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FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  • When is the best time to visit Panama?
    Panama has a dry and a rainy season. The dry season typically runs from end of December thru March. Temperatures all year round hover in the high 80s to low 90’s. When it does rain from April through December, it may rain for a short period of time, a couple of hours or maybe somewhere else in Panama and you will only see sun and clouds. downpour. It will always be 85 - 90 degrees, hot and humid.
  • In what time zone is Panama located?
    Geographically, it is in the Eastern Time zone. However, since Panama does not change their clocks for Daylight Savings Time, they are 1 hour behind or on Central time from March thru November.
  • How do I get to the city from the airport?
    There are plenty of choices to choose from when you are ready to leave the airport. You can choose to use Uber, take a taxi or you can arrange for a driver prior to your arrival. You can also rent a car from one of the many companies operating in Panama. See our Transportation page for more options.
  • Are the car rental prices advertised accurate?
    The daily rates are accurate however there are mandatory third party insurances that can range from $18 - $25 per day. Be sure to check with the rental agencies when making reservations.
  • Are there hotels near the Jewish neighborhoods?
    Yes, there are many hotels within a short walking distance to the synagogues and kosher restaurants in Paitilla, Punta Pacifica, Marbella & Bella Vista. See the Hotels page for the ones that are listed in Panama City.
  • Are there daily minyanim at the synagogues?
    There are regular services throughout the week and Shabbat. Davening times are posted on each of the shuls on the website. You will need to pre-arrange your security clearance in order to enter a number of the synagogues. Please complete the following form prior to arriving in Panama: Visitors Registration Form. Make sure to select Go Kosher Panama as the "Kosher Tour" in the form.
  • What are the Kashrut symbols to look for on products in Panama?
    The symbol is a K with a crown on top. The color of the symbol indicates whether it is Dairy (BLUE), Meat (RED), Green (PAREVE).
  • Do the dairy restaurants offer Cholov Yisroel?
    La Spezia currently is the only restaurant that offers Cholov Yisroel that is acceptable for those keeping to Ashkenaz standards. Jeffrey's and other establishments may offer some items on their menu that are Cholov Yisroel. The supermarkets carry a full line of Cholov Yisroel products as well.
  • Are there any Kosher establishments near the beach resorts?
    There are currently no restaurants outside of Panama City. There is a supermarket in Coronado that carries a wide selection of kosher packaged items. Many of the restaurants and caterers in Panama City have also begun to deliver to the beach areas on a limited and scheduled basis.
  • Do any hotels offer Shabbat meals?
    Not yet! We are working with several hotels and caterers to provide for arranged meals. At this time, many of the restaurants will be able to provide take out orders for Shabbat meals.
  • Can I use my cell phone?
    You can either subscribe to your US carriers travel plan or purchase a SIM card at the airport from one of several local carriers. You can purchase a SIM card at the airport or save a lot of money and purchase one in the city. If you purchase a Tigo SIM card, you can use the attached instruction to download the Mi Tigo app and load funds onto your SIM card.
  • How far is the Panama Canal from the city?
    The Miraflores Locks is less than a half hour ride by car from the center of Panama City.
  • What is the best time to see boats coming through the canal?
    The schedule changes each day. The morning schedule is completed between 8:00AM - 9:00AM. The boats start arriving in the afternoon as early as 12:30PM and as late as 3:00PM. If you are not going with a guided tour you can check visitcanaldepanama.com for the approximate schedule for that day.
  • Can I go to the beach just for the day?
    Yes - there are a number of islands you can visit. See the Things To Do and Transportation pages for destination and ferry travel times to and from the islands.
  • How far are the beach resorts from Panama City?
    The resorts are approximately 1.5 to 2 hours by car.
  • What is the best way to get to the beach resorts?
    You can arrange with one of he drivers listed on the Transportaion page.
  • How many days should we spend in Panama City?
    You can plan for 2 or 3 days to see the sites in and around Panama City.
  • How do we get to Bocas Del Toro? Boquete? Can we get kosher food there?
    Bocas del Toro and Boquete are a 1 hour flight from the city Both destinations have a Chabad so that you don't need to bring food with you. In Bocas del Toro, the Chabad is on the main island called Isla Colon. They will deliver to many of the hotels and resorts on that island as well as the surrounding islands. There is a delivery charge. In Boquete you can get breakfast and/or lunches at Morton's Bakehouse. You can order dinners to be prepared for delivery or pick up from the Chabad.
  • Do we need to get shots before we travel to Panama?
    No shots are required at this time. (Consult with you medical professional).
  • Do we need to change currencies to use in Panama?
    Panama’s local currency is the Balboa, but the dollar is an accepted currency all through the country. When you do pay with dollar bills, it is likely you will receive coin change in Balboas.
  • Do I need to bring Cash and/or Credit Cards when traveling out of the city?
    The Beach resorts and the larger supermarkets will accept credit cards. When travelling to any of the islands make sure to have cash as the hotels, tour operators and local merchants may not accept credit cards.
  • Are the electric outlets the same as the US, or do we need adapters?
    Yes, they are the same (110 v) and no adapters are needed.
  • Who can I contact in event of a medical emergency?
    There are several hospitals in the immediate Panama City vicinity. Pacífica Salud Hospital Punta Pacífica: Boulevard Pacífica y Vía Punta Darién https://www.pacificasalud.com (Affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medical Center ) Centro Medico Paitilla: Avenida Balboa con calle 53 https://hospitalpaitilla.com/
  • Do I need a negative Covid test if I am vaccinated?
    Travelers will not have to present a negative COVID-19 test for entry as long as they can provide physical or digital proof of at least 2 (two) doses or complete vaccination scheme endorsed by the WHO, EMA and FDA, equal to or greater than 14 days after the last dose.
  • What do I need to do if I am not vaccinated?
    Non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival time in Panama.
  • Do I need any other forms required by the government?
    An affadavit confirming your health and understanding of the Covid control measures MUST be completed on-line. Click here to access the form. You will be asked to show the QR code you receive in a confirmation email after the form is submitted. You may be required to show the email and the hard copy of you CDC vaccination card or the negative test results when checking in for your flight to Panama. In Panama, the QR code will be scanned at immigration control.
  • Do all children need to be tested before traveling to Panama?
    For Children under 18: Children under 5 years of age are exempt from performing any type of test if their parents or guardian comply with the complete vaccination scheme or have a negative test (antigen or PCR). Children over 5 years of age (national, resident or foreigner) who enter by air, land or sea must have the complete vaccination scheme or at least two doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 otherwise they must present a negative test (antigen or PCR) no later than 72 hours prior to travel.
  • Are masks required to be worn all the time?
    Face masks are only required on Public Transportation and Medical facilities. Some touristic activities, cultural and creative attractions, libraries, movies and theaters, casinos and others will be enforcing the safety protocols and may be operating with lower capacity.
  • What should I expect at the airport when I am departing Panama?
    At this time there are no requirements or checks at the airport when leaving Panama
  • Do I need to take a Covid test in order to leave Panama?
    Effective Sunday June 12th, those traveling to the U.S. will no longer need a negative COVID-19 test one day before their flight to the country.
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