Although Panama is generally a safe place, there are a few don'ts when it comes to safety.
We consider this information to be very important and we highly recomend you to follow these advises for your own good.
Places to avoid or been careful about
Even though the places we will mention below are not really easy to get to, it is important for you to take note of the names so you can avoid getting there by following someone's advice.
El Chorrillo and Barraza: Both close to Causeway and Panama City. These are very dangerous places always in the news for robberies and gang shootings. You might hear that the fried fish in El Chorrillo is the best in Panama. This might be true but please don't ever go there alone.
Colon City: Located in Colon province. The city is very underdeveloped and is also quite dangerous to be around. As tourist you will be an easy target for robbery. It is important to highlight that there are other places in the province that are not dangerous and are definitively worthy of a visit. Read about it in our regional info menu.
Darien jungle: Located in Darien province. By no means go there by yourself. There are several tour operators that will organize for you a good time in this area. However, getting into the wrong place in the jungle can lead to an encounter with the Colombian Guerrilla, very famous for kidnapping and violation of human rights.
Things not to do
Some of the things mentioned below might be common sense for a lot of people. However, we feel it is important to highlight them should it be the case they are common practice where you come from.
- If you are driving, don't leave your valuables visible when you parked. You might get a broken window just to get your sunglasses. It is recommendable to leave items like portable computers in your trunk.
- Do not hitchhike or stop for hitchhikers. This is not a common practice in Panama and we recomend you to avoid it by all means.
- If you know you will be in a very crowded environment, such as carnivals or another festivity, do not bring your wallet with you. These crowded places are perfect for pickpockets. We recomend you to keep your money in singles and saved in smaller pockets difficult to reach.
- Do not assume that cars will stop when you are going to cross a road. We know this might sound odd, but drivers are kind of careless when it comes to pedestrians. So please take safety meassures and, when available, always use the pedestrian bridges or cross when the traffic lights are red(For drivers).