Panama Travel Information
The authorities have declared a national state of
emergency and implemented strong measures against the
covid-19 virus. The country's borders are closed. Air
traffic is suspended. A national curfew has been
introduced around the clock. Colonial businesses, banks
and service providers in the health sector can still
operate. However, the population only gets two hours a
day to make the necessary purchases. An exact time/time
is assigned based on ID card/ passport number. It is
recommended to familiarize yourself well with measures
and local regulations. For more information about
coronavirus, see the section Health.
Panama is an interesting and beautiful country, and
in most cases staying in the country goes smoothly.
Central America generally has a high crime rate, and
very high homicide rates in some areas. One must be
vigilant for what is going on around them, and be
careful about the choice of place of residence and where
to travel, especially in the evening. By taking the
right precautions, you can avoid being exposed to
Norway is represented by an honorary consulate
general in Panama City. The Norwegian Embassy in Bogot¨¢
is responsible for the Norwegian Embassy for Panama.
Contact information for consulates and the embassy in
Colombia can be found on the embassy's website.
Panama is considered a reasonably safe place for
tourists, with the exception of some urban areas such as
Calidonia, San Miguelito, Curund¨´, Santa Ana and
Chorrillo. There have been cases of robbery by tourists
here and it is therefore not recommended to visit these
areas. It is advisable to use caution when using credit
cards for cash withdrawals. Passports should be kept
safe and that you have a copy with them in case you need
to identify yourself, possibly by being stopped by the
Some drug trafficking and prostitution occur. There
are severe penalties for drug offenses. The possibility
of political unrest is considered small. Political
demonstrations occur from time to time. Risk of
terrorist incidents in Central America is considered
- Countryaah: Panama City is the capital
of Panama. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
There is right-hand traffic throughout Central
America. Traffic accidents are a frequent cause of death
and accident that also hit tourists. The roads are of
When using a taxi, prices should be agreed in advance
and the taxi should not - as is often the case - bring
other passengers on the trip. Tourists should also be
wary of people begging at traffic lights and generally
keep windows and doors closed and locked.
There are no rail networks in Central America. There
are frequent flight connections, including to remote
locations, but when using small airlines, it is
recommended to use those who partner with or are part of
the larger international airlines in the region.
The climate and vegetation of Panama is tropical. The
temperature is relatively high and stable throughout the
year. In certain seasons, there is high rainfall and
relatively high humidity.
Panama's geographical location means that the country
is exposed to strong winds and rain from the Caribbean
in the period May to October, which can contribute to
heavy rainfall, as well as flooding and/or landslides
during the rainy season.
With the exception of Belize, relationships between
two people of the same sex are legal in all Central
American countries. However, most residents have a
conservative relationship with homosexuality, and it is
recommended that gays exercise discretion to avoid
getting into unpleasant situations.
Norwegian citizens staying for a shorter or longer
period in Central America are encouraged to register on
Norwegian citizens are encouraged to have valid
travel insurance. Make sure that the insurance also
covers hospital stays and be aware of the type of
activities that are not covered.
The local emergency number is 911. The tourist police
«Policia Nacional de Turismo» can be contacted on +507
In crisis and emergency, Norwegian citizens are urged
to contact the Norwegian Embassy in Colombia by phone
(+57) 1 651 5500. The embassy's central table is open
Monday-Thursday 08: 00-16: 00 and Friday 08: 00-13: 30.
Outside office hours, you can press selection key 5
to be transferred to the UD's 24-hour operating center.
The 24-hour operations center can also be contacted
directly on +47 23 95 00 00 or e-mail UDops@mfa.no
Norwegian citizens can also contact Norwegian
honorary consulates and general consulates for
assistance. There are Norwegian honorary consulates in
Belize City (Belize), Managua (Nicaragua), Panama City
(Panama), San Jos¨¦ (Costa Rica), San Salvador (El
Salvador) and Tegucigalpa (Honduras). In Honduras there
is also a Norwegian honorary consulate in San Pedro Sula.
Updated contact information can be found on the
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Norwegian citizens do not need a visa for tourist and
business stays of less than 180 days in Panama. The
passport must be valid for up to six months after the
scheduled departure date. You can apply for a visa that
gives you the right to stay longer than 180 days.
Alternatively, one can travel out and inland.
You can be fined or imprisoned if staying in the
country illegally. For up-to-date information on entry
rules, travelers are encouraged to check with Panama's
Although Norwegian citizens do not initially need a
visa to travel to Central America, only a passport
(including an emergency passport) is the approved
identification document. It is the traveler's
responsibility to ensure that travel documents are valid
and that entry and stay regulations are complied with.
