Famous for the canal, which links the Atlantic ocean with the Pacific, Panama is sometimes called the Crossroads of the Americas because of its position between North and South America. A diverse country with mountains, rainforests and shores on two oceans, rural communities and the modern metropolis of Panama City, it's a fascinating destination for any traveller. Panama serviced apartments are a great way to experience the Panamanian way of life in style.
Panama has a tropical climate with consistently high temperatures and humidity, but Panama City serviced apartments will generally offer air conditioning to help travellers cope. Almost all of the annual rainfall is between April and December - the rainy season.
Panama recognises a number of national holidays including New Year's Day, Martyr's Day, Carnaval, Good Friday, Labor Day, two Independence Days, Colon Day and Los Santos Uprising Day.
Tocumen International Airport is about 20 miles east of Panama City and offers international flights to the Americas and other regional destinations. Adventurous private pilots can take advantage of the country's many private airstrips - there are more per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
Tha Panama Canal is visited by many cruise lines which offer tours into Panama City, and ferries and private sail boats also offer services to Colombia.
Driving is on the right. You can drive into Panama from Costa Rica, but there are no roads between Panama and Colombia.
There are bus services into Panama from Costa Rica, and Panama City boasts a modern bus terminal and convenient, albeit crowded, local bus services.
Panama is a Spanish speaking country, although there are certain differences between Panamanian Spanish and European Spanish.
Some phrases you may find useful:
Hello : Hola
Goodbye : Adios
Do you speak English? : Habla usted inglés?
Please : Por favor
Thank you : Gracias
Although the official currency of Panama is the balboa, in practice the standard currency is the US dollar. Panama has its own coinage but US dollars are used for paper currency.
Domestic electricity is generally 110 volts, with a two pin plug. Travel adaptors are available, but visitors from countries with a higher voltage may also need a voltage adaptor.
The telephone country code for Panama is +507. To call another country from Panama, dial 00 before the code for the country you are calling.
Banks, governmental institutions and many stores and supermarkets have a dress code - you may be refused access if you're wearing Bermuda shorts or a short skirt.
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