Carnival 2017 Dates and Closures
Traffic into the interior begins Friday February 24th 2017 as the country gears up for carnival, traveling to beach towns like Coronado, Panama and beyond to the epicenter of the festivities, Las Tablas.
Expect traffic due to carnival celebrations in Panama, and an increased police presence on the InterAmerican highway starting Friday February 24th, continuing until Wednesday March 1st.
Banks and government offices will hold regular business hours Friday and Saturday, however expect the banks and offices to be busy, as people get ready for the party ahead. Banks and offices will be closed Sunday through to Tuesday, re-opening Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Most stores and restaurants will remain open over the holidays at the beach in order to take advantage of the increase in consumers that Carnival brings.
If you plan to partake in Carnival, or eat out over the weekend, be sure to carry cash. Many places will not accept credit cards. If you plan to stay in over the holidays you might want to head to the Rey right away. The aisles will be increasingly full with people and sparse with items as the festivities progress.
Be extra cautious when driving. During Carnival in Panama accidents occur more often as there are more people on the road and more people consuming alcohol during carnival.