Panama is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the North and the Pacific Ocean to the South. They share their Eastern border with Colombia and Western with Costa Rica.
Panama has a tropical climate. Temperatures are relatively high and vary little throughout the year. The temperatures are usually lower on the Pacific than on the Caribbean coast. The temperatures in Panama City range from 24 – 35 Celsius and the Beaches average about 31 Celsius.
Getting around –
When travelling as a part of an all inclusive package your transfers to and from the resort and airport are included in the cost of your trip. There are many day trips available to Panama City for site seeing if that is something you want to do we suggest booking through your tour operator or resort. If you prefer to get around on your own, car rentals are available in the cities as well as taxis and a new bus system for inter-city transit.
Panama uses the US dollar as its currency. The official name is the balboa but it is the same bill and you will find people use the name dollar or balboa interchangeably.
Language spoken –
The official language in Panama is Spanish however in tourist areas you will find many workers who speak English, although keep in mind it is not generally their first language.
The standard electricity supply in Panama is 110 volts, therefore you will not need convertors unless you are bringing 220 volt devices (hotels will often offer convertors).
What To Do:
The most popular place to visit while in Panama is the Panama Canal, however there is much more to be seen. Panama originally means, “an abundance of fish” so as you can imagine fishing is a popular past time. The Amador Causeway connects the three islands by the entrance to the Panama Canal to the mainland and so from the Causeway are terrific views of the City and the Bridge of the Americas. There is quite a bit to see in Panama City and locals spend their off time jogging, cycling or rollerblading down the causeway. There are also many options for dining on the islands.
Sendero Los Quetzales near the small town of Cerro Punto is one of Panama’s most beautiful trails. The 9 km (5 miles) route starts east of town and takes between four and seven hours. The trail winds through the cloud forest of Parque Nacional Volcán Barú and follows the Río Caldera, crossing it several times en route. It ends in the mountains above Boquete. The trail can also be hiked in reverse, but it’s entirely uphill from Boquete. Because the trail is not well marked it is recommend to hire a guide or join an organized tour.
Located in Eastern Panama, the San Blas Islands is the best place to explore the rich culture of Panama’s indigenous people, the Kuna. The Kuna people view this area as their own but are warm and welcoming to visitors. One member of the tribe is stationed on many of the area’s tiny tropical islands, and for a nominal fee, they allow visitors exclusive use of the island for the day.
Coiba National Marine Park - The island of Coiba is the largest island in the park, as well as the largest island in all of Central America. More than 800 species of marine life are present in the area. The park is known as one of the best places to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving on the Pacific Coast.
The Panama Canal stands as one of the world’s greatest feats of engineering. Visitors can take either a partial or complete crossing of the canal. Crossings take four to eight hours. Many visitors choose to explore the canal by visiting the Miraflores Locks Museum. From the restaurant located at the top floor of the museum, visitors can watch transiting vessels in the canal below.
Check your tour operator or resort’s website for a more detailed list as well as prices, as always we recommend booking your excursions through a reputable source.
Panama City has large shopping districts such as the Via España, Central Avenue, etc, where you can find Boutiques, Bazaars, Gift Shops, Jewelry Stores and many modern shopping Malls. The Free Zone, located in Colon, 45 minutes from Panama City by car, is the World's largest free zone and duty free shopping area.
If you are looking for nightlife you may find it right at your resort. Going into Panama City may or may not be an option for you from where you are staying but if you are looking for more you will find it there. There are three sectors of the city – Casco Viejo (historical), Business District and the Amador Causeway – all with different kinds of nightlife.
Panama is becoming more and more a golfing destination – and with weather that varies little throughout the year it is ideal! This small country has city, beach and mountain golf courses including a new course widely regarded as the best in Latin America.
With the opening of the Jack Nicholas Buenaventura Golf Course at the beach, Panama raised the bar for golfing in Latin America. This course on a par with some of the best courses in the US.
Riu Playa Blanca
Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort
Royal Decameron Golf & Beach Resort