Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 3 February 2017, 14:21 NZDT
  • Still current at: 18 January 2018

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Extreme Risk

There is extreme risk to your security in the Darien Gap, south of the town of Yaviza, due to violent crime and the presence of drug traffickers and armed guerrilla forces.  We advise against all travel to this area, which includes the Darien National Park, nature reserves and tourist resorts. 

Some Risk

There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Panama due to criminal activity and the potential for civil unrest and we advise caution. 

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Violent crime in Panama, such as armed robbery, is not common but does occur. There have also been reports of “express kidnappings”, where individuals are forced to withdraw funds from automatic teller machines (ATMs) to secure their release. To reduce the risk of this occurring we recommend you use ATMs located inside banks during daylight hours and exercise vigilance while doing so. 

Petty crime, such as bag-snatching and pick-pocketing, is common, especially in urban areas such as Panama City, Colon and in airports, bus terminals and on public transport.

We advise New Zealanders travelling in Panama to be safety conscious at all times and take steps to secure personal belongings. You should avoid walking alone at night in Panama City. Only use registered yellow taxis and avoid sharing a taxi with unknown passengers.

Civil Unrest
Protests and demonstrations occur occasionally in Panama City and are often focused near the university and on major streets and highways. New Zealanders in Panama are advised to avoid all protests, demonstrations and marches, as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.

General Travel Advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Panama should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Panama are encouraged to register their details their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Mexico City, Mexico is accredited to Panama

Street Address Jaime Balmes No 8, 4th Floor, Los Morales, Polanco, Mexico D.F. 11510 Telephone +52 55 5283 9460 Fax +52 55 5283 9480 Email Web Site Hours Mon - Fri 0930 - 1400, 1500 - 1700 hrs

See our regional advice for Central/South America

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Mexico

Street Address
Jaime Balmes No 8, 4th Floor, Los Morales, Polanco, Mexico D.F. 11510

Telephone: +52 55 5283 9460

Fax: +52 55 5283 9480



Hours: Mon - Fri 0930 - 1400, 1500 - 1700 hrs

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