Driving in Panama


Driving in Panama

Our friend Jackie Lange of Panama Relocation tours shares  how to drive in Panama.

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Driving In Panama

Jackie Lange

Panama City Traffic Driving in Panama City is absolutely CRAZY so it is really better to NOT try to drive in Panama City. Hire an Uber or a taxi to get around in Panama City. The public transportation system is easy to use too.

But driving in the rest of Panama is easy… if you follow the rules and know what to expect.

When driving in Panama, you should always carry your passport (or Panama cedula if you have one) and your driver’s license. You cannot get a Panama driver’s license until you get a residency Visa.

Throughout Panama there will be immigration or police check points. If you encounter a check point, they may just wave you through. But usually, they will want to see your passport and driver’s license. They will check the entry stamp on your passport to verify that you are not in Panama illegally. Even though tourist can stay in Panama 6 months, you can only drive on a foreign driver’s license for 3 months. (It’s a crazy law, but it is the law)

They may also ask to see your auto registration documents and valid insurance. If you are renting a car, check the insurance documents in the glove box to make sure they are current before you take the car on the road.

The PanAmerican Highway and some other roads will have no U-Turn signs. You’ll need to go to a “Retorno” place to turn around. There is usually a retorno, just down the road. It’s a $75 fine to do a U-Turn on the PanAmerican Highway (ask me how I know :-).

using a cell phone when driving in Panama

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RULES FOR DRIVING IN PANAMA

• The minimum age for drivers is 18;
• You must drive on the right side of the road;
• You must keep the following documents on your person or inside the car at all times: your passport or cedula, your valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance papers, accident report form, Rules of the Road book.
• It is prohibited to be use a cell phone while driving.
• Seat belts must be worn by everyone in the front seat
• Children under 5 years old must be seated in a special car seat in the rear.

If you get a traffic ticket, it must be paid within 48 hours in the province where you got the ticket.

Sometimes a police officer will suggest that you can “work things out” on the spot instead of getting a ticket (aka bribe). It is illegal for them to ask and illegal for you to participate so be very cautious about paying a bribe because it could be a set up.

Tips for driving in a foreign country.  When you’re driving on rural roads and want to pass someone, it is common to toot your horn so they know you are coming around. If there is a solid yellow line, it is a “no passing” zone.

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TOLL ROADS IN PANAMA

Most of Panama’s roads are very good, especially compared to other Latin American countries. There is only one main road that goes East-West across country, called the InterAmerican Highway or the PanAmerican Highway which goes to the Costa Rica border and about 2 hours East of Panama City near the Darien Province. There is no road that connects Panama with Colombia. There is no toll to use the PanAmerican Highway in the interior of Panama.

In Panama City there are toll roads called the Corredor Sur and Corredor Norte but outside of Panama City there are no toll roads.

PANAMA SPEED LIMITS

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Panama Immigration check point

The maximum speed limit is Panama is 100km (60 miles an hour). As you are driving in to a town, the speed limit will be reduced to 80km or 60km or less. All road signs, speed limits, and most car odometers are in Kilometers. Panama is very strict about speeding. Don’t do it!

Along the PanAmerican Highway, and other areas, there will be traffic police on small motorcycles to monitor traffic and watch out for speeders. They sometimes use a radar gun. If they think you are speeding, they will motion for you to pull over. You should pull over. They will not go chasing after you unless you do not pull over or unless you are driving really crazy.

If you do not stop, the police will take a photo of your license plate and car and upload it to a central system that immigration uses. Eventually, you will need to go through an immigration check point. They will check to see if you have been reported as speeding or breaking other laws. So, yes, eventually, speeding in Panama will catch up with you.

PANAMA DRINKING AND DRIVING LAWS

Panama’s Blood Alcohol Content is a ZERO driving limit. This means that just a small indication on a breathalyzer can result in a drunken driving violation and a maximum $2500 fine. If you are drinking and driving, your car/bus could be impounded too.

It is against the law to have alcohol in any open container anywhere inside a car or bus (We do not allow any alcohol inside the Panama Relocation Tours buses).

Especially during Panamanian holidays, the police could set up a check points in different areas to catch drivers who have been drinking alcohol or have open containers in the vehicle.

DRIVING AT NIGHT IN PANAMA

Use Caution When Driving at Night in Panama.

Extreme caution should be used when driving at night. There could be people wearing dark clothes walking on the road or close to the road. It is hard to see them until you come right up on them. It is common for people to ride bicycles, ride horses or walk along the PanAmerican Highway.

There could also be stray dogs, horses, chickens or cows on the road.

One time I was driving home after dark and a man was passed out right in the middle of the road. Especially at night, it is a good idea to drive slower than the posted speed limit and pay attention to your surroundings.

