Frequently Asked Questions
Know before you go - quick answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive. In case you don't se an answer to the question you have feel free to reach out directly.
What is the currency in Panama?
Panama has its own currency called the Balboa (PAB), but it's pegged to the US Dollar and there are no bills. The highest amount of the Balboa is a dollar coin. Everything above that is just USD. So US Dollars are interchangeable with the Balboa coins. There is no reason to exchange currency if you have dollars. If you have CAD or Euros then you'll need to exchange to USD.
Can I drink in the streets?
Short answer, no. Panama can be a raucous party, but it's illegal to take the party to the streets. You can brown bag it if you want and you typically won't be harassed if your drink is in a disposable cup.
What time do bars and clubs close in Panama?
On a regular week Sunday- Thursday the bars will close at 2am and Friday-Saturday the bars close at 4am. This only applies to bars or clubs with late night permits. Most restaurant-bars close 12am because they don't have these late night permits.
Is there a dress code at the clubs in Panama City?
Definitely - dress to impress. This is a metropolitan city so the women typically wear high heels and are done up to 10. Men can't wear sandals, shorts, or hats. That is the bare minimum.
How far is the beach from downtown?
There is no beach in the city, at least none you would want to go to. The closest beach is Veracruz about 20 min outside the city with light to no traffic. The Chame beaches and Coronado beaches are the next closest and much nicer which are 1 hour 10 min- 1 hour 30 min from the city.
Is Panama City safe for tourists?
Short answer, yes. Panama is ranked as one of the safest countries is all of South and Central America. As long as you avoid potential red zones you shouldn't experience or see any form of crime. Throughout downtown and primary tourist zones there is a police presence and these police truly are there to assist you. You could be drunk, stumbling out of the bar at 2am talking on your cell phone with a laptop in one hand you would get home safe without incident.
How far is San Blas from Panama City?
2.5 hours from the city by car to the Port of Carti
Can I have a yacht party in San Blas?
This is unrealistic. You can't board a charter vessel within San Blas coupled with the arrival logistics would make this a costly and difficult party to realize. The most practical yacht party destination would be Taboga Island.
Is prostitution legal in Panama?
Prostitution is not illegal in Panama. After a number of acts and retractions over time, prostitution has ultimately been left in a legal gray area allowing for the existence of brothels. Pimping is illegal in Panama. How money changes hands is what determines the legality of the act. In the case that the act is defined as illegal, the client would not be found guilty of any crime.