The balboa is the national unit of account. Panama issues no
paper money, and US notes are legal tender (1 Balboa = 1 USD).
Panama is tropical, the annual average temperature on both
coasts is 29°c (81°f). Humidity is quite high, averaging 80%.
Rainfall averages 178 cm (70 in) in Panama City.
The period of lightest rainfall is from January to April.
The population of Panama, based on the 2010 population census
was estimated at 3,405,813.
The Republic of Panama is a large isthmus strip with a total area
of 75,517 km², and 2,210 km² of surface waters, reaching
78,200 km² of total territory. Panama is bounded on the north
by the Caribbean Sea and to the south by the Pacific Ocean.
Panama shares its eastern border with the Republic of Colombia,
and is bordered on the west by the Republic of Costa Rica.
Spanish, the official language of Panama, is spoken by over 90%
of the people, but English is a common second language, spoken by
most Panamanian professionals and businesspeople.
Panama’s economy is one of the most stable in America.
The main economic activities are financial, tourism and logistics,
which represent 75% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
From 2003 to 2009 the GDP doubled, propelled by high foreign and
domestic investment, coupled with the tourism and logistics industries.
According to the Bank, the IMF and the UN, the country has the highest
per capita income in Central America, which is about $13,090; it is also
the largest exporter and importer at the regional level, according to
ECLAC. The GDP has enjoyed a sustained growth for more than twenty
years in a row (1989). The country is classified in the category of investment
grade by these credit rating companies: Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings.
Travel facilities within Panama are good; Panama City and Colón
are only one hour apart by road or rail. In addition to the Panama
Canal itself, tourism attractions include Panama City and its skyline,
beach resorts in Rio Hato, Playa Blanca, Playa Bonita, Buenaventura,
the Pearls Archipelago and San Blas Islands, Casco Viejo (Old Town),
the ruins of Portobelo and Panama Viejo, the Causeway in Amador,
El Valle de Anton and Boquete for those who love the mountains.
Water sports, tennis, golf, and horse racing are also very popular.
Nature treks and historic tours also attract many visitors to Panama.
You may enter Panama without applying for a Panamanian visa If you have a multiple visa to any of the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and any of the member countries of the European Union. You can enter the country with a tourist card.
The visa and the passport must be valid at least 6 months prior the date of entering Panama.
Notice that you must have entered the country that issued the visa at least once, prior your entry into Panama.
A tourist card for an amount of 30 USD can be purchased from the airline you fly with or at the passport control, when you arrive in Panama.
Besides those things, you will be required:
An invitation letter to the event (when you register for the IAPH mid-term conference, you can apply for this letter)
A return ticket
A hotel booking / an address where you will stay in Panama City