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Capital City: Panama City

PANAMA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Tocumen International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen) (IATA: PTY, ICAO: MPTO) is an international airport located 24 km (15 miles) from Panama City, Panama.

OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF THE EVENT

Copa airlines fly in the americas to 66 destinations in 29 countries in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean, and the airline has a strategic alliance with United Airlines. Both are  members of Star Alliance airlines network. If you are traveling from another continent you can make connections with Copa Airlines and apply the 15% discount travel fraction using the discount code.


15% discount is available with the official airline of the event:


Use Discount Code (Tour Code): C5682

Buy your ticket online at: www.copaair.com


GENERAL INFORMATION

Panama is an isthmus with an extension of 77,052 km² (29,750 square miles). This is where the Central American mountain range (the Central Range) ends and gives way to the first few hills that grow southward to form the great Andes range. Most of Panama's territory is made up of sea-level plateaus and plains, covered by large prairies and dense forests.

WATER

Bottled water is recommended outside Panama City.

CURRENCY 

Panama uses the US dollar as its currency. 

The official currency in Panama is the Balboa (B/.). It has the same value as the American dollar and it exists only as coins. American US coins and bills are valid throughout the territory.

Maybe because of the dollar peg, exchange for other currencies is less usual than in other countries. In any case, there are exchange offices where you can buy balboas, i.e. dollars, in exchange for euros, Canadian dollars, or other commonly used currencies.

ATMs generally accept cards with the plus sign and MasterCard as well as VISA. 

TIPPING

The standard tipping rate in Panama is around 10% of the bill, though in small cafés and more casual places, tipping is not necessary. Taxi drivers do not expect tips.

CLIMATE

Not everything is balanced in Panama. From the cold lands of Boquete to the scorching heat of the Atlantic coast. Technically, the climate is humid tropical and maritime. In some areas, it is temperate tropical (Highlands) and dry tropical (Altos de Campana National Park).

There are only two seasons: the dry season, known as "summer" (January to March), when the water withdraws and there is a cool breeze; and the rainy season, known as "winter" (April to December), when it rains more than you can imagine and the heat is a little more humid.
These two seasons set the pace in Panama. Trips to the beach, family activities, even clothes and umbrellas get planned according to the season.

CLOTHING

We recommend light clothing. The business dress is formal: we recommend a light jacket for men and a suit or pants outfit for women. It is recommended to use solar protector. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are necessary if you plan to visit the coast.

DRESS CODE FOR SPEAKERS 

We recommend light casual clothing, keep in mind that hotels and venue rooms  air conditioning temperture averagae  is 16 to 20 Centigrades.(60,8  to 68 Fahrenheit).  Outside temperature range  during the day  is  30 up 36 Centigrades ( 86 to 96.8 Fahrenheit) 

SECURITY

In general means, Panama is considered a relatively secure place to visit among other cities in Latin America, but there is a some risk of robbery, so common sense is recommended when visiting this country. Try to use cabs or taxis when moving to the different places.

Police Department: 104

VOLTAGE

Electric power in Panama uses 110/120 volts. Electric appliances use Japanese-type plugs (two parallel bars). You can buy plug adapters in any hardware store, or even small power converters for appliances that need a voltage other than 110.

INTERNATIONAL DIALING CODE FOR CALLING PANAMA FROM ABROAD

+ 507

As for any international call, dial 00 first, then 507 and the number in Panama you wish to call. Remember that there are no city or province codes in Panama. In some countries, there is an additional prefix that corresponds to the service provider.

INTERNET ACCESS

At the recommended  hotels and meeting venue  wireless internet is  available.

NATURAL DISASTERS

The natural disaster rate in Panama contrasts with that of other Central American and Caribbean countries in two basic points:
1. The small number of seismic events in Panama's history, as well as their intensity and the damage they caused.
2. Panama is outside the hurricane formation and development path. It only gets some adjacent winds and storms.
However, there are considerable floods in the capital city and its surrounding areas. These tend to happen regularly during the rainiest months: October and November.

IMMIGRATION

Immigration procedures vary according to your country of origin and the type of visa you apply for. The first step we recommend is to check whether you need a visa to enter this country. This link will let you find your country of origin in a list and its immigration terms with Panama:

http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/panama
http://www.hablayapanama.com/faqs/panama-visas/

If you do not need a visa, things will be easier for you: you just need your valid passport, a return ticket and a tourist card. It costs $5.00, it is valid for 30 days and you can ask for a 90-day extension. You can buy it from the airline or upon arriving at Tocumen Airport, in the Immigration Department. For further details, Please review the links aforementioned.

IMMUNIZATION

Before travelling to Panama, you should consult your healthcare provider to take advice as to which vaccines you might need before travelling to Panama.

According to Resolution No. 840 dated Oct. 17, 2008 from the Ministry Of Health of the Republic of Panama, it is recommended to apply the vaccine against the Yellow Fever to all travelers coming from and going to the following countries ten (10) days before travelling:

South America:   Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leona, and Sudan

Contraindications for application of the vaccine against yellow fever are:

  1. Infants under one year of age
  2.  60 years old people and older
  3.  Pregnancy
  4. Mothers nursing children under one year of age
  5. History of egg allergy, gelatin, erythromycin and kanamycin
  6. Conditioning factors of immunosuppression (infection with HIV, leukemia, lymphoma, generalized malignancy, chemotherapy, radiation, use of steroids for 20 or more milligrams per day and more than two-week cycle).
  7. Persons with history of the thymus disease  (gravis, thymoma, or previous thymectomy )
  8. Family history of adverse events associated with vaccination against yellow fever.

Travelers with above conditions, must submit a   certification of vaccine contraindications  in the official  format of the country,   with the seal and signature of the treating Doctor, duly certified by the Regional Directors of Health.

TRAVELLING WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS

Travelers with a chronic illness should follow some extra precautions, especially when travelling abroad. These are some recommendations of the Ministry of Health :

• Always carry the medication that you take regularly.
• Prescription medications should be kept in hand luggage and with its original packaging.
• If possible, the travelers should bring the medication in duplicate in checked baggage , in case of loss .
• In the documentation, the travelers must include the name and contact details of their doctor . must carry documents that specify their medical condition, treatment , the generic name of the medication and the prescribed doses. This information should be saved in an electronic format that can be retrieved from any remote device .
• If additional items are needed , such as syringes or other medical equipment , it is recommended that the passenger brings a medical report (preferably in English) , which certifies the need to use it, when asked at customs or any safety control .

HEALTH INSURANCE / TRAVEL INSURANCE

Be sure you have travel insurance in case of accident, sickness and other unforeseen events.

For more information click here.

More general information about Panama at:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Panama_City