Experienced travelers praised Panama, dynamic country in Central America doubts about the line between their cultural past anchored to their standard of modern life, to be a unique tourist destination and desirable, but not overloaded. Panama’s rich history is evident in the landscape of Spanish forts along the coast of every ocean colonial homes and brick streets of Casco Viejo. Visitors marvel at the ancient past reminders of Panama while enjoying the comfort of a modern communications infrastructure, potable water, good roads and convenient transportation options. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your arrival in Panama:
Plan. The best time of year to visit Panama depends on what you do during your visit. If you plan to enjoy the many outdoor activities like hiking, diving, sailing or sightseeing, taking into account that the dry season from mid December to mid-April (but remember that you must pay a premium airfare and accommodation in this season). If the game is your thing and you’re looking for more excitement, you can visit during Carnival in Las Tablas, a full festival begins the Friday before Ash Wednesday and lasting through Ash Wednesday each year.
Bring the required documents. United States and Canadian citizens are required to show a valid passport and tourist card to visit Panama. A tourist card will likely be added for a $5 fee when you purchase airfare, and will allow you to spend up to 90 days in Panama. If you do not have a current passport, be sure to obtain one as early as possible to pay the lowest rate and to allow time (usually a few weeks) for processing.
Get the recommended vaccinations. At least several weeks before your departure, visit a health professional to obtain all of the recommended vaccines for visiting Panama. You may need to be vaccinated against yellow fever, hepatitis A, and typhoid among others.
Enjoy nature but protect yourself from it. Due to Panama’s proximity to the equator, sunburn caused by exposure to the sun’s intense ultraviolet rays can put a damper on your vacation and harm your health. Always apply a UVA/UVB protection sunscreen before and during outdoor activities. Additionally, wear proper clothing and repellant to protect yourself from ticks, mosquitoes and other insects that accompany the thrill of outdoor adventures.
Use transportation wisely. Taxis are plentiful in Panama and provide a convenient means of transportation to visitors. Fares are low, hovering around the $4 range to get anywhere within Panama City. Be aware that a taxi waiting outside your hotel will cost significantly more than one hailed from the street. Taxis are not metered, so be sure to negotiate your fare with the driver from the start.
The reassurance of being properly prepared for your trip to Panama will allow you to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your stay in this cultural, tropical paradise.