Airport Arrival, Transportation, Visas and Immigration

US, Canadian and EU citizens only need a valid passport to gain entry for 180 days, which you can extend another 180 days by either briefly leaving Panama and coming back, or by going to the Ministry of Immigration. Citizens of other countries should consult with the Panamanian consulate or embassy in their home country to obtain the latest information on entry requirements. In some cases you will need a visa.

Getting around Panama City

We don't recommend renting a car to go around Panama City if this is your first visit to Panama. The main reason is that the signage is poor- you will get lost. Secondly, driving in Panama City is difficult- chaotic is a good word to describe it. (Driving outside Panama City is fine). The alternative is to take taxis which are inexpensive and easy to find.

panama taxi

There is an official taxi stand in the exit area after you pass through customs. It costs $25-$35 for the 20 minute taxi ride into Panama City. You can also ask for a shared ride that costs around $15. These official taxis are safe and fairly reliable. From outside your hotel, you can flag one down easily. You can go just about anywhere in Panama City for $10 or less. Make sure you take only taxis that are painted yellow with a number on them. If you don't speak Spanish, have some nice personnel at your hotel write the directions in Spanish for your taxi driver.

Private Taxi Service: If your Spanish is not great or you just want to relax and leave everything in capable hands, we recommend you hire “personalized” ground transportation and sight-seeing service by private taxi service. From the minute you touch Panamanian soil, you will have a knowledgeable and English-speaking driver/guide at the Tocumen International airport to receive and assist you. Their rates are very reasonable- for example $15 an hour for your private taxi with an English speaking, knowledgeable guide. Easy Travel offers transportation throughout Panama City and other nearby popular destinations.