about panama

REPUBLIC OF PANAMA

Capital: Panama City

MONETARY UNIT

The balboa is the national unit of account. Panama issues no paper money, and US notes are legal tender (1 Balboa = 1 USD).

CLIMATE

Panama is tropical, the annual average temperature on both coasts is 29°c (81°f). Humidity is quite high, averaging 80%.

Rainfall averages 178 cm (70 in) in Panama City.

The period of lightest rainfall is from January to April.

POPULATION

The population of Panama, based on the 2010 population census was estimated at 3,405,813.

GEOGRAPHY

The Republic of Panama is a large isthmus strip with a total area of 75,517 km², and 2,210 km² of surface waters, reaching 78,200 km² of total territory. Panama is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and to the south by the Pacific Ocean. Panama shares its eastern border with the Republic of Colombia, and is bordered on the west by the Republic of Costa Rica.

LANGUAGES

Spanish, the official language of Panama, is spoken by over 90% of the people, but English is a common second language, spoken by most Panamanian professionals and businesspeople.

ECONOMY

Panama’s economy is one of the most stable in America. The main economic activities are financial, tourism and logistics, which represent 75% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). From 2003 to 2009 the GDP doubled, propelled by high foreign and domestic investment, coupled with the tourism and logistics industries. According to the Bank, the IMF and the UN, the country has the highest per capita income in Central America, which is about $13,090; it is also the largest exporter and importer at the regional level, according to ECLAC. The GDP has enjoyed a sustained growth for more than twenty years in a row (1989). The country is classified in the category of investment grade by these credit rating companies: Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings.

TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION

Travel facilities within Panama are good; Panama City and Colón are only one hour apart by road or rail. In addition to the Panama Canal itself, tourism attractions include Panama City and its skyline, beach resorts in Rio Hato, Playa Blanca, Playa Bonita, Buenaventura, the Pearls Archipelago and San Blas Islands, Casco Viejo (Old Town), the ruins of Portobelo and Panama Viejo, the Causeway in Amador, El Valle de Anton and Boquete for those who love the mountains. Water sports, tennis, golf, and horse racing are also very popular. Nature treks and historic tours also attract many visitors to Panama.

VISA

You may enter Panama without applying for a Panamanian visa If you have a multiple visa to any of the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and any of the member countries of the European Union. You can enter the country with a tourist card.

The visa and the passport must be valid at least 6 months prior the date of entering Panama.

Notice that you must have entered the country that issued the visa at least once, prior your entry into Panama.

Besides those things, you will be required:

  • An invitation letter to the event (when you register for the World Maritime Day Parallel Event, you can apply for this letter)
  • A return ticket
  • A hotel booking / an address where you will stay in Panama City
For more information about Panama sights, history,
culture and tourism attractions please visit
www.visitpanama.com
www.atp.gob.pa