Capital: Panama City
Area: 75,420 sq km
Climate: tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)
Population: 3,460,462 (July 2011 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), English
Government type: constitutional democracy
Independence Day: 3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain on 28 November 1821)
Currency: Balboa (PAB)
GDP: $44.82 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $12,700 (2010 est.)
Information for Foreign Students in Panama
Obtaining a Visa
We recommend travellers to check visa requirements contacting the Embassy or going on its website.
Embassy of the Republic of Panama in the UK: www.panaconsul.com
Embassy of the Republic of Panama in the USA: www.embassyofpanama.org
Link for flats: http://www.knightsbridgeinvest.com/panamarental/panama-rentals
Tap water is not safe to drink outside the capital without being boiled, filtered or chemically disinfected, and food should be eaten peeled, cooked and piping hot. Medical facilities are good in Panama City, but less in smaller cities. Quality control of pharmaceuticals in Panama is inadequate, so travellers are advised to bring a sufficient supply of their own medications from home.
MasterCard and Visa are the most commonly used, but American Express and Diners Club are also accepted. Concerning travellers cheques to avoid additional exchange rate charges, visitors are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.
It is well organized, since extensive bus and minibus services run in Panama City. There is a flat fare with coin-operated turnstiles at the entrances of most buses.
Internet cafes exist in main urban areas. Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good.