FAQ Panama

Where is Panama located?The Isthmus of Panama is located to the South East of Costa Rica and North West of Colombia. It is bordered by both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Panama is a transcontinental country and connects both North America and South America.

Panama's population is 3,186,162 people according to the preliminary result of the National Census of Population and Houseing done on May 16, 2010, as per the Comptroller General.

What’s the size of Panama?
Panama is roughly the same size as the State of South Carolina, with a total area of 30,193 square miles.

What is the population in Panama City?
There are about a million people in the Panama City area.

What kind of government does Panama have?
Panama’s government is a Constitutional Democracy.

Does Panama suffer from Natural Disasters?
No. Panama does not have hurricanes or volcanoes like its neighbors. In the last two years there has been one or two mild earthquakes, no damage.

Who is the President of Panama?
Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal is the President of Panama (1 July 2009 - Democratic Change)

How many provinces does Panama have?
Panama is divided into 9 provinces:  Bocas del Toro; Chiriqui; Cocle; Colon; Darien; Herrera; Los Santos; Panama; Veraguas; and one territory: San Blas Kuna Yala.

What is the size of Panama coastline?
There are more than 960 miles of coastline in Panama.

Does Panama have a military?
No. Panama constitutionally abolished its military on 10 February 1990.

How close in Panama to Miami?
Panama is a mere 2.5 hour flight away.

What time zone is Panama located in?
UTC -5

What is Panama’s climate like?
Panama is tropical. Temperatures range from 77 to 90 degrees year round and experiences two seasons: the dry season ( mid December to end of May) and the rainy season.(Beginning of June until mid December.)

What is the official language in Panama?

How much does a beer cost in Panama?
Beer is available for as low as just 50 cents per bottle in a local cantina, $1 bottle in a restaurant.

What does a full-time live-in maid cost in Panama?
A full-time live-in made will cost about $250 - $300 per month, for 8 hours a day, 5 and a half days per week. This includes all the cleaning, cooking, laundry and ironing.

What is the minimum wage salary in Panama?
Panama’s minimum wage is: $325 per month as of January 15, 2010. Paychecks are issued twice per month (every 15 days) and payday is referred to as quincena.

How much does a taxi cost in Panama?
Around Panama City you should expect to pay anywhere between $2.50 and $5.00. All fares are based on zones and areas. Best toask if the driver can go to the area and what the cost is. 

How much should I tip my waiter or waitress in Panama?
10% is the costumary amount for just about everything unless it was less than satisfactory service. Pay attention to your bill as sometimes the tip has already been included. 

What about the electrical outlets in Panama?
Panama uses the same electrical outlets and plugs as the USA and Canada. So leave those converters at home.

Is the water safe to drink in Panama?
Yes, you will not have any problems drinking the water in most areas around Panama. However, this will vary depending on where you are in the interior provinces.

What is the common greeting in Panama?
Men and women greet each other with a kiss on the right cheek. Men greet each other by shaking hands and repeating when leaving.

What is the Panama Canal Zone and who are the “Zonians”?
American Canal employees occupied the former United States territory called the Panama Canal Zone from 1914 to the end of 1999. The term “Zonian” refers to this group of Americans who were born and raised in the “Zone” area. They speak English, attended American schools, and many typically hold dual-citizenships with both Panama and the USA.