Panama, also known as ‘The Crossroads of the Americas’, is a wonderfully diverse country for any traveller to visit, with a vast range of natural and cultural landmarks to explore and discover. Water sports lovers and nature enthusiasts are particularly drawn to the area, thanks to the wide range of coastal towns and villages to visit. Meanwhile, bird spotters will love looking out for some of the 900 species of birds residing in the country, alongside some of the indigenous tribes which are still thriving today.
Driving in Panama
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
As driving in Panama City can be a daunting experience, locals recommend driving through the city for the first time on a Sunday afternoon when there is generally very little traffic, in order to understand the roads and driving destinations without the pressure of traffic.
Car horns are used on a regular basis by most drivers in the cities and not just for warning of danger. They may be used by drivers attempting to cross lanes, as well as taxi drivers calling to pedestrians to signal their cab is free.
Taxi drivers have the right to stop at any time, on any part of the road, which can lead to collisions. It is the law in Panama that those who have hit the back of another car are responsible for the crash.
Driving culture in Panama
What are the roads like in Panama?
Compared to the majority of roads sound in South America, the roads in Panama are in excellent condition across the vast majority of the country, including those found in the more mountainous regions.
What are the drivers in Panama like?
While the driving in some of the quieter regions can be described as reasonably stress-free, driving in Panama City can be a more difficult experience. Local drivers can often be erratic, meaning those looking to travel by car through the city must have a defensive and confident driving style.
What are the best times to drive?
Outside of the cities, there is little traffic to hinder any journey, so tourists should be free to travel at any time. In the cities, particularly Panama City, rush hour traffic can often cause the roads to come to a standstill for several hours, meaning driving early in the morning and late in the afternoon should be avoided.
What are the driving laws?
Many of the driving laws are very similar to those found in the United States, with traffic signals, signs and road markings identical to those found in their neighbouring country. The most firmly employed laws in this particular country come from the need for the driver and all passenger to wear a seatbelt at all times when in the vehicle.