Coronavirus (covid-19): The Ministry
of Foreign Affairs has urged all Norwegian citizens
traveling abroad to consider returning home as soon as
possible, in a safe and quiet manner, in consultation
with their travel or airline. Norwegian citizens who
live abroad should heed the advice and guidance of local
Norwegian travelers should generally stay abreast of
the development of the corona virus. Follow local
authorities' advice, guidance and instructions on how to
deal with the situation. Information from Panamanian
health authorities can be found on the Ministry of
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
Other important information:
- The authorities have declared a national state
of emergency and implemented strong measures against
the Covid-19 virus.
- With the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies
and other health enterprises, other commercial
enterprises are closed, as are schools and
- State security forces are set to ensure
compliance with the rules.
- The airport is kept open, but flights between
Europe and Panama are suspended for 30 days from
- The situation is constantly changing, so it is
important to keep up with travel/airline companies,
airport websites etc. on whether it is possible to
travel by air out of the country again.
- Some departures are reported. Travelers are
encouraged to contact their travel or airline to
confirm flight reservations, or to find alternative
- The status of flights can also be found on the
There is good medical and hospital quality in the
larger cities. Offers outside cities are limited. Public
hospitals often lack basic medicines and equipment, so
Norwegian citizens are advised to use private services.
It is common to have to pay before treatment takes
There are several reputable hospitals in Panama,
including Hospital Cl¨ªnica Paitilla, Cl¨ªnica San
Fernando, Hospital Nacional and the modern hospital,
Punta Pac¨ªfica. Foreigners will normally have to use the
private hospitals instead of the public ones. It is
possible to pay by credit card (usually Visa, Mastercard
or American Express) - which usually has to be done in
No vaccines are required for visitors. It is
currently unknown that there are special diseases in the
It is permissible to introduce medicines for personal
use, but it is recommended to check with Panama's
nearest embassy for updated rules on the import of
Panama is one of seven countries that form Central
America. The Norwegian embassy in Bogot¨¢, Colombia,
covers two of these countries. The official language is
Panama is a tropical country and it is common to walk
lightly. In Panama City, however, relatively formal. For
men, it is sufficient in formal occasions with
guayabera, a loose short-sleeved shirt on the outside of
The Kuna people with their colorful and beautifully
woven and embroidered suits (mole), are sought after
photo objects. However, one should always ask for
permission before taking pictures/filming the locals,
and preferably ask an adult before taking pictures of
children. It is not uncommon for these to expect payment
to pose for a photo.
Three places in Panama are on UNESCO's World Heritage
list: Forties of San Lorenzo and Portobello on the
Caribbean Coast and Panama Viejo in Panama City, as well
as the National Parks of Darien, Talamanca and Coiba.
The authorities are strictly considering violations of
the laws and regulations that apply in these places.
Criminal proceedings can also be prosecuted for
violating the provisions of other natural parks and
archaeological sites in the country.
Spanish is the official language of Panama. English
is also common in the Channel Zone, Panama City and
Col¨®n. Other languages are kuna (San Blas Islands and
mainland in the east) and ngabe bugle in western parts
of the country. It is therefore advantageous to have
some Spanish skills if you are considering a longer trip
Credit cards are accepted in most places and easy to
use (usually Visa, MasterCard or American Express). Card
The offer of train journeys within the country is
good, but one should be careful about using a boat if
the company is not well known.
When driving on country roads, caution must be
exercised, both in terms of poor road conditions and
lack of road signs or warning. Stop along the road
should also be avoided - due to the danger of robbery.
The area code for Panama is +507. The telephone and
mobile networks are stable. The Internet domain is.pa.
Normal opening hours for shops are 0900-1700. There
are also several major shopping malls that are open
1000-1900. Most banks are open Monday-Friday 0900-1500.
Closing times vary somewhat from bank to bank. Most also
hold Saturdays 1000-1400.
Public Holidays: January 1 -1. New Year's Day,
January 9 - Holiday to commemorate national heroes, May
1 - International Workers' Day, August 15 -
Establishment of Old Panama City (celebrated only in
Panama City), November 3 - Independence Day (from
Colombia), 5. November - Commemorative day for Colombian
forces to flee from Col¨®n, November 10 - First action
against independence from Spain, November 28 -
Independence Day from Spain, December 8 - Mother's Day,
December 25 - Christmas Day.