Having Just in arrived in Panama
with the expectation of being here for a week or 3 while various officials sort my life out for me I have been very pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the whole system.
By 'other country' standards things here can move quickly,we arrived Mon PM and are now (wed) awaiting our canal clearance day, 3 days ,maybe not a record
but not too shabby.
A few things to note-
things here are becoming edgy, poor people are getting poorer here so be extra vigilant , we weren't but the local cycle riding police officers escorted us to a super market on calle 13(the wrong part of town) and waited for us to complete our stock up,(very cheap
compared to other Caribbean
country's) and to get into a taxi heading to the marina before going on their way.
Another important thing to note is it is much easier and cheaper to use a local agent, we are using Rudy who comes highly recommended by other cruisers. contact him by email
The other and much more important thing is that the bank that handles all of the transactions for the Panama Canal
Authority no long take credit card payments only CASH, this was only very recently introduced and is not in the Guide books
Last but not least is the demise of the Panama Canal
YC,it is no long in existence so the only marina open at the moment is the Shelter bay marina.
Nice with good facilities and great internet
I am not connected to any of the above business's just a satisfied customer.