Is Panama Safe To Visit Right Now? Travel Advisory 2024

Although most places in Panama are safe, you should exercise caution when walking through large cities’ streets after dark. Pickpocketing should be avoided, and keep in mind that violent crime and mugging are also commonplace on the streets of this nation.

Areas to avoid 

Panama City’s high-crime areas include:

  • Calidonia
  • San Miguelito
  • Rio Bajo
  • El Chorrillo
  • Ancon
  • Curundu
  • Veracruz Beach
  • Parque Soberania
  • Tocumen
  • Panama Viejo
  • Casco Viejo
  • shopping areas on Avenida Central


January 26 – A working agreement is signed by Eurojust and Panama to strengthen their joint efforts to combat organized crime

A Working Arrangement was signed by Eurojust and Mr. Javier E. Caraballo Salazar, Attorney General of the Republic of Panama, to facilitate more organized and close cooperation in the fight against organized crime. 

The agreement guarantees improved communication to expedite the execution of judicial cooperation requests on both sides and formalizes Eurojust’s current Contact Points in Panama. The first nation in Latin America to sign a Working Arrangement with the agency is Panama.

“With Panama’s rich tradition as a bridge maker between continents in mind, I am delighted to sign into effect the Working Arrangement that will bring closer the European and Panamanian communities of prosecutors and judges. We share a similar criminal threat picture on both sides of the Atlantic as well as the resolve to intensify our joint judicial response. Eurojust therefore looks forward to engaging with colleagues in Panama; for instance, in the fight against organised crime and drug trafficking,” said Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran 

U.S. Travel Advisory – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Avoid going from Boca de Rio, Chiriqui to Cocle del Norte within ten miles of the coast. This region is home to drug trafficking and other illegal activity.

Because U.S. government personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling to this region and face additional restrictions before such travel is approved, the U.S. government’s ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens is limited.

Parts of the Darien Region – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel to the following areas of the Darien:

  • All areas south of Jaque to Manene to Yaviza to Lajas Blancas cities to the Colombian border
  • The city of Lajas Blancas
  • The city of El Salto

Colón and some parts of Panama City: 

Exercise a high degree of caution due to high crime rates, be extremely cautious in Colón and some parts of Panama City.

Area beyond Yaviza: Steer clear of all travel

Due to the extremely high rate of violent crime, avoid traveling to any area beyond the town of Yaviza in Darién Province, all the way to the Colombian border.

Mosquito Gulf: Avoid all travel

Steer clear of all travel to the Mosquito Gulf, which stretches from Boca de Río Chiriquí to Coclé del Norte, as there is a lot of illegal activity, including drug and human trafficking.

Violent attacks, including sexual assault, have occurred in Panama City and other popular tourist destinations nationwide. When you are traveling at night, exercise the same caution that you would in the UK. Steer clear of dimly lit areas and never go alone on foot. 

There is a risk of political and criminal violence from Colombia spreading to Panama. The guerrillas in Colombia and other armed groups pose a threat. In this region, there have been murders, kidnappings, and violent crimes committed against both foreign nationals and Panamanian citizens.

Only take organized group trips to Darien Province. Don’t deviate from your group and heed any security advice from the area.

Tips for Staying Safe in Nicaragua 

  • Steer clear of protests and demonstrations, as they have the potential to escalate into violence. Stay informed through local media and adhere to the guidance provided by local authorities.
  • Petty crime is more prevalent than violent crime. Be vigilant with your belongings, particularly in transit hubs. Violent crimes, such as armed robbery and muggings, can occur. Utilize ATMs only in banks or shopping centers, and avoid going out alone.
  • The Darien Gap, located near the Colombian border, is actively frequented by Colombian guerrilla groups and drug traffickers. It is strongly advised not to travel to this region.
  • Panama is susceptible to earthquakes, and tsunamis can occur. Familiarize yourself with tsunami warning signs and promptly move to higher ground without waiting for official alerts.