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Panama City

Panama city is the capital of Panama. Located on the Pacific entrance of the famous Panama Canal, it is the country’s center of administration, culture, and commerce. It holds the distinction of being one of the most desirable cities for retirement in the world, and was chosen to be the American Capital of Culture in 2003. The city has a population of 900 thousand people.

Panama city is a city of friendly people and hospitality itself. From high-end shopping to lazing around on the beach while soaking up the Panama sun, there is no shortage of things to do and enjoy in this city. Experience the sophistication and luxury while shopping around the high-end stores of the Paitilla, Via Espana, and Los Pueblos. Or, take a stroll through La Central, the famous pedestrian walkway. Take a bite out of popular history by visiting the Panama Canal, which you can do for only $8 for adults, half that for kids, and top this off with a trip to Casco Viejo, the historic part of town.

You can get around Panama by taxi. Although most do not have a meter, fare rates are set by the government. There is usually a surcharge for an additional person. Be careful to explain where you are going, as some drivers may find it harder to understand slang English than others. Buses are cheaper and a bus ride is a fun activity since Panamanian buses are colorful and comfortable, although at times they can get pretty crowded. Panama City is safer than other Latin capitals, a place where homeowners no longer fence their yards. Still, it is better to use common sense to avoid being the victim of a crime. For example, avoid wearing flashy jewelry or exposing large amount of cash in public, and avoid dark alleys at night.

US visitors need to purchase a tourist card upon arrival to Panama. The validity of the card can be extended up to 90 days, depending on the decision of the embassy or immigration officials.