Dear Panama Home readers on this page you will find articles on all aspects of life in Panama, from which schools to choose from to what to do with your leisure time. Please feel free to browse through our articles.

Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Punta Culebra Nature Centre is a non-profit initiative of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institure that relies on the support of the Smithsonian Foundation of Panama and international institutions. Here you can visit an open-air museum focusing mainly on marine science and education, conservation and interpretation of marine coastal environments.

At the centre individuals can increase their awareness and appreciation of coastal and marine environments in Panama and nearby regions of South and Central America. The aim is to increase public understanding of Panama ’s past and present coastal environments, promoting their conservation. It is also meant to show how scientific discoveries improve our understanding and deepen our appreciation of the natural world.

With breathtaking views of the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, the Marine Exhibition Center of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is located at Punta Culebra, approximately 3.5 km from the entrance to the Calzada de Amador and 15 minutes from the heart of Panama City. The area has great natural wealth and the appropriate infrastructure so that locals and foreigners of all ages can take part in an enriching experience, as they enjoy the scenic views.

Punta Culebra


Opening an account in Panama varies greatly from bank to bank. There are a number of banks in Panama that will only require two bank letters of reference plus two personal references from friends in Panama.

Also the time to open an account varies greatly, some banks being able to open an account directly or others where the process can take anything from a couple of days to a month. If the process does take time you will need to be persistent. Make sure that the bank sees you as an important customer and to have the odds on your side the ideal is to make sure that you have all the documents required by Banco Nacional de Panama with you before approaching the bank of your choice. Don’t forget that the documents will expire in ninety days.

It is a good idea to open all the accounts that you are likely to need at the same time, current account, saving account etc


For a complete list of all the documents that you will need to open an account plus some detailed guidance please feel free to contact us by email at

There are two state banks in Panama:

The Banco Nacional de Panama with some sixty-six branches
Caja de Ahorros with slightly less at forty-two branches

Private banks are shown below:

BAC International Bank, Inc – 12 branches
Bancafé (Panamá), S.A. – 1 branch
Banco Aliado, S.A. – 1 branch
Banco Azteca (Panamá), S.A. – 7 branches
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (Panamá), S.A. – 18 branches
Banco Citibank (Panamá), S.A. – 20 branches
Banco Delta, S.A. (BMF) – 1 branch
Banco Pichincha Panamá, S.A. – 1 branch
Banco General, S.A. – 59 branches
Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, S. A. – 1 branch
Banco Panamá, S.A. – 2 branches
Banco Panameño de la Vivienda, S.A. – 21 branches
Banco Trasatlántico, S.A. – 3 branches
Banco Universal, S.A. – 8 branches
Banesco, S.A.- 17 branches
Bank of China Limited – 1 branch
BCT Bank International, S.A. – 1 branch
BNP Paribas Wealth Management – 1 branch
Capital Bank, Inc. – 1 branch
Citibank, N.A. – 4 branches
Credicorp Bank, S.A. – 22 branches
Global Bank Corporation – 29 branches
HSBC Bank (Panamá) – 54 branches
Mega International Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. – 1 branch
Mercantil Bank (Panamá), S.A. – 1 branch
Metrobank, S.A. – 1 branch
MiBanco, S.A. BMF – 6 branches
Multibank, Inc. – 15 branches
ST. George Bank & Company Inc. – 6 branches
The Bank of Nova Scotia – 9 branches
Towerbank International, Inc. – 1 branch



Panama offers a very comfortable quality of life whether it is for retirement or for work, in part because the nation is much more developed than most visitors expect. Many are pleasantly surprised by the modernity of Panama and the skyline of skyscrapers that you see on your drive into the city from the airport. All of the amenities that you would find in any modern city are readily available here.

By moving to Panama, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of a developing economy where you can still take a taxi across town for a couple of dollars,  or enjoy dinner for two with a bottle of wine at one of the finest restaurants in Panama city for around $40.

No matter what your taste or budget, you’ll find that Panama offers plenty of quality options.

Here’s a sample monthly budget for two people:

Rental on a two-bedroom apartment in central Panama City): $900 to $1,700

Electricity, Water, Cleaning and Gas combined: $300

Household shopping: $300

Running a small car: $200

Going out (Cinema, Restaurants, Bowling): $150

Phone, TV and internet broadband: $100

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