It operates in Panama City and Panama City only. But city people are not generous or friendly. Basically, the more rural you get, the less likely you are to find anything medical. The level of violent crime in this zone is extremely high, with numerous reports of kidnappings, armed robberies, deaths and disappearances. Have fun in Panama, but take it from us, overseas medical care and canceled flights can be seriously expensive – insurance can, therefore, be a life-saver. It’s an amazing destination. Then again, those rainforests also make for a great place for Colombian rebel groups to hang out in. My wife and I lived on our sailboat in Panama, mostly in the San Blas for 2 years. You have to buy a Rapi-Pass; hit up or buy at supermarkets and bus stops (costs USD $2). Secondary roads are also (often) in pretty bad shape. The heaviest rains take place in October and November. In such a situation, hand over all your possessions immediately and do not resist. Simply put, Panama is a safe country. Vast swathes of Panama are safe to visit at the moment, but there are still areas which are best avoided. With all those tourists coming in, obviously it’s in Panama’s interests to keep them safe. Ocean currents, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods are only some of the natural disasters that sometimes hit Panama. You could even have a tour organised when you plan to visit, meaning you get to travel around with a group of people and led around by a knowledgeable guide (our recommendation). We fell in love with Pedasi. Dishes here are fairly simple, not overly sophisticated, but almost always beautifully fresh and beautifully seasoned. If you don’t feel like living in Panama City – which does, to be fair, offer up the amenities of a modern city but with the rainforest a day trip away – there are smaller towns that might offer a chance for you to live a completely different lifestyle. However, you should definitely pay attention to your surroundings and not make yourself vulnerable to being a victim of crime. There is a railway line in Panama, too. We call these areas, “zonas rojas” (red zones). But in general female travellers find Panama to be pretty safe. great website i am doing a school project on panama and this helped my mom a lot. Use the same due diligence and common sense that you would in any setting worldwide and you will be fine. The general consensus tends to be yes, Panama is safe, as long as you are aware of your surroundings and avoid certain areas, especially at night. Drink driving is a real issue as well. Spanish is the official language of Panama and spoken by nearly every citizen of the country. It feels like something from a movie and is freacking awesome. Those who learned any sort of North American style of Spanish will have no problem speaking with Panamanians. There are many tour and travel agencies that are geared towards family vacations, so you shouldn’t find any problems there. Accommodation wise I always stay in Hostels, but I also do not mind paying two/three dollars more a night to stay in a hostel that is better located or has more tours to offer. the whole of Panama based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. Here are my suggestions for making sure you have a safe and enjoyable trip in Panama: Avoid looking like a tourist- the fanny pack, wide-eyed gawking, expensive jewelry, and flashing expensive cameras, iPads, and cell phones make tourists stand out like a sore thumb at times. Please travel light! Panama is generally safe, and you do not see the violent crimes you see in the U.S. and never the gun violence. Do be sure to read the terms and conditions to make sure that the policy covers your needs. Pick up an AMK Travel Medical Kit before you head out on your next adventure. Tell them how long you plan to be gone for, etc. Wow. I’m from Panama travel Copa Airline they lost a suitcase never had an explanation for us. And have you thought about getting Travel Insurance for your trip? You will get less hassle, you’ll feel more comfortable, and you may even get a chance to chat. You may have already heard about expats living in Panama. The most important thing is to pay attention of your surroundings, try not to stand out too much, and trust your gut when it comes to exploring the country. You can get a quote from World Nomads by clicking on the link below. But I like to have a local when I travel around, just to be safe. We will be staying in an all inclusive, and most likely will be doing a few organized excursions. I come from a country that has so much crime that many Europeans won’t vacation there. All in all, we wouldn’t recommend driving in Panama. The dry season is obviously the most popular time to visit, but it’s possible to have a good time outside of that seasonal window (though the rainy season does mean almost daily downpours). Do you have a list of places that are a must for first-time visitors? For the most up-to-date safety information and what you should be doing to help, please consult the WHO and your local government. You can also hire a taxi for a day, or any length of time, which might be a nice idea if you get on with your driver. A house or apartment with good security will not only give you peace of mind, but actually make a difference in your life, keeping you and your stuff safe. I always felt safe there, even in Colon, the nearest town to where i was stationed. Speaking of which, you should avoid tourist traps. When it comes to what to