going to need when heading to the beaches. Make sure you have sunscreen and plenty of food and water to last the day. Beaches in Panama City are located in remote areas with no stores nearby. If you forget something, you’ll waste a lot of time travelling back to get it, and you won’t want to leave these relaxing shores once you arrive.
5. No Language Barriers
Most of Panama’s citizens speak both English and Spanish. Knowing either of these languages will be enough to help you out while visiting. In fact, most Panama residents enjoy chatting with vacationers and are willing to teach you any Spanish phrases that could be useful during your stay. Being able to have conversations with the locals allows you to experience their culture in a personal way.
6. Finding Lodging
Panama is home to many hotels and resorts. Travelers have no problem finding lodging that offers all the amenities they will need during their stay. You’ll find hotels in Panama City offering pools, fitness rooms, and spas in excellent locations near all the top tourist attractions. Book a room or suite from hotels such as the Waldorf Astoria Panama that are large enough for your entire party to avoid feeling crowded.
Panama City is a reasonably safe place to travel in except for the area along the Columbia border. The main tourist areas are quite safe. Regardless of how secure it is you still want to use common sense no matter where you are travelling. Choose a taxi over walking at night, and always be aware of your surroundings. Thieves and pick pockets can be found even in the safest places.
8. No Visa Required
Americans, Canadians, and the British can travel to Panama without a passport. All that is required is a tourist card. These can be purchased from the airline for less than $20. Rather than having to worry about remembering a visa, one can focus on bringing a camera. Panama has stunning vista that you’ll want to capture in photos.