Time zone: The time of Panama during the year corresponds to the EST (GMT- 5), and the biannual schedule remains unchanged.
Weather: Tropical. Average temperatures in Panama vary between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius (78.8 to 86 Farenheit). Late September will be rainy season and showers are to be expected every day.
Language: Spanish is the main language spoken in Panama. English is spoken to some extent by an important share of the population.
Currency: The official currency of Panama is the Balboa, which is equivalent to the US dollar. Nonetheless all commercial transactions in the country are undertaken in US dollars. In Panama the US dollar bills and coins in their different denominations are the accepted currency. Balboa coins circulate in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 Balboa cents and 1 Balboa denomination.
ATM: There are ATMs all over the country, in every bank branch as well as in major hotels and malls.
Credit cards: All major credit cards are accepted in Panama.
Tax: All purchases and services in Panama are subject to a 7 % tax (ITBMS), with the exception of medicines, food and school supplies.
Airport Tax: For international commercial flights, airport tax is included in the cost of airfare.
Tips: It is customary to include a tip when paying at bar or restaurant. The recommended tip is 10% of the value of the total bill.
Drinking water: The quality of tap water is good in most places.
Electricity: 110 volts, 60 Mhz. (American plug, type B). Many hotels have availability of voltage of 220-240 volts.
Telephone Country Code: +507
Important telephone numbers:
International calls through the operator: 106
Local Time: 105
Telephone helpline: 102
Medical Emergencies: 911
Fire Department: 103
Tocumen International Airport: 238-2700
Businesses: 9:30 am to 7:00 pm every day of the week. Some supermarkets are open 24 hours.
Banks : 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm. ATMs are usually available 24 hours
Government Offices : 8:00 a.m. to 4: 00 pm
Safety recommendations: Panama City is considered in general to be a safe and secure city. You should however ask locals/hotel staff which neighborhoods should be avoided, especially at night. Valuables should not be openly visible in order to avoid potential aggressions, particularly when it gets dark
Panama Tourism Authority: www.atp.gob.pa
Visit Panama http://www.visitpanama.com/