You can do just about anything on an app now… order food, order a driver, chat with someone across the world, the options are endless! In Panama there are a number of apps that have popped up that can truly make your life easier, so here are my top 26 apps that everyone should have on their smartphone.
Whatsapp: You must have this app in Panama or no one is going to talk to you. You’ll often hear people say “What’s your Whatsapp” instead of “What’s your phone number”. It allows you to text anyone for free worldwide that also has the app.
Duo Lingo: It’s basically like Rosetta Stone – but FREE! It works on phones and tablets so you practice Spanish while on the go. It’s especially useful to help make the time go by faster while waiting in Panama’s epic grocery lines.
Google Translate: Sometimes I blackout on a certain word in Spanish or need to know a word that I’ve never used. It’s easy to be able to whip out my phone and get an instant translation. You can even hover the phone over a menu or other text that’s in Spanish and it will magically translate it.
Paginas Amarillas: Find phone numbers on the go with Panama’s version of the Yellow Pages.
Google Hangouts: Setup a google voice number and then use the Hangouts app to send / receive SMS texts and make phone calls to any U.S. phone number for free.
Tandem: Nothing helps with becoming fluent like speaking with a native and Tandem allows you to do just that! The app connects you with native Spanish speakers (or any other language) and allows you to practice through text and video chats.
Transport & Navigation Apps
Google Maps: This is the best maps app to use for walking as well as driving directions in Panama. If you have an iPhone, Apple Maps does not work well in Panama yet so download Google Maps if you haven’t already.
Waze: This is the best for getting around Panama if you’re driving. The maps are very accurate and it also updates you with traffic conditions and police stops. Since Panama does not have addresses this app really comes in handy because you just have to type in the name of the building, restaurant, etc and it knows the GPS coordinates of the location.
Tu Chofer: Arrive anywhere in Panama in style with your own chofer. The app uses the phone’s GPS to have a driver pick you up and then the fare is calculated by the distance and time. I love this app for arriving home safely after a night out. Enter promotion code PTYLIFE10 in the app to get a $10 credit.
Uber: The popular worldwide car service app is now in Panama and definitely makes it easier to get around if you don’t have a car. Sign up for Uber via THIS LINK or enter promo code UBERPTYLIFE to receive a $10 credit of your first ride.
Easy Taxi: If you prefer to get around using a traditional taxi then you can hail a registered cab from your smartphone using Easy Taxi.
Cabify: A newly launched transportation app that works throughout Latin America and allows you to call a car on the spot or schedule a pickup in advance. Save $10 on your first ride with promo code JOEYB1.
Tllevo: A locally developed transportation app in Panama that offers instant or scheduled pickups and provides free wifi during the ride.
Top Taxi: The first app to easily calculate the ever confusing taxi rates in Panama City! Enter your beginning and end destination, number of passengers, and time of day and the app will give you an estimate of what you should pay for your next taxi trip.
PTY Cards: A great app that lets you check the balance of your Metro, Metrobus, Rapipass,and Panapass cards.
Food & Entertainment Apps
Degusta: This is THE APP for finding the best restaurants in Panama City. You can sort restaurants by nearest to you, category price and more. Each restaurant has real user reviews and you can even make reservations through the app.
Super Deportes: A must-have app for surfers that allows you to checkout the current wave conditions and tides for beaches in Panama.
Live Walk PTY: Go on an interactive self0-guided audio tour of Casco Viejo with Live Walk PTY. The buildings, plazas, and streets will come alive in your imagination as the app guides you through over four hundred years of history in the places they took place.
Appetito 24: The best restaurants in Panama are just a click away with Appetito 24. Choose a restaurant, add food from their menu to the cart, place your order and have it delivered in 30-45 minutes.
Pedidos Ya: Another restaurant delivery app with a few different establishments if the first one didn’t have enough for you. Pasta, pizza, sushi – whatever your favorite restaurant delivers, you can order it through PedidosYa.
Paneco: The worst is when your at the pool, run out of beers, and are having too much fun to leave to go buy more. Paneco is an app that solves this problem with their quick liquor delivery service. The app is simple and allows you to add all the booze you need to your cart and have it delivered right to your house – the ultimate app for alcoholics!
Cines Panama: Search movie listings, view trailers, and more for every movie theater in Panama.
Download for iPhone
Post: So Panama is lacking a proper mail system which can make it difficult to send postcards to relatives during your vacation. With Post you can snap a photo with your smartphone and the app will print off a postcard and mail it to anyone in the U.S.
Download for iPhone
Compre o Alquile: Search for apartment listings on the go with this handy app.
Encuentra 24: This is the Craigslist of Panama and you can search classifieds for apartments, furniture, jobs, and more.
Airbnb: Book a weekend getaway at one of Panama’s beautiful beaches with Airbnb. If you haven’t used the service before, here’s $20 off your first stay!
What are your favorite apps in Panama? Leave a comment below.