Panama is the southernmost country in Central America . It is bordered to the east by Colombia and on the west by Costa Rica. There are 9 provinces and 2 territories: Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Ngöbe-Bugle, Panama, Kuna Yala (San Blas ) and Veraguas. Panama is known in Europe, especially for the Panama Canal. But Panama has more to offer than just the channel. Panama has both the Caribbean as is also wonderful beaches on the Pacific coast and the land of national parks and tropical rain forests. Panama is a paradise for birds and bird watchers particularly popular. However, water sports and nature enthusiasts can get their money in Panama. Panama has a lot to offer historically: developed here with no advanced civilizations like the Maya or the Inca. Only with the arrival of the Spaniards developed in some regions (again) dense “forests”. Panamá la Vieja is the impressive ruins of the former Spanish trade hub in Central America.
For entry to Panama require EU citizens and Swiss for at least 6 months valid passport. Officially, a valid return or onward ticket is required, but this is, especially at the international airport in Panama City, controlled, rarely. When entering by land from Costa Rica, but this is very well controlled. It is also necessary, whichever least $ 500 cash or a credit card. An entry by land from Colombia is currently not possible. There are between Panama and Colombia is no road but only the Darien Trek (a narrow path through the middle of the rain forest), the crossing of this road is extremely dangerous and many European countries warn of the crossing, because penetrate repeatedly Colombian paramilitaries and it always comes back to fighting with Panamanian border units.
Spanish without a trip through Panama is relatively difficult. English is only on the islands of Bocas del Toro said. Also in Panama City and Boquete you always find people who know English. Everywhere else, but hardly anyone can English. A little help is our Spanish phrasebook. For fashion-lovers, techies and gourmets is Panama City, a shopper’s paradise – there are in the inner city and at airports with huge shopping malls as well as all labels and products around the world (really huge!). Everyday items can be found everywhere in kiosks and small shops, called Super Mini. In the country you will find most good supermarkets, where you get items for daily use. Only in very remote villages are found mostly only the most necessary.
Popular souvenirs are mainly Mola and the Panama hat. The mola is a handmade embroidery, embellished blouses of the Kuna Indians. The Kuna Mola on offer throughout Panama. Buying a popular place to Mola and other handicrafts is El Valle . The Panama hat, which actually consists of Ecuador is being sold throughout Panama and is the traditional headgear of the men in Panama.
The official currency in Panama is the Balboa, at least theoretically. This only exists in metallic form and is 1:1 pegged to the U.S. dollar, which is the main means of payment. The Balboa coins look like the U.S. dollar coins as change anyway you get the same dollars. An exchange dollar Balboa is so completely unnecessary. Credit in the capital and at tourist centers usually accepted (especially Visa and MasterCard), in more remote areas you should always have enough cash (dollars) have along.
Although Panama is specified as a country that accepts Maestro cards, this is not currently the case. (As of 10-2010) The list of countries with Maestro is not valid. All banks use the same network, so there is nothing from one bank to another to go. Money on machines you do not get with Maestro cards (May 2011). The Federal Foreign Office website provides current information.
Panama offers hotels for every budget. Of the international luxury chains to simple hostels, everything can be found in Panama. Especially in the capital there are several hotels. But on land there is no shortage of hotel rooms. A reservation is not usually necessary. Only in the lower price range, it is sometimes scarce. It should be on the Bocas del Toro vorreservieren, because there is being attracted to a lot of tourists, hotel rooms and at times can be in short supply. The quality of the hotel room is usually fine. In the capital, but one should be careful that you do not get lost in an hour hotel, these are in fact quite common.