Panama City is the hub of Panama in more ways than one. It is the country’s capital, political and administrative center, and a beacon for tourists. Since the Panama Canal was completely turned over to Panamanian control in 1999, Panama City’s hotel rooms have increased tenfold, and it has attracted more than three times the number of visitors as it did previously.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers visiting Panama City – FAQs
The excellent medical care that’s available in Panama City probably isn’t the reason you’re thinking of visiting, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. However, don’t expect this care to be cheap. If you get sick or hurt, the cost of treatment could overwhelm you. This is why you need travel medical insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Panama City?
From a legal perspective, you do not. However, you will be required to pay up front if you get sick or hurt while in Panama. If you want the ability to get reimbursed for your treatment cost, you must have travel medical insurance.
Why buy travel medical insurance before visiting Panama City?
You have no way to guarantee that you won’t get sick or hurt while you’re in Panama City. And you won’t be able to use your normal health insurance here. To avoid getting stuck with a bill you can’t afford to pay, you need to have travel medical insurance.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers visiting Panama City – FAQs
Panama can be impacted by natural disasters like hurricanes. Just the same, you can be impacted by a sudden illness or emergency before your trip, making travel impossible. You could lose out on all of your prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs if you do not have trip cancellation insurance.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance before traveling to Panama City?
Most of your major trip expenses must be paid for in advance, and are often nonrefundable. Common expenses include airline tickets and hotel reservations. If you have to cancel your trip, you won’t have a way to get these costs back unless you have trip cancellation insurance. It can reimburse you for your prepaid, nonrefundable expenses if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason.
What can be covered by trip cancellation insurance for Panama City?
Travel delays, trip interruption, lost baggage, and even emergency medical coverage can be included in your travel insurance plan; this is in addition to trip cancellation coverage. You can even purchase cancel for any reason travel insurance, which can allow you to cancel your trip even for reasons not covered by standard trip cancellation insurance plans.
Panama City’s Most Popular Activities
Natural beauty, triumphs of engineering, and fascinating cultural displays can all be found in Panama City, making it an ideal destination for tourists of all stripes. Looking for some things to add to your Panama City travel itinerary? Try these.
Marvel at the Panama Canal
Without a doubt, the main reason Panama is internationally recognized is because of the famous Panama Canal. From Panama City, you can explore this country-spanning canal at the Miraflores Locks just 30 minutes away. See massive container ships pass through this iconic waterway that has been connecting both sides of the world for a century. The locks have a wonderful visitor’s center where you can learn all about this wonder of human engineering.
Get Out There at Soberania National Park
Located about 16 miles from Panama City, this national park offers 55,000 acres of native rainforests, waterfalls, and wildlife. Hikers can explore the Las Cruces Trail which was used in the 16th century by Spanish explorers to transport gold. The trail is still lined with some of the original stones from its construction. Hiring a guide is highly recommended to see everything that Soberania National Park has to offer.
Endless Shopping at Albrook Mall
If the weather is too hot or wet for you, head inside the Albrook Mall. This is the largest shopping mall in all of Central America, drawing more than 50,000 visitors each day. You’ll find typical mall features like shops and restaurants here, but there’s also a carousel, movie theatre, and a bowling alley to enjoy.
See the Bridge of the Americas
Spanning the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, the Bridge of the Americas links North America to South America. It’s an impressive structure, stretching some 5,425 feet. The best place to view the bridge is from the Amador Causeway. Try to visit in the evening, and see the bridge lights come on as the sun sets behind it.
Historic Capilla San Jose
Infamous 17th century pirate Captain Morgan once tried to steal the centerpiece of Capilla San Jose: its golden altar. However, the church’s resident priest was one step ahead of the pirate, painting the altar black and hiding it in plain sight. Captain Morgan missed out on the golden altar, but you don’t have to. It is now restored and sitting in this famous church, built just two years after Morgan’s raid in the 1670s.
Key Guidelines for Travelers visiting Panama City
Before traveling to any new location, it pays to do some research. Here are the top five things to keep in mind before you visit Panama City.
When to Visit
The dry season in Panama City runs from the middle of December until the end of March. This is most popular time to visit, as there are major seasonal celebrations, but it’s also the most expensive. You can save a good amount of money by visiting from April to December, but you will have to contend with almost daily rain showers. Whether or not nice weather is worth the extra money is up to you.
Cash Payment Advice
American dollars are accepted as official currency in Panama, but paying with large bills can be a pain. You may be asked to show identification and fill out registration forms if using anything larger than a $20 bill. It’s best to keep your wallet stocked with ones, fives, and tens.
English is Not Widely Spoken
Outside of those who regularly work with foreign tourists, most people in Panama City will only speak Caribbean Spanish. It’s a good idea to study up on this dialect as much as possible before your trip, as the locals speak quite quickly.
The water, that is. Tap water in Panama City is just as safe to drink as it is in the United States. There’s no reason to waste money on water filters or bottled water unless you really want to. Some with sensitive stomachs may have minor issues, but the same can be said of the tap water in many American cities.
How to Dress
In Panama City, it’s normal to dress a bit sharper than your typical tourist. Fitted clothing and nice shoes are expected if you want to blend in. It is generally not accepted to wear baggy cargo shorts and flip-flops to a nice restaurant or bar. However, due to the warm temperatures and extremely high humidity, it’s best to wear clothes that are breathable and made from a moisture-wicking fabric.
Before You Visit Panama City – Do This
- Make sure you can comfortably carry your ID at all times. Tourists are expected to be able to present their passports whenever authorities request it.
- Study the neighborhoods – Different areas of Panama City cater to different types of tourists. Some are better for partying, while others are quieter. Keep this in mind when choosing a hotel.
- Buy insurance – Keep the unexpected from potentially ruining your Panama City trip with travel medical insurance or travel insurance .