Good to know before come to Panama
ATM AND CREDIT CARDS
Just major hotels and restaurants of the capital city and a few places in the rest of the country accept credit card payments.
There are several ATM (red sign SISTEMA CLAVE) but not in some small village hence take enough cash before going in location like San Blas, Santa Catalina, Boca Brava and others.
You can use cards from these networks: Plus, Cirrus, Mastercard,Visa and Amex.
The best place to exchange foreign currencies is Banco Nacional in the airport of Tocumen.
In Panama City there's some house exchange (casa de cambio) , otherwise it is hard to exchange money in the rest of the country.
TAXES & TIPS
A tax of 10% is added to the price of hotel room and sum 7% to all non food products, 10% to alcoholics.
Tips are usually around 10% of the bill: is not necessary in small coffee shop and casual places.
Panama does not observe daylight saving time, therefore is 5 hours behind Greenwich from October to late March and 6 from April to October.
Panama is also 1 hour ahead of the rest of Central America, included Costa Rica: don't forget to reset your watch!
The official language in Panama is Spanish.
Tourist operators, hotels and restaurants employees generally speak English, while the rest of population not very often.
In addition there are several indigenous languages spoken mostly in the Comarcas, the Indian autonomous regions: some people of these groups do not speak Spanish at all.
FACTS & FIGURES
Since 2012 Panama uses the metric system for weights and measures.
Electrical current is 110 volts and plugs are round 2 pin, the same of USA.