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 in to 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 fly in to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. The 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. We will also help make hotel recommendations for you before and after the tour and help with those reservations too. However, any hotels fees before or after the tour will be at your own expense.
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?
Most hotels where we stay during the tour have a hair dryer in the room. One hotel has hair dryers available upon request only.
Will I be able to drive in Panama?
Yes, you can drive for 90 days in Panama with the drivers’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 $40 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 70’s
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?
We do make arrangements for a Panama City tour before the Panama Relocation Tour begins. That tour is on Friday and will last from 9am to 3 or 4pm. This tour is conducted by a English speaking guide and is at your own expense but we will make the arrangements for you. If you don’t want to go on that tour, we will provide a detailed list of things to do before and after the tour so you can easily make your own 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. There is no contract for this service. It will reduce your costs from $5 per minute to about $2 per minute… still very expensive. Make sure you turn OFF data roaming before you fly to Panama.
A better option is to use WhatsApp to stay in contact wtih friends and family back home. You can also use that 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 at the CIA.gov web site. We will not be going anywhere near that area 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 moved to Panama, it will be much easier to access to cash if you have an account in Panama. Banco National is the national bank of Panama. All other banks are privately/corporately owned.
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 insure 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 2.5%. Try getting that at your bank back home.
Have more questions?
Send an email to info@PanamaRelocationTours.com
or call 972-496-4500