As cruise ships are not able to dock here you will be tendered ashore.
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The Pearl Islands (Spanish: Archipiélago de las Perlas or Islas de las Perlas) are a group of 100 or more islands (many tiny and uninhabited) lying about 30 miles off the Pacific coast of Panama in the Gulf of Panama.
The largest island, at about 30 square miles, is Isla del Rey ("Island of the King"), its name probably a religious reference rather than a reference to a secular king. Isla del Rey has several towns, most notably San Miguel. It is easily larger than the other Pearl Islands combined, and is the second largest island in Panama, after Coiba.
There are two kinds of buses in Panama. The ones you find on the highway, and "city buses". The highway buses are constantly making journeys from terminals in Panama city to different destinations along the Pan American Highway, and back to the terminals. They're pretty frequent, and the buses will pick you up or drop you off at any point along their route, and most of them are air conditioned. The roughly linear shape of the country makes it ideal for a bus system, so ideal in fact that you don't really need to rent a car to get around most areas.
Taxis are also a decent way to get around in Panama. They're not expensive at all.
Traditional Panamanian crafts can be found most cheaply at artesian markets. In Panama City, the best are found at the market in Balboa, with the Panama Viejo market coming in as a close second. Panama's best-known craft is the mola, intricate reverse-applique handwork made by the Kuna. Molas can be bought at either of these craft markets, or from vendors on the seawall in Casco Viejo.
Panama uses the Balboa and the US Dollar as its currencies. The balboa is equivalent to the US dollar and has exactly the same value, but in reality the Balboas only exist as coins that are equivalent to the US coins.
Languages Spanish (official), English 14% note: many Panamanians bilingual.
Shopping hours vary, but most of the stores and shops open from 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m. and some even up to 10:00 p.m. from Monday to Sunday.
Public Holidays New Year's Day, Day of Mourning (Jan 9), Carnival (Shrove Tuesday), Good Friday, Labor Day (May 1), Revolution Day, National Anthem Day (Nov 1), All Souls' Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, Uprising of Los Santos (Nov 10), Independence from Spain, Mother's Day, Christmas. In Panama City, Foundation of Panama City (Aug 15 or 16) is a public holiday. Colón has an additional Independence Day on Nov 5.
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