(Eye on Panama) Here is my recommended list of things to pack for travelers coming to Panama.
1. Electronic Reader – A E-reader allows you to travel considerably lighter.
2. A Small Cross Body Bag – Women bring small purses and end up not using them at all. Instead carry a very small cross body bag. It fits your passport, phone, credit card, ready cash, and lipstick. You’ll use used this all the time – when walking, when shopping, when sight-seeing. It weighs nothing which is a godsend when running here and there.
3. Snorkeling Gear – I had wished too many times that I had brought my own snorkeling mask and mouth piece to leave it behind again.
4. A Camera With Zoom – Love my Iphone for this. I had nearly 900 photos my last trip.
5. A Dressy Outfit – There are restaurants, clubs, and parties that are very chic in Panama.
6. Antibiotic Ointment – I might have avoided an infected ankle had I packed this.
7. Insect Repellent – You will not need it in the city but will wish for it almost everywhere else to ward off more than mosquitoes. Benadryl tablets and anti itch cream will let you sleep instead of scratch all night.
8. Cotton – It is simply the best fabric to wear in Panama, especially light weight knits that need little or no ironing.
9. Umbrella – one small enough to easily tuck away. When it rains it pours.
10. Beach Mat – The straw kind that fold flat and weigh almost nothing. I so wished we had one when in San Blas and Bocas, it would have made it much more comfortable than sharing the sand and fallen palm leaves with sand crabs and other crawlers.
11. Mister &/or Cooling Neck-Wrap – The morning and late afternoon/evening are perfect for walking in Panama most days. However the combination of heat and humidity during day will make you long to be cooler. I found these neck wraps that you soak in water which kept me cooler for hours.
12. A Lightweight Waterproof Jacket – This is if you intend to hike in Boquete or El Valle or planning on taking overnight buses.
13. Sun Glasses.