The Republic of Panama is located in the center of the Western Hemisphere under the following coordinates: 7 176 12 07 and 9 176 38 46 North, 77 176 09 24 and 83 176 03 07 West. Its Borders are: to the North, the Caribbean Sea; to the East, the Republic of Colombia; to the South with the Pacific Ocean and to the West with the Republic of Costa Rica. Panama is the link between Central America and South America, constituting an isthmus of 80 km. wide in its narrower section.
Official Name: Republic of Panama.
Capital: Panama City.
Area, Population and Density: 75,517 square Km; the total population is 2,839,177, 81 persons/square mi.
Age Distribution (%): 0-14 years 37.0%, 15-59 years 56.3%, 60+ years 6.7%
Political Division: 9 provinces and 5 indigenous communities.
Government: constitutional democracy, centralized Republic
Legal System: based on the civilian legal system, judicial revision of legislative acts in the Supreme Court. Accepting international tribunal jurisdiction, except in some instances.
Language: the official language is Spanish. However, many Panamanians speak English.
Literacy Rate: 90%
Weather: Panamanian weather is tropical, and uniform throughout the year. The average temperature is 27 degrees C.
Religion: there is an absolute freedom of Religion in Panama. Most Panamanians are Roman Catholic. However, due to the diversity in the country, you can find all kinds of temples of worship throughout the country.
Time Zone: the time in Panama all year long is the same as the EST (GMT -5). We do not observe Daylight Savings Time.
Currency: the U. S. dollar. The Panamanian currencies are equivalent in size and value to those of the U. S. A.
Commerce: they are generally open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. Some open on Sundays.
Gratuities: from 10% to 15% of the bill, is the suggested amount.
Driving License: the visitors can drive up to 90 days with foreign license.
Electricity: 110 volts; 60 cycles.
Dress Code: light clothing is recommended. Dress attire for business is formal: we recommend a light suit for men and for women a light skirt or pants outfit. You should consider a straw hat and sunglasses if you are going to the beach.
How to get to Panama: the best way to get to Panama is through air travel. Copa Airlines, Continental Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Iberia have daily flights to Panama. If you are driving, you can get here through the Inter-American Highway that runs through Central America. If you are coming by sea, you can disembark in one of our many ports.