Advice for pilgrims travelling to Panama for the World Youth Day (WYD) celebrations from 22 to 27 January.
Date: 22 to 27January 2019
WYD is a celebration organised by the Catholic Church and it unites young people from more than 150 countries.
Cinta Costera also known as Santa Maria La Antigua field
Other venues of interest
- Parque Omar also known as Forgiveness Park
- Metro Park, Santa Maria also known as Park John Paul the 2nd (site of the final vigil)
As well as this advice, check out our travel advice for Panama
Passports, visas and travel insurance
- you do not need a visa to enter Panama. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. Check that the next of kin details in your passport are up to date
- when in Panama, ensure to leave your passport somewhere safe, and carry a copy of your passport’s personal details and entry stamp pages
- take out travel insurance before you travel, if you get into difficulties it could save you a lot of money
- if you lose your passport, you will need to apply for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) to return home. The ETD will be issued by the Consular Section of the British Embassy in Panama City. The fee for an ETD is £100 (USD 145) payable by cash or card. We will also need a passport photo and a copy of your confirmed flight details to process your application
Transport in Panama
Panama City’s main airport is Tocumen International Airport. It is located about 20 km from the centre of Panama City. It is easy to get to the City Centre by taking an official airport taxi, official hotel taxi/shuttle or Uber. The ride should take about 25 minutes without traffic (Map of Panama City).
Hotel shuttles may be available as an alternative to private taxis. For bus routes from your accommodation to the different locations, please inquire locally.
For bus travel and the metro rail travel, you will need to have a metro card.
Yellow taxis are generally unreliable and not recommended.
While in Panama
Panama is a warm and humid country. Remember to stay hydrated, wear sunblock and use comfortable clothing/shoes.
Ensure to keep your passport and personal belongings in a safe location. If in a public area such as a café, park or restaurant, do not leave them unattended.
When purchasing cooked food from street vendors, ensure that they have the proper certifications from the Ministry of Health.
Follow traffic/transit indications as provided by the local authorities. Roads and footpaths will be modified depending on the Pope’s agenda for the different days of WYD.
- the YR website has up-to-date weather forecasts for Panama
- drinking in the street or in non-designated pub or restaurant areas is prohibited in Panama
- do not get involved with drugs - the penalties are severe. Possession of even small quantities can lead to heavy fines and/or imprisonment
- drugs and drink driving laws are stricter in Panama than in the UK
For the latest information on safety and security, visit our travel advice page for Panama
For information and advice on health related issues while travelling to Panama, please visit the NaTHNaC World Youth Day page.
Telephone +507 297 6550 (also for out of hours emergencies)
Office hours: Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 16.30pm
Emergency services numbers
- 103 - Fire Department
- 104 - National Police
- 511 9260 - Tourism Police
- 911 - Ambulance/Emergency Services
- *335 or 316 3200 - SINAPROC/Rescue Services
- *455 - Red Cross
World Youth Day 2019 (Jornada Mundial de la Juventud)
British Embassy in Panama City
British Embassy Panama City on Twitter
British Embassy on Facebook
Panama City Tourist Information
Weather in Panama City
Tocumen International Airport
Santo Tomas Public Hospital
Punta Pacifica Private Hospital
San Fernando Private Hospital
Punta Paitilla Private Hospital