AFTER YOU GET A VISA…IMPORTANT

Once you get your residency Visa, you must get your Panama driver’s license within 30 days if you plan to drive. To get your Panama driver’s license, you will need to get your current driver’s license authenticated at the Embassy for your country. Most countries have an Embassy in Panama City. Then that document will need to be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Panama City. Once you have these documents, you will need to go to a laboratory to get a blood test to determine your blood type. Your blood type will be on your driver’s license. Then you can go to get your driver’s license. This will require a vision and hearing test. It is $40 for a driver’s license unless you are a pensionado, then it is only $36. Your license will need to be renewed every 4 years. Once you turn 70, you will need to renew your license every 2 years.

There is an excellent 8 part report on the benefits of Panama written by our friend Jackie Lange.

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Get Jackie’s FREE report How to retire in Ecuador here

Gary

Learn Spanish in Three Days ONLINE

The “Learn Spanish in Three Day Course” is now available online.

Learn Spanish in a day, or a week, month or any time frame that works for you.

I’m Gary Scott.  Over fifty years ago I started a business that has helped hundreds of thousands of subscribers learn about investing in Hong Kong (1960s and 1970s), Switzerland, London, Isle of Man (1970s and 1980s) and across Europe.  In the 1990s we took investors to Panama, Mexico and Ecuador.  That’s when we realized an incredible need for an easy way to learn Spanish.

See below how my wife Merri was able to create a program that allowed students to be speaking and understanding Spanish in just three days.

Thousands of subscribers have learned Spanish at our three day Super Spanish course.  These courses have been taught across the US, in Canada, Panama, Mexico, Ecuador, Uruguay and Spain.

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A Super Spanish course in Florida.

Read below to see how and why we are now offering our Super Spanish course ONLINE for the first time.

Speaking Spanish as a second language has huge benefits.

You can become one of the rare North Americans who can get along in Spanish speaking countries.  You can be one of the special people who can communicate with 10 million non-English speakers in the USA.  Spanish is the second most used language in the USA.  There are more Spanish speakers than speakers of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.  According to the Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language of nearly 50 million people in the US.  This is the largest Spanish-speaking community outside of Mexico. Only half of these speakers also speak English “very well,” and 19% do not speak English at all.

You become one of a leading few when you speak Spanish.  Yet there are more benefits.

An article in England’s leading newspaper, the Telegraph, entitled “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” (1) sum up the biggest benefit of learning a second language and increased intelligence.  The article says (bolds are mine): “Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for traveling. 

It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English. 

Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process.  The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.”

The article then explains studies that show seven cognitive advantages gained from learning a foreign language.

#1:  You become smarter
#2:  You build multitasking skills
#3:  You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
#4:  Your memory improves
#5:  You become more perceptive
#6:  Your decision-making skills improve
#7:  You improve your English

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

You may choose to take more time using the ONLINE course to learn Spanish, but thousands of our readers have learned to speak Spanish in only three days at our Spanish courses.

There is a scientific method of learning… proven and described in numerous best selling books that create educational jumps by making education natural, easy and fun.   This course works because it is education without stress!

A special method of learning (called Super Learning) was created and refined by the Bulgarian educational master, Georgi Lozanov.   Lozanov transformed the entire Soviet educational system to such a degree that this third world country beat the USA into space.

My wife Merri was lucky to be one of a handful of students outside of Bulgaria who were allowed to be taught this system in the early 1970s.  She practiced this unique and remarkable form of education for  four decades. It was a delight!

Merri and I began integrating these techniques with other shamanic and educational tactics we had gained in our global travels and then applied them to teach Spanish in three days.

The course has been proven again and again by the thousands who have used this system.  You can read a few of the many raves we have received from students who have learned from the Super Thinking Spanish course we created.

Here are a few quotes from delegates of the course.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote:  Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week, and I’m on to a new career.  What is my new career?  Still formulating, but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language; the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.  We all and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.  I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.  Last year I spent six weeks in Ecuador and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home. You do what you say you will. There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks. The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.  Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.  You did, however, and I look forward to other courses that you offer, and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.  Best regards, Denis Molloy.

Another wrote about the Super Spanish course:   Buenos Dias, here is a testimonial for Super Thinking-Super Spanish.  Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course.  In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Spanish.  And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Spanish is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.  In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (www.sundaybaroque.org).  What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi.  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from a course wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it.  It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.

“They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  I would definitely recommend this course.  Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you.  This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning.  The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price.  The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless.  Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment.  I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary.  I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better!  Muchas Gracias!  I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word!  Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning.  Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach.  I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish,  I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

“It was a very enjoyable class.”

How The Course Works

The first tactic is to use Baroque music to create Relaxed Concentration in the learning process.  At least three best selling books, “Superlearning”, the “Mozart Effect” and “Superlearning 2000” have revealed insights about how to learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov.  

