An official website of the United States government

Travel in Panama
May 1, 2019

Tourist Hotline

The National Tourism Authority of Panama has established a new hotline for tourists.  Dial 178 from any telephone to receive information on hotels and tourism, visa policies and procedures for Panama, or to report a crime and receive assistance from the Panamanian authorities.  English-speaking operators are available.

Entry/Exit Requirements

Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Panama page for detailed information about Entry/Exit Requirements, Safety and Security, Medical Facilities, Traffic Safety, and a number of other issues.

For further information about Panamanian laws and regulations, please visit the Embassy of Panama website or the website of Panama’s National Migration Service.

Traveling with Minors- Minors (children under 18) who are Panamanian citizens (including dual citizens) or legal residents of Panama are required to present both parents’ identification documents, birth certificates, and notarized consent (in Spanish) in order to exit the country if not accompanied by both parents. The consent must also be apostilled if it was signed in the United States. A child born in Panama may automatically obtain Panamanian citizenship. Non-resident foreign minors are excluded from these provisions.

Safety Travel Articles

The Consular Affairs/Office of Policy Coordination (CA/P) compiles news articles chosen for their general interest to Americans who travel. The articles address safe travel, are informative and memorable, and appeal to wide audience.  Although State is not the author of these articles, CA/P believes the information in these types of articles are useful and informative.

Tips to avoid being victimized on vacation. “No one knows better than the police which tricks criminals are using to prey on unsuspecting tourists.”

12 lessons learned from a life on the road. “Rule No. 1: Travel is no fun. Really. If you think it’s all about smiling stewardesses attending to your every whim, friendly hotels offering fawning service, and romantic sunsets on the beach, it’s time for a reality check.”

Arrested abroad: A rare snapshot of trips gone wrong. “If getting arrested is your measure of trouble, the answer is Mexico. More specifically, it’s Tijuana, followed by Guadalajara, Nuevo Laredo and, across the Atlantic, London.”

Passport rule helps collect child support. “The new passport requirements that have complicated life this summer for thousands of travelers have also uncovered untold numbers of child support scofflaws and forced them to pay millions.”

Foreign roads can be deadly for U.S. travelers. “Motor vehicle crashes — not crime or terrorism — are the No. 1 killer of healthy Americans in foreign countries. And the threat to travelers is poised to increase dramatically as worldwide economic growth gives more people access to motor vehicles.”

If kids fly solo, get youth to it. “How the Sims kids ended up fending for themselves in Salt Lake City is an object lesson for anyone putting kids, especially teens, on flights alone this summer — and we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of children winging their way between divorced parents, to camps, adventure trips and more — when there are unprecedented delays, missed connections and canceled flights derailing even seasoned travelers.”


Travel by Boat or Yacht in Coastal Areas

Notice to U.S. boaters: The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens navigating Panamanian waters on private vessels to adhere to regulations established by the Government of Panama.

These include respecting the length of time the Government of Panama grants transiting crews to remain in country, and adhering to the Panamanian Government’s prohibition against operating unlicensed businesses from foreign vessels. The Embassy has received reports of crews and vessels overstaying their legal time limit in Panama, particularly in the San Blas Islands area, and engaging in tourism-related businesses without proper permits.

Information on Panamanian Government regulations is available to arriving mariners at Panama’s Ports of Entry.  Please note that there are registration fees required for the use of your boat in some coastal areas.

Additional Assitance