In Panamá, the US Dollar is used for everything. Panamá does have its own currency of Balboas which is equivalent to USD. Cash is king! Most locations prefer that you use cash and some will not accept credit cards. Hotel Hibiscus Garden does accept all major credit cards. Remember to always have cash on hand for the bus, a bite to eat and tips!
It is safe to drink tap water in Lagartero and Santa Catalina. We recommend bringing a reusable water bottle. We always keep cold water on hand at the hotel. You can also purchase bottled water at the shops in Santa Catalina.
The amount of bugs at the beach, the hotel or in town varies depending on the time of year. During dusk and dawn is when you will see mosquitos and chitras (also known as sand flies or noseeums.) There are more bugs during the wet season from May until November and fewer during the dry season from December until April. We recommend having bug spray on hand here in the tropics.
Panamá is humid. Clothing takes longer to dry so avoid bringing heavy or bulky clothing. Rayon and linen are great materials for this climate. You will want to bring a light rain jacket as well as a light sweatshirt or cardigan for some evenings. It is cooler in highland areas like Valle de Anton or Bouquete and warmer in beach areas like Santa Catalina or Bocas del Toro.