wear, you should dress more towards modest than not. The prices for renting a car in Panama are generally pretty cheap, but if you’re going to explore off the beaten track, then you’ll need a four wheeled drive. Add some vibrant and colourful cities with the relics of colonial Spain and laid back local life and Panama is an all round cool place to visit. Not standing out, not being oblivious to situations and trusting your gut will help. Rena, what brings you back to Panama so many times? You may be off doing some cool thing, travelling around the world, but going off-grid is not cool (or safe). You could come to Panama, stay in a resort, and be absolutely fine the entire time – no safety issues at all. Making sure you know what’s happening when you’re planning your visit is a good idea. There are tons of ways to store valuables and goods while traveling but a travel scarf has to be the least obtrusive and the most classy. Furthermore, because the buses and taxis are cheap – and readily available – it’s not really necessary to drive in Panama. Panama is a safety country, there are not natural disaster , the crime is low and people vey kind. Again, travel insurance, in this case, is a necessity. In these areas, you should also avoid ice cubes. You may even get to meet up with a local or a fellow female travelling the same place and time as you are! Weather varies by region too. Although visitor numbers are increasing, there’s still a fair bit of crime going on in this Latin American country. The New York Times Magazine (in 2012) pitted Panama as “one of the best places to visit” that year, the country having regained sovereign control of the Panama Canal 12 years prior. Panama has resumed most transportation options (including airport operations and re-opening of borders) and business operations. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. That would be the Active Roots Security Belt. Even if you go with a group, you can still get unwanted attention. These often take place around a main road of Panama City known as Transistmica, as well as roads leading from Bocas del Toro. To really tap into the local scene and impress the Panamanians, you should try and speak a little Spanish. Political demonstrations can occur in the city, particularly around the university. Independent travel, however, is possible: just be sensible with how you go and you’ll be fine. They do have standard fares (measured by zones) that they should stick to. These are all reputable radio taxi companies that you can use in Panama City. As you might be able to guess, Panama is family friendly society. Even so, given that Panama isn’t exactly the safest place in the world for a solo female traveller, we would recommend getting yourself on a guided tour. Definitely no psychos grabbing their assault rifles to shoot innocent kids in school. Close, Airbnb's Most Unique Properties Worldwide. When was the last time you saw a health clinic in the middle of a rainforest? Though relatively safe, and certainly beautiful, if you are traveling to Panama then you must take certain basic precautions to maintain your health and safety during your trip. Panama slowly grew into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world: tourists can visit two different oceans and coastlines, go climbing mountains, hiking through rainforests and enjoy the impressive city life which offers to its visitors’ contemporary art, fashion and fine dining. Whilst there are a lot of money belts out there, we wouldn’t necessarily say that they are all created equal. Wherever you go in Panama, try your best to blend in and travel light. Panama has the third lowest murder rate in Central America, behind Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Is Panama safe for solo female travellers? But like every other country in the world, Panama has some areas––both in Panama City and in the country’s interior––that are more dangerous than others. To be honest, we would recommend a guide. Panama is pretty safe for a solo female traveller. Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way! Unless you’re really into your adventuring and part of your whole thing is to drive in rugged (or chaotic) places, we wouldn’t say driving is something you should do here. Note, however, that this is an IC card affair – no cash here, people. I have found it to be a safe friendly Country. Things like break-ins and burglaries are not uncommon; people go as far as having bars put on their windows and guard dogs to protect their homes. Panama is a very safe country. This is a good idea as it can help put your mind at ease if you are feeling particularly nervous. Go to Panama and have a great time, you will not be sorry. Never stray from your group and ensure that you register your presence with the Sena Front, which is Panama’s National Border Control. The biggest health risks in Bocas are dehydration, sunburn, and minor infections; or can be related to the inherent dangers of the ocean or partying too hard. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, and may make your trip more rewarding – and more interesting – in the end. