Panama is one of the safest tourist destinations in the region. In 1990, following the example of Costa Rica, its neighbor to the north, Panama abolished its army and amended the constitution to prohibit the creation of a ‘standing military force’.
Crime rates are low, even in the urban centers, and a stable political climate and friendly population make this a welcoming hearth for visitors and settlers alike. Tourists are well regarded; if you are ever in need of directions, Panamanians are always happy to point the way.
Taxi robbery is unheard of and purse snatching rare. However, in recent years, crime has increased, particularly in the poor areas of town, so caution is recommended whenever on the street or in crowded public spaces or bars. Always avoid carrying your travel documents or large amounts of money in your purse or wallet.