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Is Panama City a Safe or Dangerous City?Panama City, along with other provinces, has a high crime rate; however, you can still enjoy this beautiful city and what it has to offer as long as you take care of your personal belongings at all times and be aware of your surroundings. If you decide to rent a car, remove all valuables from your car, and keep windows up and doors locked while driving. Make sure to use only licensed taxis (regular licensed taxis are yellow) and tell your driver not to pick up additional passengers on your way to your destination. Be careful in the Panama la Vieja ruins area. There is tourist police, but it is best not to wander into adjacent neighborhoods alone, especially at night. Casco Viejo is relatively safe after dusk, but avoid poor neighborhoods like El Chorillo. Avoid Santa Ana, Curundu, and San Miguel. The safest neighborhoods are in the center: Marbella, El Cangrejo, Obarrio, San Francisco, and the Banking Area. However, keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK :
Standard safety precautions are recommended in Panama. Exercise common sense and remain vigilant for suspicious behaviour as you would in any other country. Watch out for petty crime in tourist areas and protect your valuables.
PICKPOCKETS RISK :
Pickpocketing and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation.
MUGGING RISK :
Muggings have happened in urban areas. People walking alone are often the targets, especially at night. In case of being robbed, do not resist and hand over your valuables.
SCAMS RISK :
As in any other country, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you like a tap on the shoulder, spitting or getting something spilled on you. Credit card skimming is also common.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK :
Overall, taxis and public transportation are safe. Make sure you book a ride or use radio taxis from places like a hotel when possible as there have been reports of traveler being robbed and assaulted by taxi drivers. Picking up multiple travelers in Panama is common, but you should insist that taxi drivers not to do this.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK :
Flooding and landslides can happen during heavy rains and may result in public transportation disruptions. Western Panama is located in an active seismic zone. The hurricane season extends from June to November. Monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities.
TERRORISM RISK :
There is no recent history of terrorism in Panama. However, they should not be ruled out, so remain vigilant for suspicious activity.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK :
Many women travel safely without any issues. However, there have been reports of sexual assault throughout the country. Avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Remain extra vigilant at bus terminals and in taxis.