US to Panama power adapters - do you need to bring a power adapter for Panama?

Panamanian power outlet

What adapter do I need for Panama?

You need to use a Type B plug adapter for Panama if the plug you need to use won't fit into a Panamanian power outlet.

The type of plug adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting Panama will all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to use in a Panamanian power outlet. If you do not know which voltage your device uses then read the section below about how to tell the voltage of your device first.

  • Some areas of Panama do not have access to power and suffer from regular power blackouts, it is advised to pack a portable charger if you want to recharge your mobile phone whilst staying in an area without electricity or during a power outage.
  • If you're from America and visiting Panama you will not need a power adapter or power converter. However it may be practical to use a USB travel power adapter as it allows you to recharge multiple devices by only bringing one charger.
  • If your device is 120 volts or is dual voltage and the plug fits in a Panamanian power outlet then you can use it in Panama without needing anything else.
  • If your device is 120 volts or is dual voltage but your plug doesn't fit in a Panamanian power outlet you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Panama such a Type B plug adapter. A plug adapter for Panama (or power adapter) will change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Panama, but isn't designed to change the voltage from 120 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 120 volts and isn't dual voltage you will also need a power converter for Panama to convert the voltage from 120 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Panama if the power converter doesn't use the correct Type B plug adapter.
  • If you simply want to bring your USB devices such as tablets or mobile phones then a USB travel power adapter is recommended and it should work with any voltage, however make sure that you bring one which includes a Type B plug adapter otherwise you will still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Panama[3]

Warning: If your device won't handle the 120 volts used in Panama you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in Panama read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Panama power adapters

Power adapters for Panama

Differing voltages and standards can often be daunting when planning on staying in another country to the first time traveller. With only a handful of different types of standards being used throughout the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to power your electronics in Panama. This page contains links to step-by-step instructions which shows which power adapters you'll need to power your devices when staying in Panama by using their Type B or A Panamanian 120 volt 60Hz wall outlets. You'll discover most power adapters change from country to country therefore please read our Wikiconnections travel power adapters guide for a full list of powering devices in different countries.

What is the best power adapter for Panama?

The best power adapter for Panama will be a Type B plug adapter which will allow you to use any 120 volt appliance or device. [3]

What is the best power adapter for Panama?

What is a power adapter for a Panamanian power outlet?

Power adapters are compact and cheap plastic adapters that allow a different type of power plug from a foreign region to easily fit into a power socket in Panama. [5]

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter for Panama enables visitors from a different location to use their electronic appliances in Panama by altering the shape of the power plug.

Do I need a plug adapter in Panama?

It will depend on where you are travelling from and the type of plug you wish to use in Panama.

Panama

Do I need a plug adapter for Panama if I'm visiting from America?

An American plug won't require a power adapter because it already fits into a Panamanian power outlet.

Panama

Will a power adapter convert the voltage in Panama?

Power adapters will only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet and is unable to convert the power to a higher voltage. Should you wish to safely use a 220, 230 or 240 volt device then you will also need to bring a more expensive step up power converter for Panama along with the correct type of power adapter.

Panama
Where to buy a power adapter for Panama in the US

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where to buy a power adapter for Panama in the US

Panama to US power adapters will most likely be available in most major US International airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists such as Hudson News or Brookstone, but expect to pay more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

It will be more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street electrical stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Home Depot or Fry's normally sell a limited range of travel adapters to popular locations but for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Electrical adapters for Panama

Travel Power Strips

Power strips have AC and USB sockets

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • A travel power strip is able to power many electronic devices at once from only one Panamanian power outlet, costing under $40.
  • Some models will convert voltage for lower wattage devices such as laptops or cameras. So therefore if your device isn't dual voltage it will still work in Panama by using only a travel power strip. This will make them a cheaper lightweight substitute for a power converter.
  • Most models also feature a number of USB charge ports.
  • The voltage from power outlets in certain areas could fluctuate, a power surge might damage your devices. There are some models which have a built in surge protector which will prevent any electronics from being overloaded.
  • When you return to America the power strip could still work as a power strip and USB charger.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in Panama.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • Unlike a normal voltage converter, the voltage converter on a travel power strip won't work with high wattage appliances such as hair straighteners or clothes irons.
  • Due to their weight power strips might be unsuitable for packing in hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips might be considered excessive if you only have a small number of devices that need charging. [6]
Power Plug Adapters

A cheap and simple type B plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Travellers from America using any domestic 2 pin Type A or 3 pin Type B plugs will not need to use a plug adapter for Panama as these already fit a Panamanian power outlet.

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Cheap, with prices under $10.
  • Simple to operate.
  • Bringing a Type B plug adapter will work in Panama.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • One power adapter for each appliance - for each individual device or appliance you will also need to pack a separate power plug adapter.
  • A plug adapter only modifies the shape of the plug to fit in a Type B Panamanian power outlet and doesn't change the actual voltage. So if your device doesn't work with 120 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll still need to pack a separate voltage converter.
  • Hotel rooms might only have one power outlet available, therefore you'll only be capable of powering a single appliance at a time.
  • You'll also still need to pack your separate USB charger if you wish to power any USB device.
  • If you plan to travel to more than just one country you may need to pack multiple power adapter types. [3]
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB travel charger with changable heads

