FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I need a Visa to visit Panama?
If you are traveling from the United States or Canada, you do not need a visa. You can get into the country with your passport and stay for up to 6 months. If you’re traveling from other countries you probably do not need a visa. Send an email to info@PanamaRelocationTours.com with the country passport was issued from. We will contact our attorney in Panama to verify if you need a visa or not.
Are there any special passport requirements?
Your passport must have at least 6 months until it expires. You will not be allowed to fly to Panama if your passport does not have at least 6 months before it expires. Check your passport now and start the process to get it renewed if necessary.
What airport do I fly in to in Panama?
You will need to arrive at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. The airport code is PTY. Our driver will pick you up there to take you to the hotel where the group will stay in Panama City.
Do I need to make any hotel reservations?
During the tour, your hotel reservations are made for you and included in your fee. So, no, you do not need to make any reservations during the tour. Once you’ve put down your deposit for the tour and provide us with your international arrival date, we can make hotel reservations for you at our preferred hotel in Panama City before the tour starts. We book the room for you so you can get our discounted rate of $84/night (plus 10% tax) including breakfast and wifi. You pay for the room when you arrive. Any hotel reservations that you’ll need after the tour is over will need to be set up on your own. We have a hotel that we can suggest in Boquete for after the tour and there is also a hotel we can set up for you (at your own expense) if you need to spend the night near Tocumen International Airport the night before you fly out of Tocumen.
What’s included in the tour?
(1) We will make arrangements for our driver to pick you up when you arrive in Panama and take you the hotel where we stay in Panama City
(2) Once you’ve put down your deposit for the tour and provide us with your international arrival date, we can set up the hotel reservations you’ll need at our preferred hotel in Panama City before the tour starts. We book the room for you so you can get our discounted rate of $84/night (plus 10% tax) including breakfast and wifi. (hotel at your own expense)
(3) Lodging & meals during the official Tour. Tour as outlined on the itinerary, all ground transportation, 3 meals a day (1 entree), local driver fluent in English and Spanish plus your Expat Tour Guide with the information you need to relocate to Panama Plus meeting expats throughout the country.
(4) Starting in May 2019, the relocation tour costs will include an in-country flight back to Tocumen International Airport on the date and time of your choice.
What’s NOT included in the tour?
(1)International airfare, alcoholic beverages, excess baggage charges, hotel room upgrades, extras in hotels (laundry, telephone calls, room service).
(2) Pre or Post tour planning, pre or post tour hotel reservations, car rental, house rentals, vacation planning, additional transportation.
(3) In-country flights are not included from January 2019-April 2019 tour dates. Starting in May 2019, we include the cost of the in-country flight ticket from David back to Tocumen International Airport on the date and time of your choice.
(4) The 6th-night hotel room cost is NOT included in the tour costs for any of our tour dates in 2019.
Do I need to bring an electrical converter?
Panama uses the same electrical outlets and the US and Canada, 110 volts. If you are coming from Europe you may need a converter.
Do the hotels have hair dryers?
All hotels where we stay during the tour have a hair dryer in the room.
Will I be able to drive in Panama?
Yes, you can drive for 90 days in Panama with the driver’s license from your country.
What about renting a car in Panama?
If you rent from one of the major car companies ( Thrifty, Enterprise, etc) you will be required to get their insurance. It can double the cost of renting a car. When you register for a tour, I will provide information on affordable “local” car rental company. It’s about $30 a day for a sedan and $50 a day for an SUV — that price includes taxes and insurance.
What will the weather be like?
Near the coast, it will be in the high 80’s, low 90’s. In the mountain areas, it will be in the ’70s
From April through mid-December, it is the rainy season. But it does not rain every day or all the time. There are usually clear skies in the morning and then about 3 or 4 it will cloud up and rain for an hour or two. You’ll need to bring an umbrella and a light rain jacket.
In January and February, it is the main part of the dry season. There will be less rain and it will be windy.
Can you help us with pre-tour and post-tour arrangements?
Once your deposit is made, we will provide you with information about an Optional Panama City Tour which is on Friday, the day before the Panama Relocation Tour begins. The Optional Panama City Tour is from 8 am to about 3 pm. This optional Panama City Tour is conducted by an English speaking guide includes entry into the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal, visiting Casco Viejo, the Amador Causeway and various Panama City neighborhoods. On the Thursday after the tours, we provide an Optional Puerto Armuelles tour. Other than these two optional tours, you will need to make your own pre and post tour arrangements.
Can I use my cell phone?
Yes, you can use your cell phone but we do not recommend it. If you do decide to use your phone, you need to sign up for International Calling and International Data Roaming. A better option is to use WhatsApp to stay in contact with friends and family back home. You can also use Whatsapp to make calls in Panama. WhatsApp is free to download and free to use.
Do I need Shots?
If you plan to visit the Darien Jungle area I do recommend that you get the shots which are recommended on the CDC.gov website. We will not be going anywhere near the Darien Jungle during the tour so you do not need to get shots.
Can I use my Credit or Debit Cards in Panama?
Most hotels and some restaurants take Mastercard or Visa. Panama is a cash-based society and many places only accept cash. Of course, all your expenses are covered during the tour so you will not need cash during the tour. But we do recommend bring about $500 cash to use before or after the tour. ATM machines are readily available at banks so you can get additional cash if necessary.
Why do you require everyone to sign a non-compete agreement?
We have worked very hard to build this business, establish contacts and relationships which we share exclusively with our tour guests. We provide the highest quality tour with the most information. We will not allow someone to come on the tour who is planning to start a competing business or write a book about relocating to Panama. And the few times it has happened, we are very aggressive in stopping competitors. We are not here to train our competition. During the tour, each tour guests with be provided with trade secrets, customers and other confidential data and good will. Each tour guest must agree to retain said information as confidential and not to use said information on his or her own behalf or disclose same to any third party.
Can I open a bank account in Panama while I’m on the tour?
Yes, with our special banking relationships, we will be able to help you set up a bank account while you are in Panama. Instead of it taking the usual 4-5 days, we can get your account opened in about an hour. You can open an individual account or a joint account. To open an account, you will need a signed bank reference letter from your current bank, 2 forms of government issued ID and $1500. You will also need to fill out an application form which we will send to you if you are coming on a tour. After the account is open, you can wire money to or from your Panama bank account. Online banking is available in both Spanish and English.
Why consider opening an offshore bank account? It is a good way to diversify and protect your assets. If you’re concerned about a Cypress happening with US banks, having some of your money offshore is a good way to protect your money from confiscation.
If you decide to move to Panama, it will be much easier to access to cash if you have an account in Panama. Panama banks are highly regulated. There has never been a bank failure or a bank bail-out in Panama and there never will.
Panama banks do not have any kind of federal insurance. The FDIC in the USA is a false sense of security because they do not have enough money to ensure all deposits and the fine print says they have 40 YEARS to return a portion of your money. Instead, Panamanians will have their money in several different banks for protection.
A simple savings account with a $1500 minimum deposit earn as much as 2%. Try getting that at your bank back home.
Have more questions?
Send an email to info@PanamaRelocationTours.com
or call 972-496-4500