For further information please also check our page About Panama!


· What clothes do I need to bring?

· How many days do you recommend staying?

· Do you have airport transfer service?

· Do I need to speak Spanish?

· In case of an emergency, what are the medical facilities like?

· Is crime a problem?

· Is there any anti-Americanism?

· How do I get to Panama City (Airlines)?

· How to get around in the city?

· What sort of souvenirs and gifts can I find?

· How much does a meal cost?

· How much should I tip?


What clothes do I need to bring?

Shorts, short sleeve shirts, sundresses and sandals are commonly worn. An extra swimming suit is always useful, as is sunscreen. Insect repellent is recommended for horseback riding, jungle and plantation tours. We suggest bringing sun hats and sunglasses although straw hats and various caps from our local markets make nice souvenirs. In general, for the tropical climate, light colored, loose fitting cotton clothes are the most comfortable. Do bring at least a pair of trousers (for the gentleman), a nice shirt & closed shoes. Panamanians themselves, especially the women of Panama City are beautifully groomed. Panama City is a dress-up city, but as a tourist you’ll be excused from the dress code provided you are dressed neatly (the high-end restaurants are stricter).

The highlands can be cold in the night so a warm sweater or light jacket is necessary.


How many days do you recommend staying?

Panama is a rather small country (77,381 sq. km. / 29,762 sq. mi.) and the major attractions are all in Panama City and its surroundings. You have beaches, mountains, lakes, tropical rainforests, the Panama Canal, tax free shopping, history, ruins, bird watching, jungle trekking, golfing, deep-sea fishing, diving, snorkeling, marine and biodiversity exhibition centers, excellent restaurants and night life... all at your finger tipsJ 

Our recommendation is to stay at least  5 days (a week would be better as some of you will need time to get rid of the jet-lag!) in Panama City and take day tours to the places of your interest. This will save you a lot of time and money and at the same time will let you enjoy Panama's night life enjoying one of Amador’s restaurants with the canal view and ocean breeze, the Casco Viejo's ambiance with great restaurants or in Bella Vista neighborhood where you will find the widest selection of restaurants and bars of the city with its casinos and night clubs or just dance away to the salsa and merengue music;-)  


Do you have airport transfer service?

Yes, we offer airport transfer service to our guests for US$30-US$45 depending on the number of passengers. For details click here.

We charge the same as the airport taxis...the added plus is that you have someone waiting for you who knows where to take you;-)


Do I need to speak Spanish?

For your convenience, your hosts, Patty & Rudy speak English, Spanish, German, French and Italian fluently. The native tongue in Panama is Spanish...the upper Panamanian class speak English fluently however the taxis & vendors don't so it is useful to have a mini dictionary at hand and we'd be happy to teach you the basics;-)


In case of an emergency, what are the medical facilities like?

As a by-product of its long association with the United States, many Panamanian doctors are U.S. trained and the standards of the top hospitals compare favorably to US standards. For medical treatment we recommend the Hospital Nacional in Panama City (Tel: 204-8100) which has a special department for tourists with a multilingual staff and the John Hopkins Hospital. They accept most insurance policies. Their medical staff is mostly US trained and English speaking and the facilities and service are excellent.

There is a new incentive at the moment that entitles you to a 1 month free medical service during your ask for the card when entering the country.


Is crime a problem?

According to the prestigious Pinkerton Intelligence Agency, Panama was rated amongst the top countries for tourist safety. Panama has no army and uses the U.S. dollar as currency, therefore political stability and a peaceful place to relax and enjoy your vacations. More incidents of violent crime occur in cities like Rome, Paris or Washington D.C in 24 hours than they occur in the whole of Panama in an entire year! Panama is one of the most stable democracies in the Americas. Since 1989, when dictator Noriega was deposed ( now languishing in a Miami prison), Panama’s presidents have been democratically elected. The current president Martin Torrijos began his five year term in September 2004.


Is there any anti-Americanism?

On the contrary - Panamanians are some of the most pro-American people. They are proud and relieved to finally have complete sovereignty over their country but are absolutely delighted to see Americans back as tourists, investors or living full time (which is a trend!). Due to their long historical association with the United States, Panamanians understand and appreciate Americans as few other peoples.

They say Panama is like Miami "Panama is safer than Miami, more people speak English in Panama than in Miami, there are no hurricanes in Panama and Americans are more popular in Panama"!!!


How to get to Panama City?

Low cost with: departing from: New York, Fort Lauderdale & Atlanta (but check their web site as they might be adding new routes!)

There are direct flights to Panama from 7 US cities: New York (, Newark (, Miami ( and ), Los Angeles (Copa), Houston (Continental), Atlanta ( and Orlando (Copa). Copa, a partner with Continental Airlines is Panama's international airline company. Duration of flight from US cities range 3-5 hours.

Other airlines serving Panama: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


How do we get around in the city?

Getting around in the city is easy…just grab a taxiJ The cost is between US$2 and US$7 within the city, depending on distance and the number of passengers.

We do not advise our guests to rent a car during their stay in the city unless they will be staying at our Amador condo as you don't have to drive through traffic since the Bridge of the Americas is 2 Min's away!

Traffic and driving is quiet challenging even for a very good driver as road signs are hardly there to see and many streets are one way...needless to say that it is not indicated!!!


What sort of souvenirs and gifts can I find?

Panama has the greatest variety of indigenous-made souvenirs of any country outside Mexico. Panamanians have an innate sense of beauty that shows in their handcrafts. “Molas”, intricate hand-sewn tapestries of the Kuna Indians are the most popular souvenirs- you can buy little girls dresses, women’s clothes and handbags decorated with Molas. Native jewelry, Panama hats (which are not made localy...for the little info!), fine woven baskets & masks from the rainforest palms and natural dyes, tropical wood carvings and pre-Colombian and Spanish Colonial style jewelry are some of the other most popular items.


How much does a meal cost?

Meals in Panama are generally cheap. From a US$0.50 empanada to a US$19.00 lobster dinner (16onz) you will surely find a decent meal to suit your budget.
Lunch could cost you from
US$5 to around US$10.00 or more if you are into the good things in life. The basic pattern in Panamanian lunches is: a serving of meat (any kind), rice, beans (lentils or any kind of grain), plantain, and salad. This is the lunch that most workers eat for about US$2.50 to US$4.00 a serving. You can also go to most local restaurants and get a chicken meal for around US$5.00. A beef meal would cost you around US$9.00 depending on the quality and the cut of the beef. Pork is also very popular for around US$5.00.

If you want to treat yourself to a nice restaurant the price for a full course meal with wine (without choosing a US$30 bottle!) can range from US$25 to $100.


How much should I tip?

10% is the norm but if you had excellent service then please do tip them more;-) Some restaurants include the tips in the bill, so check it. You don’t have to tip taxi drivers-but they'll be happy if you do!