Panama Top Destinations
Panama is located in Central America, bordering with Costa Rica in the West and Colombia in the East. Panama has two oceans: the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. Panama's tourist season is during the dry season from around mid-December until May. During the rainy season from May to November, the weather can be hot and steamy in the lowlands when the humidity makes the heat more oppressive than otherwise. Rain in Panama tends to come in sudden short downpours that freshen the air and are followed by sunshine. If you'll be doing any long, strenous hiking, the dry season is the most comfortable time to do it; the Darién Gap can be crossed only at this time. If you like to party, try to be in Panama City or on the Península de Azuero for Carnaval, held each year on the weekend before Ash Wednesday. Panama City's Carnaval celebration is one of the world's largest. Carnaval is celebrated over the four days preceding Ash Wednesday and involves music, dancing and a big parade on Shrove Tuesday. The celebrations in Panama City and Las Tablas are the most festive. The Semana Santa (Easter Week) celebrations at Villa de Los Santos, on the Península de Azuero, are equally renowned. The Festival of the Black Christ at Portobelo on October 21 includes a parade of the famous life-size statue of the Black Christ, and attracts pilgrims from all over the country.
Facts At A Glance:
Country name: Republic of Panama
Area: 78,200 sq km (30,194 sq mi)
Population: 2,882,329 (growth rate 1.26%)
People: 65% mestizo, 14% African descent,
10% Spanish descent, 10% Indian
Capital city: Panama City (pop 700,000)
Language: Spanish (official), English 14%;
many Panamanians are bilingual
Religion: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
Government: constitutional democracy
Time: GMT/UTC minus 5 hours
Electricity: Variable - either 110V or 220V
Weights /measures: Metric
Climate: tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy;
prolonged rainy season (May to January),
short dry season (January to May)
Every visitor needs a valid passport and an onward ticket to enter Panama, but further requirements vary from country to country and occasionally change. UK, Germany and Switzerland citizens and other nationalities need only a passport, while people from the US, Japan, New Zealand, Venezuela and others need a tourist visa or tourist card as well. Tourist cards for US travelers can be purchased at any point of entrance into Panama. Further information may be obtained from the Embassy of Panama, 2862 McGill Terrace, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, Tel. (202) 483-1407, or the Panamanian consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Juan , San Diego, San Francisco or Tampa.
Links to more information:
CIA World Fact Book - Panama
US Department of State
There are recommended vaccinations for travel to Panama, and in some provinces there is a yellow fever and/or malaria risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which posts its recommendations at www.cdc.gov.
The CDC’s bible for medical recommendations is called the Yellow Book and available online. From the website’s travel section, select Yellow Book / Build Custom Report to find risk assessments for yellow fever and malaria.
Panamanian law requires all persons to carry official identification documents at all times. This law applies to both Panamanian citizens and people visiting the country.
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