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Panama, officially the Republic of Panama (Spanish: República de Panamá [reˈpuβlika ðe panaˈma]), is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital is Panama City. On a 2012 poll, it was reported that Panama City was the city with the happiest people in the world.

Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador, and Venezuela, named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831, Panama and Nueva Granada remained joined. Nueva Granada later became the Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the Panama Canal to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama by the end of the 20th century.

Revenue from canal tolls represents today a significant portion of Panama's GDP. Panama has the third- or fourth-largest economy in Central America and it is also the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America. In 2010 Panama ranked 4th among Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index, and 54th in the world in 2010. As of 2010, Panama is the second most competitive economy in Latin America as well according to the Global Competitiveness Index from the World Economic Forum. Panama's jungle is home to an abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds – some of them to be found nowhere else in the world.>
Capital PANAMA
Currency Balboa (PAB)
Country code 00507
Spoken languages ​​ spanish
Passport

necessary. For any changes related to the survival of the Passport you should request to be informed beforehand at the Embassy or Consulate of the country present in Italy or at your travel agent.

Health

Health care is generally good in private structures in the capital, where there are some world-class hospitals and clinics similar to the European one. Medical services In the province are sometimes limited. The availability of medicines is good and no problems. Doctors and hospitals require the immediate payment of services provided. We recommend that you take out before undertaking the journey, adequate health insurance to include, in addition to the coverage of medical expenses, even the eventual repatriation medical air or transfer in another country. Tap water is drinkable in Panama and in major urban centers. No special precautions are needed in food: supermarkets are available almost all products, including popular Italian (pasta, peeled tomatoes, olive oil, etc.). In the restaurants of the capital the hygienic level is good; We recommend that you avoid stalls along the streets, given the precarious hygienic conditions. Malaria, dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever, transmitted by mosquitoes, are endemic to Panama, but the cases are generally limited and restricted to areas remote from the usual tourist routes. Preventive treatments are not recommended, apart from the use of repellents against mosquitoes, especially at sunset and in swampy areas. From 1° November 2008, Panama recommends the vaccine against yellow fever to all persons arriving in the country and involving, in particular, to visit the eastern regions, the Darien and the Comarca Kuna Yala (San Blas Islands archipelago). The same recommendation applies to travelers, residents or foreigners, arriving or departing from countries where the disease is endemic (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela in South America; Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Sudan in Africa). In June 2010 we have encountered cases of equine encephalitis in the extreme eastern region of Darien (border with Colombia). Those wishing to travel in that area of the country, must put a special focus on avoiding getting bitten by mosquitoes and resorting to medical attention at the first symptoms of malaise.

Telephony

There are three mobile telephony operators: Cable & Wireless, Digicel, Claro and Movistar. In Panama work only and exclusively the "quad-band (850 Mhz). Internet cafés are widespread. The electricity is 110 volts, with type USA.

Climate

Tropical climate, very hot and humid. The year-round temperature is around 30 degrees, day and night. There are two seasons: a rainy and very damp from end of April until the end of December, with the strongest rains in the months of October and November, and a dry, with less humidity, from January to late March. The Atlantic coast is much more peaceful than rainy throughout the year.

Viability

Driving Licence: Italiana. Insurance RC recommended. Motorway network There is only one, the Pan-american Highway to four lanes for about 150 km, which then becomes a two-lane and connects with the Costa Rica Panama along the Pacific coast. In the opposite direction, towards Colombia, the road is worse off and stops at Yaviza, about 100 km from the border with Colombia. The main roads are in decent conditions as secondary ones are often only passable with 4WD, especially during the rainy season. The roadmaps are very approximate. If you rent a car is good to know that in case of an accident you must not move the vehicle until the arrival of the police. Driving at night is very dangerous, especially outside the capital, due to vehicles and farm wagons travelling without lights. You should therefore avoid suburban travel after dark. The only railroad in function is one that unites the city of Panama in Colón (one daily service in both directions). Links with Europe: direct links are provided by Air France-KLM (Amsterdam Airport) and Iberia (via Madrid and, after returning to Guatemala City). You can, by making a stopover in Caracas, use the Alitalia flight to Rome. Frequent connections via the United States. Internal transport Domestic flights are made with very cheap aircraft that frequently have accidents. The Intercity road links are made with very bad quality bus air-conditioned and also not desirable for the citizens. Car Rental In Panama there are major international companies rent a car as Avis (Tel. 2789444), Hertz (Tel. 2602111), Budget (Tel. 2638777), Dollar (Tel. 2700355).

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