U.S. citizens transiting the Panama Canal as passengers do not need to obtain visas, report to customs, or pay any fees. U.S. citizens piloting private craft through the canal should contact the U.S. Embassy in Panama City for details on required procedures.
Travel beyond Yaviza towards the Colombian border is possible only by foot and is risky for individual travelers or small groups. This information also pertains to the Ancon Nature Preserve at Cana in the Darien National Park, due to its proximity to the Colombian border and possible cross-border activity by Colombian rebels.
From time to time, there may be demonstrations or other manifestations of anti-American sentiment by small but vociferous groups. While there is no evidence that U.S. citizens might be targeted (most demonstrations relate to labor disputes or other local issues) and while such protests are typically non-violent, it is nonetheless a good security practice to avoid demonstrations. For updated Security information, contact the U.S. Embassy Consular Section.
On the Pacific coast, boaters should steer clear of Coiba Island, which houses a penal colony, and be wary of vessels that may be transporting narcotics northward from Colombia. Similarly, boaters should avoid the southeastern coast of Comarca de San Blas, south of Punta Carreto.
With the 1999 departure of the U.S. military from Panama, local maritime search and rescue capabilities are greatly diminished.
A curfew for minors under 18 years of age has been in effect throughout Panama City since October 1996. Under the law, students attending night classes must have a carnet, or permit, issued by the school or, if employed, a Certificate of Employment. Minors who are picked up for a curfew violation are subject to detention at a police station until parents or legal guardians can arrange for them to be released into their custody. Parents or legal guardians may be fined up to U.S. $50.00 for the violation.
The loss or theft abroad of a passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. This publication and others, such as Tips For Travelers to Central and South America, are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Fair
Flooding during the rainy season, which lasts from April to December, washes out some roads in the interior and renders others impassable by car. In addition, roads in the interior are often poorly maintained and lack illumination at night. Road travel is more dangerous during the rainy season, and in the interior from Carnival through Good Friday (Carnival starts the Saturday prior to Ash Wednesday and goes on for four days; from Ash Wednesday there are 40 days to Good Friday). On roads where poor lighting and driving conditions prevail, night driving is difficult, and should be approached with caution. Buses and taxis are not always maintained in safe operating condition due to lack of regulatory enforcement. Driving is often hazardous and demanding due to dense traffic, undisciplined driving habits, poorly maintained streets, and a lack of effective signs and traffic signals. Auto insurance is not mandatory and many drivers are uninsured. If an accident occurs, the law requires that the vehicles remain in place until a police officer responds to investigate.
The Pan American Highway ends at Yaviza in the Darien Province of Panama, and the final portion from Chepo to Yaviza is reasonably passable only during the dry season (January-April). If destined for South America, automobile travelers may wish to ship their cars on a freighter. (The auto/ passenger ferry service "Crucero Express" ceased operations in early 1997.)
Only Tocumen International Airport, serving Panama City, maintains airport security measures known to meet international standards. Security measures at domestic commuter fields serving popular travel destinations such as Colon, Contadora Island, Bocas Del Toro and the San Blas Islands are lax.
Hostal Familiar Llano Lindo
.Panama, Panama Youth Hostels
We are located in Volcàn, Chiriquì, in the Republic of Panama, 1,460 meters above sea level....
$11 Per Night
La Pepita De MaraÃ±on B&b
.Panama, Panama Youth Hostels
The main structure of 'La Pepita de MaraÃ±on' is built using traditional materials like wood, bamboo and palm leaves......
$20 Per Night
.Panama, Panama Youth Hostels
Clean, comfortable accommodations. Kick back at Captain Jack's with an ice cold beer and enjoy the view....
$13 Per Night
No footprint beaches and pink sunsets
Panama City, Panama Sailing & Yacht Charters
Diving, Snorkeling, Fishing, Surfing, Kayaking, Exploring, Sailing and Relaxing. No footprint beaches, pink sunsets, beautiful scenery above and below the water. Best value on the market for all who love and respect nature at its best!...
$175 Per Person
Sailing San Blas Panama
Portobelo, Panama Sailing & Yacht Charters
Ave Maria is a classic, 50 foot offshore cruising yacht available for private charter. Sailing through the remote and beautiful archipelago of San Blas. Spending time on white sandy beaches shaded by coconut palms and surrounded by pristine coral r...
$175 Per Night
Sailing in San Blas Islands
San Blas, Panama Sailing & Yacht Charters
Sailing in San Blas Islands aboard our Moody 425 "Mischief" with a welcoming and professional crew. We will show you the best of this paradise, inhabited by the Kuna Indians: an unforgettable experience....
Starting at $180 Per Night
Boquete, Panama Eco Tours
Explore Panama with one of these two exciting multi location trips. Panama has much to offer and these tours will take you to the capital to explore the canal, San Blass coast and the Kuna Indians culture, bird watching and rafting in the mountains...
Affordable Rates from $1,655 Per Trip
Kayaking the Panama Canal
Panama City, Panama Eco Tours
Join us kayaking on the Gatún Lake at the Panama Canal starting in the Soberania National Park, where you will pass through the Tropical Rainforest at a smooth pace, following the stream and possibly coming across some unique nature....
Starting at $105 Per Trip
Panama with Canal Transit
Panama City, Panama Cultural Experience
An excellent alternative to having to take a 10-day cruise to transit the Panama Canal. Our tour features a full day transit of the Panama Canal, an Embera Indian village visit, history tour of Panama City. Can combine with a tour in Costa Rica....
Starting at $1,695 Per Person
Panama City, Panama Sight-Seeing Tours
Enjoy 7 days and nightly accommodation in Panama with breakfast, visiting Panama City, Gatun Lake, Miraflores Locks, Embera Community, Train to Colon, San Blas Islands and a shopping tour. This package includes transfers and English speaking guide....
Starting at $688 Per Person
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