Home to one of the world's most exceptional modern engineering marvels, Panama invokes historic nostalgia.

Yet there's more to this nation in Central America than the mighty Panama Canal, and travellers lucky enough to end up in Panama will be delightfully surprised by the uncrowded beaches, sensational surf breaks, magical rainforests and splendid colonial towns. It's high time the world's wanderers added Panama to their adventure agendas.

 

Cyber Sale: Up to 25% off 2022 trips

Our biggest sale of the year has been extended! Up to 25% off trips. Valid on trips departing 1 Dec 21 - 14 Dec 22. Book by 3 December.

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Top Panama travel deals

Departing Days From GBP
5 Jan 2022
Costa Rica & Panama Discovery
13 1060
848

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Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Panama tour reviews

Articles on Panama

Panama travel highlights

Panama holiday information

At a glance
Best time to visit Panama
Geography and environment
Top 5 Beach Spots of Panama
Health and Safety
Further reading

Panama travel FAQs

Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage. 

All travellers are required to produce: 

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
  • All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

PANAMA:
Australia: Yes - on arrival
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Yes - on arrival
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
USA: Yes - on arrival

The cost of a tourist card on arrival varies by nationality.

Tipping (although not mandatory) is considered polite in Panama. Tip 10-15% in restaurants and cafes, and leave a small amount of money for porters, guides and taxi drivers

Travellers will be able to access the internet at cyber cafes and hotels in Panama's large cities and tourist areas. Access to the internet is generally less common in rural and remote areas.

Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Panama's major cities, but may be less reliable in remote or rural areas. Ensure global roaming is activated before leaving home if you wish to use your mobile phone.

Panama has a combination of modern, flushable toilets (found in cities) and more modest squat toilets (found in rural areas), so prepare to encounter both while travelling in Panama.

Bottle of soft drink = 1 PAB
Bottle of local beer = 1.50-2 PAB
Snack at a market = 2-3 PAB
Lunch at a café = 5-7 PAB
Three-course dinner at a restaurant = 20 PAB

Tap water is considered safe to drink in Panama unless marked otherwise.

Major credit cards will be accepted by large hotels, shops and restaurants in the cities of Panama, but less so in rural and less developed areas. Be sure to carry other modes of payment just to be sure.

Panama's major cities and tourist-orientated towns have ATMs readily available. It's advisable, however, to withdraw cash before leaving the city as ATMs may not always be available in regional areas.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey. 

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 2 Jan New Year's Holiday
  • 9 Jan Mourning Day
  • 28 Feb Carnival Day
  • 14 Mar Good Friday
  • 1 May Labor Day 
  • 3 Nov Independence Day from Colombia
  • 5 Nov Colon's Day (Colon Only)
  • 6 Nov Colon Day Holiday
  • 10 Nov The Uprising of Los Santos
  • 27 Nov Independence Day from Spain
  • 8 Dec Mother's Day
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Panama go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/panama/public-holidays

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Local Kuna woman in traditional dress, in Panama

How we're giving back

In Panama, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.