Panama City Warnings and Dangers
Panama City is the capital of Panama. While beautiful, travelers need to be mindful of crime, mosquitos, and aggressive drivers.
Crime is a problem in Panama. Before you leave your hotel, lock your passport and valuables in a safe, closet, or a secure piece of luggage. Panama City is plagued with poverty, and many of its residents have to fight to put food on the table. Casco Viejo is a particularly precarious area, so stay away if possible. Tourist police can be found throughout the city, and they can help direct you to safe areas of town.
Before you head to Panama, pack plenty of repellant high in DEET. Mosquitos in the tropics can carry dengue fever, malaria, and other diseases. During your stay, keep your repellant close and spray yourself liberally and often.
Drivers in Panama City are aggressive and streets in some neighborhoods are poorly maintained. The metro train and city buses are easy to use and affordable, so try these first. You can also hail a taxi in most areas of the city. If you ignore the warnings and rent a car, drive with caution. Before you hop on the road, make sure you have your license and rental documents. Police will demand your documents if you’re caught speeding or if you’re involved in an accident.
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