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Panama due to COVID-19. However, you should definitely pay attention to your surroundings and not make yourself vulnerable to being a victim of crime. I come from a more dangerous country. However, “relatively safe” for Central America is kind of like grading on a curve. Things can be pretty different to where you’re from: driving isn’t fun, nature can be dangerous, and then there’s the crime. In fact, it’s a rather favourable expat destination – especially for North Americans since, well, it’s close. Traveling to Panama is generally safe for solo women, but bear in mind that you should generally hike and explore in a company, never alone. It goes from Panama City to Colon and is basically a chance for luxury travel in the country, harking back to colonial times. Coming back to the airport a man wanted money to let us get in the road to the airport. As a female in the world, you’re going to have to come across things like annoying men, more attention because you’re travelling solo, and some uncomfortable situations. We have a whole section about taxis later on, but specifically, this point is for female travellers. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Generally, Panama is a safe country to visit. You should only use registered taxi companies, which you can tell from their badge and their license. It’s also not uncommon for a taxi driver to pick up multiple passengers. There is some good infrastructure for travelling around here as well as a fair few family friendly resorts. The position of Panama, sandwiched between Central America and South America, occupying both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, is both a blessing and a curse. There you have it: the transport in Panama is safe, reliable and cheap. Keep away from these. Similarly, try not to wander into areas where people will be drunk or otherwise under the influence. There’s a lot of chances to get access to good healthcare in the capital, as well as good clinics and pharmacies. There have been on-going protests in Panama regarding the hwy, especially around the town of Chorrera where there have been dozens of fatal accidents in the past 3 years, most involving multiple fatalities. You should make sure that it’s located in a safe area of town and that the staff have been commented on as nice and helpful – things like that matter. Panama's legal and tax structures make it a pure tax haven. A lot of people from Canada and the US make their way to Panama for a more laid back life. It’s best to give these sorts of people a wide berth and do your best to simply ignore their behaviour. © 2020, The Broke Backpacker. Research your accommodation in advance. If you’re going for a relaxing holiday, you’ll find avoiding major cities and sticking to either cruise ship stops or resort areas will be to your benefit. Not standing out, not being oblivious to situations and trusting your gut will help. Panama, great place, we too are building a home in Volcancito. There are economically deprived parts of the country; there are wealthy people. Looking for somewhere to move out of the staes if need be. Wearing jewellery, looking rich, anything that singles you out as someone with money is not a good idea on a day to day basis. With a lot of similarities with neighbours such as Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, there’s a lot of flavours to experience here. Public transport is generally safe in Panama, but do be careful on buses and bus stops since that's where pickpockets and petty thieves operate. However, they can be a bit of a problem. be safe. In general, as a solo traveller, Panama is surprisingly safe. While Panama’s murder rate is certainly lower than countries link Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, it is still much higher than in most countries. Facts regarding safety in Panama. We left Panama back to the US where there was much MORE covid that Panama. Avoid poorly lit and deserted areas. Have traveled there a few times now and it felt very safe. There are parts of this country that you should definitely avoid such as the border region between Panama and Colombia, (considered to be extraordinarily dangerous due to the presence of Colombian rebel groups and drug traffickers), most of the city of Colon, El Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, and Curundu and El Marañón neighborhoods which are poor and crime-ridden areas. Why not get a quote from them yourself? Whilst it is safe to visit, the stats could seem scary. In Panama City, they have just phased out its colourful “Diablos Rojos” or “Red Devils”. Accessing your money may seem simple, especially if you’ve just got one bank account and one card to get to it, but you should consider having multiple bank accounts. The people, the ambience…everything about it.” They found Pedasi to be a sleepy, tranquil town with a welcoming expat community. In fact, having your money stolen from you (or even just losing your own wallet) is something that can genuinely cut a trip short, or at least leave you with sour memories of a country. Just like any other big country you have to be careful off your suranding eras, Been to Panama about ten times and liked it so much I decided to purchase some land and build a house, never felt unsafe in Panama, I actually feel safer there than in the states. Don’t push yourself too much. Here are our Panama solo travel tips to help it go smoothly…. Just like the states! There are, however, some things that you should be aware of to make sure that you’re as safe as can be. The tap water in Panama is mostly safe to drink. Answer 1 of 14: My husband and I recently booked a trip to Panama in April 2019. You can buy same-day bus tickets from the station you’re departing. It’s really just not worth driving in any Panamanian city. Answer 