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Panama Vaccinations and General Health Info for Visitors

  1. Can I drink water from the tap in Panama?
  2. Should I get any vaccinations - inoculations - immunizations - take medicines before or during my vacation in Panama?
  3. Will I need a mosquito net?

1. Can I drink the tap water in Panama?

In Boquete, you most certainly can! We even encourage it. The water is fresh from the mountains, tastes great, and couldn't be safer to drink. Buying bottled water in Boquete would be a crime to the environment, and to your wallet. In Bocas del Toro, most certainly NOT! It will make you sick, so don't even try unless you want to grow some parasites and go on a shock diet. We do not have good water treatment systems in Bocas del Toro, and remember that Bocas is an island. Everything we have has to come from the mainland somehow, and has to be stored. You will have to either buy bottled water, or take advantage of the few smart businesses who collect rain water and filter it. We do that here at Habla Ya Spanish Schools, and it tastes great! And guess what? It's FREE and you don't have to worry about generating plastic and harming the environment. Everywhere else on mainland - YES you can, so in Panama City you can also drink water from the tap.

2. Should I get any vaccinations - inoculations - immunizations - take medicines before or during my vacation in Panama?

To have the most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect and to start taking medicine to prevent malaria, ONLY if you need it (rural areas - not urban - of the provinces of Bocas Del Toro, Darién, Veraguas, San Blas and San Blas Islands).

Even if you have less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.

There are some routine vaccinations that most travelers should have already received: measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.

And then there are other medicines and vaccinations that DEPEND on which part of Panama you will be visiting, such as Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Rabies, Malaria, Dengue, etc.

For the most up to date information please consult a Travel Medical specialist in your home country and READ THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM YOUR OWN COUNTRY'S HEALTH AUTHORITIES:

3. Will I need a mosquito net?

The answer is no. Not in Boquete nor Panama City, because they aren't mosquito infested area thanks to its fresh climate, but not in Bocas del Toro either. Sure, we have mosquitos, but unless you open the windows and leave the light on at night, you won't be bothered much! Notice how I said "not much" as opposed to "not at all"? You will get the occasional bite, let's make that clear. If you have super sensitive skin, a regular mosquito repellant or even better coconut oil will do the trick. Also avoid being at the beach at dusk or when it's cloudy as sand flies like to attack during those conditions.

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