Rental cars are available at the Tocumen International Airport, and in the city of Colon. An international driver’s license is not required in Panama, but drivers do need to be over 21-years of age, and there are typically additional fees for drivers under 25. The major US rental agencies are available, but because of the poor road conditions these companies have a less significant presence than in other tourist destinations. If you’re looking to rent a car from a local service, be sure to check the condition of the car prior to accepting it. Likewise, consider renting and SUV, which can handle the poor road conditions better than a compact vehicle, and confirm that the vehicle is equipped with air conditioning, which you’re almost certain to use.

The road conditions in Panama are poor, and the traffic conditions can only be described as extreme. There are few traffic lights, very few street lights even in parts of Colon, and the locals have very undisciplined driving habits. Auto insurance is not mandatory in Panama, and many drivers are unlicensed and uninsured.

The same often holds true of taxicabs, and finding a taxi is typically never a problem. Finding a licensed and insured taxi is another issue altogether. Use your best judgment, but generally you should avoid unlicensed taxis, and even when using an official taxi you should confirm the rate at the beginning of the trip.