Merri was among just a few who learned directly from Lozanov.

gary scott super thinking session

Super Spanish relaxed concentration session.

You gain six valuable ONLINE Relaxed Concentration sessions in the online course that is delivered via the internet.

The second tactic uses 17 unique lessons to provide Spanish fluency in a short time.   Let me prove to you how this tactic works by teaching you hundreds of Spanish words in less than 30 seconds.

Here is the proof.

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

There you have it.  How long did it take you to read the sentence?  You now know hundreds of Spanish words that you will never forget.

See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

Then, the third lesson teaches almost as many verbs, almost as quickly.

The fourth lesson shows how to avoid conjugating verbs by sticking with the infinitive (far easier than it sounds).  This simple lesson leaves a person sounding like a Spanish professor without ever conjugating a verb.

Lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything desired in Spanish.

Lesson six gives valuable connectors and the seventh lesson triples the Spanish capacity with three words for “yesterday,” “now” and “tomorrow”.

By the end of three days you feel comfortable speaking Spanish.

Plus the system is Impro-Dynamic.  This means your Spanish keeps getting better even though you do not seem to be studying… practicing… or speaking Spanish.

I was amazed by this as I traveled back and forth from the USA to Ecuador.  The longer I was away from Ecuador… the better my Spanish became.  My second language was automatically improving The self improving feature comes because you learn to create Spanish sentences rather than remember them.  The portion of the brain that creates is more powerful than the portion that recalls.  When your mind creates something… it owns it!  You do not have to remember .

During the course you learn 4005 Spanish words that you already know.   This eliminates the need to memorize 99% of Spanish words.

You then learn how to create Spanish sentences from these words.

Throughout the course you learn how to pronounce the sentences you create.

When the course ends… the mind keeps working… and creating… so next time you begin to speak Spanish you’ll be surprised .  You improve even though you have not actively worked on your lingual skill.

Due to the difficulty of getting groups together to learn this valuable technique, we created an online program for subscribers to use the Super Spanish course at home.   The normal three day course fee is $499 ($749 for a couple).

The ONLINE course is available at the highly reduced price of $79.

I’ll be in touch personally via email with each person who signs up for this course to see how it works or what is required to make it better.  Once this test is complete, we plan to offer the program on a larger scale and at a much higher price.

The ONLINE course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee.  Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund.

Learn Spanish online $79 - using coupon code SPANISH70 at checkout to immediately save $70 off the regular price of $149.

Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

This course improved my self confidence in my ability to learn and retain a language.  It was presented with genuine enthusiasm, great energy and the style of learning is very effective. Gracias!  It was a great experience.

Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

And a few days after that ….  As I went through my day, just hanging out with my son, I could see myself starting to think in Spanish.  At first I thought it was amusing but as it continued and increased I thought “My goodness this is really remarkable amazing” It was really an effortless unfolding.  I wasn’t at any point “trying” to think in Spanish, just words I knew would fly across the screen in my mind.  And then this afternoon, my son cuddled up on the couch to watch some cartoons on his ipad and was watching Peppa Pig in Spanish…hmm coincidence?  I think not, I’m radiating Spanish so much that my son is being influenced!  Thanks a million again.  This weekend the best learning experience of my life!!

If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

Gary noted:  “The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants.  It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere.  The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable.  It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective.”

Twila said:  “This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning.  The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing.  I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply.  Starting with conversation is way more fun.  How quickly you can learn!  It was a great group, great instructors and great stories.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

Marie wrote:  “I would highly recommend this course.  The amount covered in 3 days is amazing!  All with no stress.  The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish.  I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools.”

Learn Spanish online $79 - using coupon code SPANISH70 at checkout to immediately save $70 off the regular price of $149.

Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

Learn Young or Old

Most Super Spanish students are all ages ,

Gary-scott-spanish-course

Super Spanish students at this course ranged from nine to over eighty years old.

Become a Spanish translator!

The wife of one couple who attended explained how after just three days her husband ended up as an accidental translator.

She wrote:  Gary,  I have sent Merri a couple of messages, and  a story of Mike being able to translate yesterday for a Spanish person  who couldn’t understand what a man was trying to tell him!

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

The video below shows a super fast way to gain the basics so you can communicate in Spanish in just three days.

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Click here for FREE Super Spanish video.

Still can’t believe you can learn Spanish in a short time?

You have nothing to lose but to try.

The ONLINE Super Spanish course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee. 

Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund.

Learn Spanish online $79 - using coupon code SPANISH70 at checkout to immediately save $70 off the regular price of $149.

(1) www.telegraph.co.uk Benefits-of-bilingualism.html