10 Things To Know About Panama

Drinking water. There are some locations where tap water can’t be drunk. In Bocas del Toro there are many supermarkets and shops to buy bottled water. Ask your host or accommodation staff if the water is drinkable.
Currency. You do not need to carry Balboa currency in Panama. USD is an official currency which you can bring some with you or go to a local bank and withdrawal cash. Credit cards are widely accepted in most places. A service charge usually applies when using a credit card.
The tourism industry. Tourism is still a new concept in some places in Panama. Go with an open mind and know that the locals do best to serve you with what resources they have. The majority of major touristic locations like Bocas and Panama City will have all the comforts and essentials that you would desire while visiting.
Tipping. Some restaurants include the tip on your bill. If not, there will be a suggested tip amount to give which is usually 10%.
Dining at restaurants. Portions are quite large. I found that it was similar to that of my home country Canada or like in the USA. There is a lot of American influence when it comes to choices on the menu. If you would like to try some local food from Panama, ask your host or accommodation where you can find a place in town.
The most expensive location. Panama City is more costly when it comes to dining and accommodations. You can expect to pay more here than anywhere else in the country for services.
Getting to the airport. In Panama City taxis range from $25 to $40 to the airport. If you would like to take an Uber,  they start from $15 USD. Traffic can be heavy in Panama City at all hours so make sure you allow yourself enough time to make it for your flight departure.
Entry/Exit requirements. Visas are not required for Panama for Canadians. As a Canadian passport holder, you are allowed a maximum stay of 180 days. When you enter Panama, customs will ask you for proof of exit. Print your flight itinerary or have your ticket downloaded on your phone.
Laundry. If you don’t want to bring a lot of clothing with you, laundry facilities are available at most accommodations. For hostel and budget travellers it can be done for about $5-7 USD.
Departure tax. Most airlines include the departure tax into the cost of your ticket. If not, it is $40 USD.

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