Destination guide

Travel guide: Panama


Adam Reeder/ via Flickr


Whether you’re wondering what to pack, what foods to try, or anything else, our Panama travel guide has you covered. 

The basics

  • Weather: Fall 72–86° F | Winter 72–88° F | Spring 75–90° F | Summer 73–88° F
  • Language(s): Spanish
  • Currency: US Dollar $$
  • Cash or card: Cash
  • $5 will buy you: A meal from a food stand—they usually come with chicken, rice, beans, and a drink!
  • $ to bring per day: $20



  • Packing list: Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, beach towel, bug spray, quick-drying clothes, light raincoat/poncho, waterproof shoes, bathing suit, activewear, sneakers/hiking shoes
  • We wish we packed: A rain poncho—not stylish, but more practical than a raincoat when it’s so warm and the rain is heavy
  • We wish we left behind: A flimsy umbrella—unless your umbrella is sturdy, it won’t be any help in the downpours



Cecilia Rodrigues/ via Flickr

The Food

  • Average cost of lunch: $10–$15
  • Tipping: 10% at restaurants
  • Atmosphere: Relaxed, but not slow
  • You HAVE to try: Ropa vieja, plantains, yuca frita, ceviche
  • Other advice: A lot of the food is very Americanized, but it’s definitely worth seeking out the local food!


Rita Willaert/ via Flickr


Everything else

  • Total spend on souvenirs: $30–$50
  • Coolest thing you bought: A woven basket and a mola
  • Best cheap/free thing to do: Check out the fish market!
  • Best part: Taking hand-carved canoes on the river and meeting locals

Julia Karam

Julia traveled with EF in 2015 and started in a content marketing co-op at EF Tours while in college. She has since studied abroad in Florence, Italy, traveled to 10+ countries, and now works as a Tour Consultant with EF Tours.

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