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The basics

Money

Panama uses the U.S. dollar.

Debit and credit cards are widely accepted with the most popular being Visa.

ATMs are found at airports, banks, supermarket chains and malls. Be alert when using ATMs and avoid carrying much cash.

Languages

Spanish is the national language, but many Panamanians - particularly in the capital and tourist areas - speak at least some English. In this international crossroads, you may find that French, Chinese or Arabic come in handy.

Transportation

The Panama Canal Railway Company offers Monday-through-Friday passenger service between Panama City and Cólon, The train leaves at 7:15 a.m. from Corozal Passenger Station near Albrook in the capital and at 5:15 p.m. from Cólon. The scenic one-hour trip cost $25 each way.

Driving standards are poor, but roads are generally good.

Copa, the national carrier, flies throughout the hemisphere from Tocumen International Airport. Domestic flights on Air Panama leave from the Marcos A. Gelabert Airport in Albrook. Taxi and shuttle service are available between the two. Copa also flies two flights daily into David through Tocumen.