The official language of Panama is Spanish.
Panama's currency is called the Balboa (PAB). One Balboa is the equivalent of 100 cents. There are no paper bills in Panama; all local currency is in coins, in denominations of PAB1 and 10, and in 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents. American dollars were first accepted as currency in 1904 and are still used today, along with the local currency of Balboas.
Credit cards are an accepted form of payment in all cases, including Visa, American Express, Master Card and Dinner Club. The U.S. dollar, in free circulation and joint legal tender with the national currency, is also always accepted.
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
Panama operates on Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5 hours).
Panama uses 110 volts electricity.
Passports and Visas
When entering the country, you must show the following documents to the Inspector of the National Office of Immigration and Naturalization:
For a list of countries that require a visa or tourist card and information on how to obtain the necessary documentation please visit the Tourism Panama website.
According to Act 8 of March 15, 2010, which amended the Fiscal Code, the
air, sea and land transportation companies, as well as passengers,
shall pay ITBMS tax. In Panama, 7% of ITBMS is charged on public
entertainment, events, seminars, conferences, lectures and artistic,
professional and sport presentations in general that are not free and
whose annual incomes are over $36,000. The importation and sale of
alcoholic beverages, as well as hotel or lodging services, jewelry and
weapons will pay 10 percent of ITBMS. Tobacco derivatives (such as
cigarettes, cigars, and snuff) will pay 15% of ITBMS. Cable TV,
microwave, satellite and mobile phones will pay 5% of ITMBS
Please take a moment to become familiar with some of the security measures at Tocumen International Airport (PTY). This may result in saving time once you arrive at the airport. All passengers are screened along with their luggage. Do not pack or take prohibited items with you. If you are not sure which items you can carry on the plane please visit the Tocumen International website to learn more.
Getting to Panama City
Tocumen International Airport is located 15 miles from the Hilton Panama (approximately a 20 minute drive). For more information on Tocumen International Airport visit their website.
Airport Ground Transportation
Tourist Taxi Service (Tel. 507-238-4305 / 507-220-1210)
are the only taxis that can be boarded at the Tocumen International
Airport because they are used exclusively to provide service to tourists
and to guarantee passenger safety.
Current rates from Tocumen International Airport to Panama City are as follows: 1 to 2 persons $25, Group (3 or more) $10 each.
Panama has a new bus system for transportation throughout the city. Additionally, it has routes along the north and south corridors that offer roads for faster traffic, to be able to reach your destination more quickly. This system of bus routes is efficiently organized, resulting in reduced wait times at bus stops and a guaranteed bus frequency, making your trip reliable.
Taxis are commonly used to get around the city. 24 hour services are available at taxi stations, nationwide at a pre-established cost per route.
The waiters at the best restaurants in Panama City and in resort cities
will expect to receive a 10% tip. Tipping is not required in small cafes
and more casual places, though it is always appreciated. The bell
hoppers are tipped a minimum of 50 cents per suitcase.
Before leaving home we encourage you to have adequate travel insurance. Delegates are advised to take out insurance to cover loss incurred in the case of cancellation, medical expenses and damage to or loss of personal effects whenever traveling outside of their own country.
If you have special needs please contact ISNCC Head Office at +1-604-630-5516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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