Living in Panama guide for expats

All the information you need to relocate and live in Panama.

Our selection of articles for expatriation in Panama

Opening a bank account in Panama

Opening a bank account is natural part of the process of living in a new country. It provides convenience, simplifies matters and ...

Healthcare in Panama

Panama has a modern and developed healthcare system in line with international standards. The government is investing heavily in ...

Find a job in Panama

The most important thing about finding a job in Panama is to do it before you move there – and it may be a challenge. Like ...

Moving to Panama with your pet

Bringing your pets to Panama is permitted, so long as certain procedures are followed. What follows is a guide; your vet at home ...

Customs in Panama

It is advisable to seek customs information through the official channels before travelling to Panama. Because this is such a ...

Investing in Panama

Panama is well known throughout the world as a place where professional investors can do business, and in order to encourage ...

Setting up a business in Panama

Panama is an excellent place for an entrepreneur. Setting up a company is not difficult, the available workforce is suitable to ...

Tax in Panama

Panama is famous for being a low tax area, but that doesn't mean it is tax free. Residents have to pay not only income tax, but ...

Transport in Panama

There are different means of transport in Panama: planes, trains, subway, bus, taxi, etc. You can choose among these according to ...

Travelling to Panama

Getting to Panama by air means arriving at Tocumen airport, near the capital, Panama City. The airport code is Pty (the first ...

Visas for Panama

There are different types of residency visas in Panama, including those for retirees and others for people wishing to work there ...

Work in Panama City

Panama has a wide range of industries providing job opportunities for expats – bearing in mind that the country puts its ...

Panama's labour market

Panama's unemployment rate in recent years has hovered just above 5%, a rate which many employers consider about right ...

Phones in Panama

Telecommunications trends in Panama are similar to those throughout the developed world, with mobile phones everywhere you look ...

Professional visas in Panama

To work in Panama you need an appropriate visa, and although the government protects the interests of its own talent, if you have ...

About Panama

The capital, Panama City, is referred to within the country as simply Panama. The city's abbreviation is Pty (P being the first letter of the full name and ty the last two.)

Electricity, water supply and the internet are reliable, with occasional short blips.


In 2017, Panama had a population of just over 4 million with a high concentration of expatriates in certain regions. The country's official language is Spanish. English is also spoken in some businesses and hotels, but life is easier with at least an elementary knowledge of Spanish. There is a wide mix of ethnicities, including a significant Native American population.

Most Panamanians are accustomed to having foreigners wandering around and are friendly and helpful. However, most don't speak English or any language other than Spanish, so the onus is on the foreigner to try to learn some Spanish. Making an attempt is always well received, even if you're not very good, and if all else fails, they will direct you to someone who may be able to help.

Panama's economy

Panama has one of Central America's strongest economies. The most successful industries include gold and copper mining, and finance, with a somewhat checkered history in that area, which the country has vowed to address in the wake of the Panama Papers controversy. The Panama Canal is a huge source of revenue and employment.

The currency is the balboa, which is linked to the US dollar at the rate of 1/1, so one balboa is the same as one dollar and US dollar bills are accepted as standard. Shops, restaurants, hotels etc. often display their prices as dollars and the locals will often speak to you in English and talk in terms of dollars.


Panama is a parliamentary republic. All of the country's citizens who are more than 18 years old are eligible to vote. Since the end of the Noriega dictatorship in 1989, Panama has enjoyed relative political stability.

Panama's climate

Panama has a tropical climate with uniform temperatures. The temperature rarely exceeds 32°C during the dry season, varying between a minimum of 24°C in the morning and a maximum of 30°C in the afternoon. Temperatures are lower on the Caribbean side and near the hills, causing snow formations in the Cordillera de Talamanca region.

Seasons are not clearly marked, but the rainy season usually lasts approximately from April to December.

Quick Information

Capital : Panama City
Official Languages : Spanish; Castilian , English
Currency : Balboa
Area : 78200 Km2
Population : 3410676
Calling Code : +507
Timezone : America/Panama

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