1 of 11: We - an elderly couple of 62 & 70 - are planning to visit Panama this winter. It runs from April to November and can result in flooding and landslides, especially in rural areas. Choose your hotel, hostel or Airbnb ahead of time so you’re not last-minute booking a less-secure place. I love my country but it has really declined since the Americans left. country people are the best. Panama is a wonderful country. Much better than a lot of major countries especially the US. If you want to shop around a little, then read up on competing companies and what they can offer. If you do have an accident, do not move your vehicle until after the police have arrived even if it’s blocking traffic and people are honking. Be extra careful at beaches and ensure that your children don’t go too far from you at any time. Solo female travel in Panama may seem like a distant dream, but if you’re travelled solo anywhere in Latin America before, you will know the sort of vibe to expect in this country. The short answer is YES. then read up on competing companies and what they can offer. Is Panama in general an unsafe country to travel? A drastic change in diet can cause you an upset stomach, so we would recommend that you don’t go in too hard when you first get to Panama. Your email address will not be published. Other improved conditions have been reported in Panama. A mix of private and public facilities, there’s not a lot you’ll find wrong with it – especially in Panama City. I have traveled many areas of the country and no problems. In the Boquete highlands, there’s lower humidity but temperatures often soar way into the 90s during the drier months. Spent a lot of time in the “Club Florida”. © 2020 Copyright by Travel Safe - Abroad. However, crime rates are high, and it’s not just the petty crime that’s the issue: violent crime is a common issue in Panama, though it’s on its way to getting eradicated. Generally, Panama is a safe country to visit. Your email address will not be published. It begins at the end of the Pan-American Highway (past Yaviza, about 230 km southeast of Panama City) and ends at the Colombian border. Nature can pose a risk too, with everything from rainy season and riptides, to dense jungle and nasty critters to consider on your trip to Panama. I want to travel to Panama but I have no lot. It’s not always great (getting lonely and homesick can happen), but it’s a rewarding thing. Whilst older children will enjoy the exciting, adventurous side of this place – from exploring the cities to zip-lining through jungles. There are mixes of influence from indigenous people, Spanish and African culinary traditions. If you’re hankering for something familiar, then you may want to check out some of Panama’s Chinese cuisine. Either way, you won’t be with people 100% of the time, so it pays to be even more cautious than you usually would be. Tourist police in the most visited areas (including Panama City, of course) make sure that visitors not only feel but are more secure. Trafficking is a serious business, and as such poses a real threat to unwitting travelers.\"No me mates, esas drogas no son mías!\" which translates to, \"Don't Shoot, the drugs aren't mine!\"You may not get shot by the police for drug possession, but it is a serious crime to be in possession of even very small quantities of … It is one of the main factors in the country’s economy. With that in mind, having good medical travel insurance is a must. They go out of their way to please you. One factor that I always consider when booking accommodation, is how easy it will be to socialise. Of course, it’s not all amazing all the time. Is it safe to travel to Panama? In total therefore I spent around $15,6 a night. Is it safe to go to Panama City? Panama is a small and narrow country, with a pretty good-sized mountain range running down the middle. Home » Central America & Caribbean » Panama » Travel Safety. Healthcare in Panama is some of the best in Latin America. Keep clear of deserted areas and poorly lit streets at night. The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. But please, do not be put off. If you want to rent a car in Panama, you have to be over 25 years old and have a valid driving license. Travel mishaps can and do happen and it is well worth thinking about insurance before you leave home. Nature can pose a significant risk to your safety in Panama especially if you don’t know what you’re up against. Opened in 2014, El Metro serves 16 stations across two lines: one runs west-east from Albrook to San Isidra, the other runs between Albrook the City of Knowledge. If you’re a woman thinking of an adventure in Panama, then we wouldn’t advise you against it. These are usually big, air-conditioned, Mercedes Benz buses – some even come with reclining seats. We love the simplicity involved with this one. When it comes to ceviche – which is basically a raw fish of some kind mixed with a load of other ingredients – make sure it’s fresh. Don't take a vehicle that is not clearly identified as a taxi. It can be easy to find yourself in a relatively deserted, quiet neighbourhood that isn’t so “good” as others, and that’s something that can pose a serious risk to your safety. However, crime rates are high, and it’s not just the petty crime that’s the issue: violent crime is a common issue in Panama, though it’s on its way to getting eradicated. There’s a high rate of street crime here that means heightened vigilance, or altogether avoidance – unless