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Travel Tips


Official Language

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 coast.

Panama City: temperatures range from 24° C (75.2° F) to 35° C (95° F). 

Time Zone

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:

  • Passport with visa, valid for at least 6 months (if necessary).
  • International boarding card, properly completed.
  • Tourism Card or Visa, authorized accordingly.
  • Fare or return trip ticket to home country or next destination.
  • Required financial solvency, should not be less than five hundred balboas ($500.00) or its equivalent in credit card, bank reference, letter of employment or travelers checks, in addition to an additional amount, according to nationality. (Resolution 1017 bis of March 22, 2000).

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.

Specific visa requirements for citizens of Lebanon can be found here.


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 

Airport Security

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)

These 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.

Arrangements may also be made with local transport services in advance.  Click here to view a local transport service in Panama as a reference.

Local Transportation

Metro Bus

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.

Special Needs

 If you have special needs please contact ISNCC Head Office at +1-604-630-5516 or