We recommend that you don’t leave your country without travel insurance. Once here, you should keep DTP’s list of important numbers with you at all times. This information will be provided after your service or package is confirmed.
In case of serious illness or a medical emergency while unaccompanied by DTP staff, don’t hesitate to contact us at our 24-hour emergency number (507) 6676-7274 so that we can assist you. Please be sure to refer to your package information in case of any last-minute changes to our emergency contacts.
Below you’ll find contact information for Panama’s main hospitals:
San Fernando Hospital and Clinic
Emergency Number: (507) 305-6305
Address: Vía España, Panama City
Punta Pacifica Hospital
Emergency Number: (507) 204-8184
Address: Boulevard Pacífica and Vía Daríen
Paitilla Medical Center
Emergency Number: (507) 265-8888
Address: Ave. Balboa and 53rd Street, Panama City
Emergency Number: (507) 207-8110 / 207-8136 / 306-3310
Address: Ave. Cuba, between 38th and 39th Streets
CORONADO BEACH AREA (PACIFIC COAST)
San Fernando Coronado Clinic, Coronado
Emergency Number: (507) 240-1646
Open Sunday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 pm, and 24 hours on Saturday.
Hospital Regional de Azuero Anita Moreno (Los Santos Province)
Emergency Number: (507) 966-8132
Address: Vía Las Tablas, Distrito de Santa Ana
Hospital Joaquín Pablo Franco Sayas (Los Santos Province)
Emergency Number: (507) 994-6233
Address: Vía Las Tablas, Ciudad de Las Tablas
Hospital Cecilio Castillero (Herrera Province)
Emergency Number: (507) 996-4410
Address: Avenida Carmelo Spadafora, Chitré City
Hospital el Vigía (Herrera Province)
Emergency Number: (507) 996-4121
Address: Vía La Arena, Chitré
Hospital Colón 4 Altos
Emergency Number: (507) 433-7400
Address: Vía Transísmica Colón
Centro Médico del Caribe
Emergency Number: (507) 441-4420
Address: Calle 11 y 12 Ave. Roosevelt
BOCAS DEL TORO
Emergency Number: (507) 758-3745
Address: Av Olmedo Solé, Almirante, Panamá
Hospital Mae Lewis
Emergency Number: (507) 775-4616
Address: David, Panama
NUMBERS TO CALL IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY IN PANAMA
Fire Station: 103
Panama City has become a prominent destination for medical tourism in the region, providing world-class health care in modern facilities. In the city’s main hospitals, most of the doctors speak English and have been trained abroad in the latest medical treatments and procedures making them some of the most competitive in the continent.
We highly recommend that you check with your insurance provider to confirm whether you have international medical coverage or not, and if necessary purchase travel insurance before you depart from your home country.
In Panama it is not required to get vaccinated against Malaria or Yellow Fever, unless you are coming from a country that has a warning for those diseases. However, all travelers should be up to date with their routine vaccinations regardless of where they are traveling.
If your itinerary includes visits to jungle areas or if you are planning on joining any extreme outdoor activity (caving, camping in remote locations, adventure travel, etc.), be sure to ask your local doctor or clinic if there are any current recommendations you’ll need to observe.
Any time of year is good to visit the country. It is completely outside the hurricane belt and experiences few if any natural disasters. Panama’s weather is warm and rather humid year-round in the lowlands and coasts, with temperatures ranging from 23 °C (± 73 °F) to 32 °C (± 90 °F). It is cooler near the highlands, along the Cordillera Central which is in the 15.5 °C (± 60 °F) to 27 °C (± 80 °F) range.
We have a dry season and a wet season, so called because of the amount of rainfall they receive. The dry season is from around November until April, although this may vary by as much 3 to 4 weeks. The wet or rainy season is from around May to October, again depending on current global weather patterns. Because of its tropical climate, you can expect a little rain or clouds any day of the year although during the dry season they may take weeks to arrive. During the rainy season, there may be about a 40% to 50% chance of afternoon thunderstorms which usually last no more than an hour.