with a guide or tour group (in certain areas, at least). Background Information. Whilst neighbouring Costa Rica does attract a lot of families on vacation, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to Panama. When you’re travelling on a long distance bus, it’s a good idea to sit next to a female or a family. Although at night the main streets and plazas and districts with bars and restaurants are safe, visitors should be more cautious after dark, especially if they’re moving north along Avenida Central towards El Chorillo. Panama : safe ? ‘Express kidnappings’ are also high and apparently 90% of them go unreported. Therefore we will be returning as soon as possible. You can even catch the Metrobus from Albrook International Airport to pretty much any community around the capital. Be careful about going out to bars at night. Almost never happens unless you visit some ghetto places which are very uncommon even in the capital Panama City. If we are nice or not depends if you travel to the interior. It’s becoming more and more important for the country, as tourism is currently slated to generate upwards of USD $104 million. Be wary of taxis. Although there haven't been any terrorist attacks in Panama's recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out so remain vigilant at all times. Panama’s geography makes it a vital transit point for illegal trade in the region. The crime and trash everywhere is high. Many drownings are reported each year, 80% of which caused by riptides. It will also make you stand out as a target with a lot of stuff to steal. Signs are usually not to be found anywhere, so a good GPS is very important. Feeling Safe and Welcomed in Small Town Panama. Honduras and El Salvador are extremely violent countries and the unsafest in Latin America. The people are friendly and willing to help you when you have questions. My wife and I walked a lot, including at night, took taxies and Ubers a real bargain. Edited: 7:37 pm, November 23, 2020 Domestic violence is also a big issue in the country. Express kidnappings wherein they take you to am atm, demand 300.00 and then let you go. Some men may hassle you in Panama, mainly in terms of flirtatious comments, horn honking, staring and (bizarrely) hissing. Panama, like everywhere, does have some crime, but it is usually petty theft. Traffic is very heavy, especially around peak hours, and there are a number of construction works throughout the city that worsens the situation in some areas. Speaking of which…. I liked it a lot. Avoid these and find yourself a local restaurant that doesn’t offer up bland international cuisine. It may be a good time to base yourself here, in fact, to see it all happen. Mostly you’re going to be fine eating Panamanian food. In Panama, solo travel is totally doable. Just about any tourist apartment for rent is going to be in a safe part of town. Even though you’ve got this whole tick list of things to do (probably), know that you don’t have to do everything your guidebook recommends. Ease yourself into the new cuisine and you should be fine. Tours are definitely an option for anybody travelling to the country with their family, but to make things even safer for yourself. Colón is infamous for its high crime rates, as are neighborhoods in Panama City, including El Chorillo and San Miguelito. Often with English signage outside and maybe a tout trying to get you in, at these places the focus is on profit, not on hygiene or quality. Much racial prejudice, hi crime and a very corrupt Oligarchic government. You might hear or see a word or two when backpacking in Panama’s more off the beaten track places (e.g. Secondly, head online: ask questions on expat forums, research safe places to live, what sorts of jobs you can do in Panama, and then make your decision. Do not get into taxis that wait outside of hotels or malls. Also, don’t be surprised if a taxi driver refuses to take you to a certain location. You can get around the country quite easily and without too much trouble, being able to get to most destinations you want to see with relative ease. Although not as safe as Cuba, where crime (violent or non-violent) is all but non-existent and rated the safest county in the Western Hemisphere, Panama is a lot safer than Mexico and Guatemala. There are certain areas you don't want to venture in, Chorillo for example but no reason for you to be in that area. This way you can tell that the food has been cooked freshly. Though the buses are fancy and safe, the bus stations themselves are hotbeds for crime, so alighting and departing (and waiting) is when you’ll need to be vigilant. You might want to consider making friends with some fellow travellers at your accommodation, so you can travel around and explore the country together. Scams are very common in Panama, so double check your change, never pay anything upfront and negotiate everything in advance. It’s a great way to introduce this region to your children. Non-Native speakers will vary in proficiency but they take you on the streets of Panama tourists. Spoken by nearly every citizen of the country down all of the journey very few surfaced roads a Spanish... City to Colon, Panama is statistically speaking one of our favourite things this! Back to colonial times yourself means that you agree upon a price with the taxi all yourself... Rewarding thing leading from Bocas del Toro you can travel at your hostel or Airbnb ahead time... 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