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About Panama City

Panama City is the modern capital city of the Republic of Panama. With over 430,299 residents, it is the largest city of the country. With its Spanish influence, it is the ideal destination to explore historic sites. Touristic attractions of this beautiful city include The National Institute of Culture, Palacio de las Garzas and the Casco Viejo neighbourhood.

Cheap flights to Panama City are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to tour this diverse city! Panama City is home of Tocumen International Airport (PTY), located a short 20-minute drive from the city centre. Tocumen International Airport serves a multitude of airlines, including Delta Airlines and United Airlines. Popular international flights depart from Cape Town to Johannesburg. The flight duration from Johannesburg to Panama City is approximately 20 hours and 15 minutes!

Why visit Panama City

bronze ape

Exotic Wildlife

Panama’s biodiversity astonishes the mind! Amongst their incredible biome are 125 animal species, found nowhere else in the world. Tourists can explore diverse habitats in Panama City.

pomegranate seeds on calamari

Panama Gastronomy

The city’s cuisine is evolving. Now is the best chance to get a bite of Afro-Panamanian dishes. Panama’s culinary world is influenced by the country’s aesthetic, history and diverse backgrounds.

colourful embroidered fabric

Native Handicraft

Panama City’s native handicraft is rich in beauty. Tourists are encouraged to shop at local markets. “Molas” are quite popular; they highlight the intricacy of embroidery done by Panamanian women.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Panama
Currency Panamanian Balboa
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.07 PAB
Language Spanish
Hub Airport Tocumen International Airport
Airline Copa Airlines
Time Zone GMT -5
Travel Adaptor Type A / B

Best time to visit Panama City

Panama City has two seasons, the dry season from mid-December to mid-March, and the wet season from mid-March to mid-December. Tourists flock to the city during the dry season, when there is an abundance of hot sunny days with blue and starlit skies. Many frequent the beautiful beaches during this time. For cheap flights to Panama City, the wet season is the perfect time! Prices are incredibly accommodating. Tropical rain energises the city, bringing it back to life. To experience the authentic vibrancy of this city, tourists should attend the city’s carnival in February.

Weather & Climate in Panama City

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall level (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 19°C 18°C 18°C 20°C 21°C 21°C 21°C 21°C 21°C 20°C 10°C 20°C
High °C 33°C 34°C 35°C 35°C 35°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 33°C 33°C 33°C 33°C
Rainfall (mm) 29 10 13 65 225 235 169 220 254 331 252 105

Overview

Panama City - named one of Travel + Leisure's Best Places to Travel in 2017 - is truly a tropical paradise. Its prime location assures that it is inhabited by the most exotic species of plants and animals. It has recently been given the unofficial title of “The Dubai of Latin America”, due to its rapid influx of high-rise buildings, skyscrapers and increasing number of wealthy people in the city. It is incredible to see the city’s old quarter stand the test of time, amidst the modernising landscapes in Paitilla Point.

A wonderful blend of cultures and religions flood the streets of Panama City. Along with the visual beauty of tree-lined boulevards of Balboa, brick streets and balconies of the Casco Viejo, the city is alive with historic tales and zeal for its future!

Nightlife is a great way to connect with the locals. The Panamanian people enjoy a good party – seen in its array of bars, pubs, discos and casinos.

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders do not require a visa for a stay up to 180 days.

• Travellers need a valid passport for at least 90 days following your departure date from Panama. • Travellers must have at least 2 blank pages for stamps.

The South African Embassy is located at:

Calle 50 y 69

Edif. Plaza Guadalupe 4* Piso 404

San Francisco

Panama City

Panama

Phone: + 507 302 2750

Health & Safety

Travellers should be up to date on routine vaccinations before travelling to Panama City. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and yearly flu shot.

All travellers are encouraged to get hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines . Depending on your itinerary, some travellers are advised to invest in antimalarial medication. Malaria affects certain areas in Panama.

Panama City is a safe city to tour. However, as in every major city tourists should exercise caution, when in public spaces. Tips for staying safe:

• Stay in tourist areas. • Use your credit card only when necessary. • Avoid carrying all your money in one place. • Avoid areas that are not well lit. • Be vigilant in public spaces – pick-pockets and bag-snatchers tend to target people in crowded spaces.

Cost of Living

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Panama City
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R100.00 R100.00 R138.08
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R25.00 R25.00 R25.89
Cappucino (regular) R23.00 R22.57 R39.19
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R10.00 R10.00 R37.62
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R39.00 R40.00 R69.04
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