After now living here for 4 months its safe to say that we have a pretty good idea of how safe the food and water is! I am a big blogger and fan of groups on Facebook. One of the groups that I check in on daily always has questions about living and moving to Panama. A post just came up asking about the water and food, and was it safe to eat and drink here. The answer is very much YES!!
The community that we live in is lucky to be supplied by well water. It’s so fresh and pure and tastes great. Some other communities are supplied by IDAAN which is the water service for the whole country of Panama. They might have some issues with water if they have old pipes, or a leak in the system but that could happen in the USA or Canada.
Staying Healthy Tips:
Travelers in Panama should have no problem staying healthy, as
standards of hygiene are high, and tap water is safe to drink in most areas. Those with sensitive stomachs will want to drink bottled water when outside major hotels and cities. The most common health problems that affect travelers in Panama are sunburn and mosquito bites. Illnesses that once ravaged humans in the Tropics, such as yellow fever and malaria, are no longer epidemic in Panama.
Tap water is generally drinkable in Panama, except for in Bocas del Toro and the Comarca de Kuna Yala. Visitors who have recently arrived may want to start with bottled water and minimum amounts of tap water.
If you have ever traveled to Mexico, or just live near it you have probably heard all about this problem. Here is a defitintion from Wikipedia: Traveler’s diarrhea (TD), sometimes tourist diarrhea or traveler’s dysentery, is a stomach and intestinal infection, and the most common illness affecting travelers. It is defined as three or more unformed stoolspassed by a traveler within a 24-hour period. It is commonly accompanied by abdominal cramps, nausea, and bloating. The diagnosis does not imply causative organism, but enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is the most common pathogen. Bacteria are responsible for roughly 80% of cases; most of the rest are caused by viruses and protozoans.
Although Mexico is very close to Panama, this is not a concern for anyone traveling to Panama. Thanks to the strong US influence in Panama the water system infrastructure is of good quality and you are safe drinking the tap water in most places. There are some places you have to drink bottled or filtered water. Most of the outlying islands, like Contadora for example, are supplied by rain water that is held in large open lakes. This means you either filter the water or buy it in a bottle.
Wherever you go, just ask if there are any issues with the water. More than likely if there are, they won’t serve you the tap water anyway!
If in doubt…..just order a beer!! HAHAHAH!! Cheers!!