Information and Recommendations

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Recommended Local Private Driver, Schedule with Glen your transporation, shopping, moving, errands and more. English/Spanish

Panama’s official currency is the balboa, they are equal with the US Dollar, you will not find any paper balboas, the USD is used country wide. You will however receive change back in Balboa coins; the $1 coin is very popular to get with your change, very easy to spot as it looks like a gold tone coin inside of a silver coin.
ATM/Money Machines are located in several stores and at all local banks in the area. International ATM transactions are limited to $250 per transaction.

Major grocery stores will accept VISA/Mastercard, be prepared to show your ID. Smaller stores, restaurants and businesses such as nail shops vary from place to place, please make sure you check to see if they accept cards, do not assume that every place does. You need to have CASH for taxis and buses.

There is a couple of mini-markets (The Chino) within walking distance of Coronado Bay. There are also several major chain grocery stores at the highway along with pharmacies, home improvement stores, etc. You will see several roadside stands selling fresh produce and/or seafood—shop these places, you will get great products and you are helping to support a local family (win-win)

Tipping in Panama… DO IT! (Please!) Salaries in Panama are low. Some “jobs” like that of a bagger at the grocery store work for only tips. What you tip, is up to you and the service that you feel like you received.

Some basic ranges for tip suggestions:

Baggers: 25 cent if you have an item or 2… $1-5 depending on your number of bags and loading it in your car/taxi.

Restaurants/Nails/Hair/Massages: 10% of bill, higher if you got great service

Taxi Drivers: Rounding up your fare for a short local trip from $2.50 to $3, or adding in an extra 50 cents to $1 is appreciated.

Tour Guides: Depending on the tour… $5-10 +
General Help: If you get help with lifting or moving large items, loading or unloading, etc… tips are not mandatory but they are appreciated. Please remember that $1 means a lot.


BAGS: When you go shopping remember to bring your own reusable bags.