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Panama City, Panama

Rank#605 Panama City, Panama

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Travel Infomation Description

Road Conditions and Safety: While in Panama, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Travelers should carry identification with them at all times and be prepared to stop for unannounced checkpoints throughout the country, especially at night. Traffic lights are infrequently located on roads throughout the country, even at busy intersections. Traffic in Panama moves on the right, as in the U.S. Panamanian law requires that drivers and passengers wear seat belts.

Driving in Panama is often hazardous and difficult due to heavy traffic, undisciplined driving habits, poorly maintained streets and a shortage of effective signs and traffic signals. Use caution when driving at night; night driving is particularly hazardous on the old Panama City ? Colon highway. Riding your bicycle on the streets is not recommended.  

Road travel is more dangerous during the rainy season (April to December) due to flooding. Rainy season occasionally makes city streets impassible and washes out some roads in the interior of the country. In addition, roads in rural areas are often poorly maintained and lack light at night.

There is often construction at night on Panama's portion of the Pan American highway. There are few signs alerting drivers to construction, and the highway is not well lit at night. When traveling on the highway, travelers should be aware of possible roadblocks. The Pan American Highway ends at Yaviza in the Dari?n Province of Panama and does not continue through to Colombia.

Traffic Laws: Current Panamanian law allows foreigners to drive in Panama using their valid foreign driver?s license for a period of only 90 days. Driving without a valid driver?s license is illegal in all areas of Panama. Drivers stopped for driving while intoxicated may face the loss of their driver?s license, a monetary penalty, and vehicle impoundment. Talking on a cell phone or drinking an alcoholic beverage while driving also carries a fine.

If you are involved in a vehicle accident, immediately notify the police. Third party liability auto insurance is mandatory, but many drivers are uninsured. If an accident occurs, the law requires that the vehicles be moved off the roadway. Failure to do so could result in a fine. If you are involved in an accident that did not cause injury, you should take a photo of both cars. If safe to do so, exchange information with the other driver and wait for the police to arrive.

Public Transportation: Public transportation should be used with caution. While we still receive reports of thefts and pick-pocketing, Panamanian National Police report the new metro buses with bigger windows and better lighting, have reduced the instances of violent crime.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the websites of Panama?s Tourism Authority, Transportation Authority, and the national authority responsible for road safety in Panama (Spanish-only) for helpful information on road conditions in Panama.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Panama?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Panama?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Panama should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (, and the NGA broadcast warnings website; select ?broadcast warnings.?

Panama City, Panama
Panama City, Panama
Panama City, Panama
Panama City, Panama

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