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