Standard criminality level, such as pickpockets, thefts in traffic means, etc. could be met in capital Ciudad de Panama or Colon, the second most important town of the country.
Nevertheless, some quarters of capital seem to be quite dangerous, especially during evening and night hours, such as Chorillo and Curundu, and quay zones in Colon. Moreover, rather difficult situation dominates in border province of Darien, especially in its eastern part (the town of Yaviza), neighbouring with Colombia. You are not recommended to travel there, owing to penetration of Colombian armed groups.
So, you are recommended to keep the following basic rules, staying in Panama:
- to keep your passport and other valuable documents, such as air-tickets, etc. in hotel safe and travel with minimum of cash money
- do not wear jewels, and pay attention for all your valuable subjects - such as video - or photo - camera, etc
- to park always in watched (guarded) parking place, do not leave any things inside the car
- do not take hitch-hikers with, and drive on main roads and during day light only
- do order the taxi by means of hotel-receptionist only, and lease the vehicles by means of registered offices only
- do travel with health insurancy. Before you leave, would you check, if the policy is valid for Panama.
- pay attention for your luggage and bags and your documents in city centres, in hotel lobby, at bus stops and directly inside buses
Nearly all shops, restaurants, rent-a-car offices or hotels accept standard credit cards (mostly VISA or MASTERCARD). Except local Panama currency (Balboa), US Dollars are functionning as main means of payment. But, in fact, the dollars are in circulation, Balboa are available in a form of coins only.
Attention: some selling places refuse to accept banconotes in a value of USD 50 and USD 100 owing to anxiety that the banconotes could be falsified. Apart of this, the other currencies, such as EUR, are exchangeable very bad. Nevertheless, EUR currency could be exchanged in some banks (such as Banco Nacional de Panama), but rate of exchange is very disadvantageous.
Road nest in Panama is rather good, but, on the other hand, only three sections of road with four driving belts are existing in the country. Panama-airport, Panama-Colon (30 kms) and Panamerican Highway in direction to Colombia (200 kms).
In Panama, you find electric tension 110 V. The plug-contacts are arranged for plugs with flat connectors.
Important Phone Numbers:
Emergency service: 911
Information and warnings on travelling abroad is to be found HERE.