Panama Travel Guide
At the meeting of two continents and two oceans, Panama is a little country full of history, wildlife, culture, tropical beaches and anything else you could wish for in a getaway. As you make plans to take a tropical vacation, don’t overlook this Latin America gem.
Panama is easily accessible to Americans being only a 2.5-hour flight from Miami and uses American currency. With delicious coffee, the Panama Canal, a hub of biodiversity, and hundreds of islands—there is so much to see and discover in this stunning country!
The most popular time to travel to Panama is during the country’s dry season. From December to March, tourists from Europe and North America flock here to soak up the warm weather.
If you’re planning a trip around this period, you’ll want to book your flights and accommodation well in advance.
For budget travelers, the best time to visit Panama is during the wet season. From April to November, the rain helps to break the heat of the day and the country’s landscapes are a vibrant green.
What To Expect
Language: The official language in Panama is Spanish.
Currency: The currency in Panama is the Balboa (PAB), but the US Dollar is used as well. 1 USD is equivalent to 1 PAB.
Credit Cards and ATMs: Panama is mainly a cash economy. You can only use your credit cards at select hotels, shops, and restaurants. While there are a fair number of ATMs in Panama City, you’ll struggle to find machines the further you travel from the city. It’s always a good idea to carry cash on you, especially in small bills.
Plugs: The plugs in Panama are type A and B. The standard voltage is 110 V, and the standard frequency is 60Hz. I recommend buying a universal adapter (make sure it has surge protection) and using a converter for hair dryers and hot tools.
Safety: Theft and muggings are something you’ll need to watch out for in Panama. Be smart and avoid carrying all your money in one place and ask your hotel about which areas you should avoid. If you’re going hiking, take extra precautions. Hikers have been known to get lost due to landslides and storms that make it difficult to follow the trails.
Our Experience as a Lesbian Couple
Although Panama is a more conservative country, we did have a positive experience traveling there as a lesbian couple. While marriage equality has not yet passed and there is no discrimination protection for LGBTQ+ people, same-sex sexual activity is legal in Panama and public opinion is improving. We were out and open and had no issues, but we are young, feminine presenting/straight passing women.