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Photo by George Guille, It's going to be a long 300km... Bolivian Amazon

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by George Guille
It's going to be a long 300km...
Bolivian Amazon

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Old 28 Dec 2023
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Panama - Information

I have just arrived in Panama and bought a new Royal Enfield Himalayan with which to continue my RTW trip in the Americas.

I will now provide some information about Panama that is accurate at the time of posting.

I bought the bike new from the local RE dealer and the only document needed to purchase the bike was my passport.

I did not have to be a resident of the country nor did I need to have an address in Panama to have the bike registered in my name.

The dealer sorted out insurance without which the dealer is not allowed to let the bike out of the premises.

There is no rail network in Panama and public transport between cities is all done by bus or internal air flights.

Between the hours of 6 pm (1800) and 6 am (0600) it is mandatory for motorcyclists to wear some sort of reflective vest or clothing, even if the sun is still shining. Sounds weird but apparently that's the law here.

There are 3 toll roads in Panama, the North Corridor road and South corridor road that essentially form a ring road around Panama city and the third is the main road between Panama city and the city of Colon.

The tolls on these roads are fully automatic therefore they can not be paid for in cash or by card at a toll booth. All vehicles must be registered to use the roads before they can be driven/ridden on them.

The toll system is called Panapass and the website his here


A guide to how to obtain the Panapass written in English can be found here.


I chose not to use this system and I used the toll free roads but they were more congested, especially at peak traffic times.

As I begin to travel in the Americas any other information that I believe will be useful to bikers I shall post in the appropriate forum.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Information Update

The speed limits in Panama are 40 km/h (25 mph) in built up areas, 60 km/h (37 mph) outside built up areas, 80 km/h (50 mph) on dual carriageways and 100 km/h (62 mph) on certain sections of dual carriageways and Toll motorways.

All of the road signs for the main roads are Green with White writing. The Toll motorways are indicated on theses Green and White signs with a Blue box and with motorway symbol in White inside the Blue box. The local road signs are White with Black writing.

The Panamanian Toll roads I can not comment about as I was never on them. The main Panamanian roads are Highway 1 and Highway 2. These are generally good however, Highway 1 tends to get worse the closer you get to Panama city. The condition of the smaller roads are generally poor, degrading to pothole ridden obstacle courses in sections.

I would not recommend riding anywhere in Panama at night due to the number of very large potholes that are on the roads.

Petrol at the time of writing was about 0.95 US Dollars per litre.

Panama is awash with police using hand held speed guns and they are everywhere. On most roads where the speed limit changes you will find a police bike parked up in the shade or under a bridge operating a speed trap. Sometimes the speed limit signs are obvious but sometimes they are not.

There are also a lack of signs on exiting built up areas telling you that you have left it so you can be riding for a few miles before you see a sign telling you that the speed restriction is over. Such signs are either the higher or lower speed limit signs, or a Yellow diamond shaped sign wth Black writing telling you (in Spanish) to reduce or resume your speed. All very haphazard so beware.
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