Keep in mind that, if prepared by professionals, there’s an itinerary that will allow you to enjoy the country’s untapped potential regardless of when you decide to come.
Visitors who come to Panama must have their passport, valid for at least six months after the time of entry. We recommend that, well in advance, you inquire with the Panamanian Embassy or Consulate in your home country about visa and travel requirements in a case-by-case basis. Once in Panama, we recommend that you take a picture with your smartphone of the main page of your passport and of the page on which the entry stamp is, so you may leave your original passport in your hotel safe.
Passengers on domestic and chartered flights within Panama are each entitled to carry baggage up to 14 kg (30.8 lbs) and up to 4kg (8.8 lbs) per person for carry-on items. Most local airlines ask that you keep with you any high-value, fragile or electronic item as carry-on luggage. Passengers are responsible for excess baggage fees applied by the airline and these extra items will be accepted as conditional baggage and subject to available space inside the aircraft. In the event that the weight restrictions may be exceeded, your excess baggage will be sent to you on the very next flight available.
We recommend you arrive at the airport at least one hour before a national flight and 3 hours before an international flight.
Ideally, you should book at least a month in advance for longer packages to make sure everything you would like to do is available. If you want to book on shorter notice, do not hesitate to contact us and tell us what you would like to do and see. Short tours, hotel reservations and transfers should be booked at least two weeks before arrival, and day tours, ideally, one week in advance. If you book later, we will still try to accommodate you, but might not have availability on your preferred dates. As a rule of thumb, the earlier you book, the more options you have. Also consider that it may take some time to process any special requests.
Panama has a broad variety of lodging options, from the low-budget, backpacker friendly dorm to luxurious rooms and suites with all the amenities you can expect from the finest establishments. Check out our Lodging and Accommodations section by clicking here (Hipervinculo) to take a look at our recommendations.
Panamanian law prohibits smoking in public venues including restaurants, nightclubs, malls, etc. So all hotels in Panama have a non-smoking policy, which includes their rooms. Usually there is an outside area where smoking is possible.
One option is to ask for current recommendations on cell phone rental businesses at your hotel. However, the easiest way to stay in touch with your contacts while in Panama may just be to buy a temporary SIM card from one of the many kiosks or stores located in all of the city’s shopping malls. You may then buy pre-paid calling cards and DATA to use during your stay.
Local food is perfectly safe and healthy to eat, the produce is fresh and you will support the local growers by buying local products.
Panama City offers a variety of cuisine options, including everything from Asian to Mexican and from casual to haute cuisine. Outside of Panama City you will find mostly traditional cooking in more informal settings, although some areas are slowly seeing the arrival of new interesting options in Gourmet and Fusion cuisine. Panamanians eat a staple diet of rice, beans and meat with a variety of local vegetables and fruits such as cassava, squash, papaya, banana and watermelon. In Guna Yala (San Blas Archipelago) and Bocas del Toro, you can expect the best seafood!
If you have special dietary needs, please let us know as soon as possible. We can usually accommodate special requests, if we know about them early enough.
The water quality in Panama City is excellent and can be consumed from the tap. Outside the city, water quality is generally very good; however, travelers are recommended to drink bottled water to avoid any possible illness. In Bocas Del Toro and Guna Yala (San Blas Archipelago), as well as in the Darien region, tap water is usually not drinkable. If in doubt, ask a representative at your hotel.
The standard tipping rate in restaurants in Panama is around 10- 15% of the bill. Sometimes restaurants include tip suggestions on the bill that you can add to your total. Feel free to ask if you need help interpreting the bill.
When it comes to other services, here is a general guide:
Specialized guide: US$15.00 – US$20.00 per person per / day
Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person per day
Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
Tour driver: US$5.00 per person per day
Tour boat driver: US$5.00 per person per day
Hotel bellman: US$1.00 per person per piece of luggage
International airport bellmen: US$1.00 per piece of luggage
We offer many tours that do not require a special fitness level and many hotels are suited for people with limited mobility. If you have special needs, please let us know as soon as possible so we can arrange a program that will suit you.