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Ideal in situations when you only want to charge devices which are USB powered.
  • You only need to bring one charger instead of carrying lots of domestic USB power chargers which costs on average around $15.
  • Chargers come with swappable heads making them versatile in a large number of different locations. Interchangeable adapter heads supplied with travel USB wall chargers are usually small and lightweight making them easy to store.
  • Models should have a surge protector built in, this will protect your device from being overpowered by unstable power grids in some countries.
  • When you return to America it could still be of use.
  • The swappable plugs will fit into Types A/B, E/F, G and I power outlets so will work in Panama.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • They only have USB ports so you will be unable to power any electrical appliances, only USB ones. [7]
Universal Travel Power Adapters

Universal adapters work in multiple countries

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Useful when visiting to multiple countries. Most models operate in over 150 different countries.
  • An all in one design. Both small and lightweight for between $15 to $20.
  • There are some universal travel power adapters which include multiple USB charging ports.
  • Straightforward operation.
  • Some models include a surge protector built in to protect any device from being overpowered by an unstable power grid in some countries.
  • The retractable pins don't get caught against other items when packed in your baggage.
  • When you return home it should still be of use as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so will fit in a Panamanian power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Cannot be used with a high powered electrical appliance - for example clothes irons, kettles or curling irons.
  • The shutters, pins and moving parts could be fragile on some models which might make them likely to jam whilst abroad.
  • Will only charge one plug.
  • Might not work in some countries, models might not work in certain countries with less popular outlet types.
  • Universal travel power adapters lack a built in voltage converter meaning they're not suitable for electrical appliances which don't support 120 volts in Panama. [8]
Plug Adapter Sets

A power plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • As prices are roughly between $15 to $20 a power adapter set will typically work out cheaper than buying multiple plug adapters for multiple locations costing almost $10 each.
  • Covers all countries.
  • For travellers visiting multiple locations a power plug adapter set is the most flexible option.
  • Includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N adapters so will work in Panama.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Not flexible; prior to any trip you'll have to choose which adapters to pack, or alternatively bring each plug adapter type.
  • Lots individual plug adapters to pack.
  • With just a single functioning plug adapter the remaining power adapters will be redundant using up space.
  • Not every power adapter types are typically included (and especially rarer adapters), so ensure that your plug adapter set has one that works with a Panamanian power outlet.
  • A plug adapter only alters the shape of the plug but won't change the voltage. [9]
Voltage Converters

Larger voltage converters

Voltage Converters

Those travelling from America will not need to use a converter as the voltage in Panama is 120 volts.

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • A voltage converter will only change the 120 volts in Panama and won't change the actual shape of the plug to slot in a Panamanian power outlet, you'll still be required to use a suitable power adapter.
  • Expensive, almost $120.
  • The normal weight of voltage converters makes them impractical for packing in hand luggage.
  • An expensive voltage converter will be redundant when get back home.
  • Often better value to buy a dual voltage travel appliance than to buy a much more expensive voltage converter just in order to power your existing single voltage appliance abroad.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Panama

Type B Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Panama Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included B A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 45+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type B Panamanian power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Useful when you return to America Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 120 volt AC appliance in Panama Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Estimated price under $10 between $15 to $20 between $15 to $20 between $35 to $40 between $15 to $20 almost $100
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Panama power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Panama?

Type A and B power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Panama?

There are two different types of power supply used in Panama, types B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can identify this plug socket by the 2 slots adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type B - This wall outlet (also called a type B power outlet) can be recognised by the two slots where the twin plug socket blades go with a semicircle shaped hole below for the earthed pin. [3]

Do US plugs work in Panama?

Yes, a US plug will work with a Panamanian power outlet so won't require a power converter or an adapter.

Panama

What is the frequency used in a Panamanian power outlet?

The frequency from a Panamanian power outlet is 60Hz. [11]

Panama
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country

Is the voltage in Panama the same as the US?

The voltage in Panama is 120 volts, the same as the US.

Panama

Are outlets in Panama the same as US?

An American plug will fit into outlets in Panama, both the voltage range and frequency are the identical to the US.

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How do I use a 220 volt appliance in Panama?

Use a step up power converter should you need to bring a 220V, 230V or 240V appliance to Panama.

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Are there many power outages in Panama?

Typically Panama reports power failures on a monthly basis.

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What is access to electrical power in Panama like?

In Panama almost 10% of the population of the country doesn't have access to electricity.

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Do I need a power bank for Panama?

USB power bank for charging cell phones

Do I need a power bank for Panama?

As the power grid isn't available in all areas of Panama alongside problems with the reliability of the power grid, travellers are advised to bring backup charging solutions if they wish to continue using devices such as cellphones or cameras.

  • Whilst travelling increased reliance on cell phones for taking photos, storing itineraries, social network sharing, getting directions and web browsing can syphon off power more excessively than normal. As well as the simple missing photograph opportunities this could potentially leave you without adequate power to make an emergency call or being able to use a GPS app to return back to your accommodation. Bringing along a 10,000mAh portable charger to Panama lowers the risk as it means you can keep your smart phone charged without using a wall charger, especially when visiting a country with a lack of access to power and power outages in some areas.
  • Use at least a 10,000mAh power bank which can store enough electricity to power over three full cycles while a 20,000mAh portable charger should keep an average smart phone powered for almost a week depending on the model of phone and usage.
  • Providing that your laptop uses a USB-C charging port then packing a portable charger for a laptop marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies at least 20Wh can be used to extend the battery life of the laptop.
  • Be aware that some airlines won't let you take batteries on an aircraft with more than 100 Wh of power and must not be kept in the hold.
  • Consumer power banks aren't designed for use with high wattage items, but a rechargeable hair dryer or gas hair straighteners can be used for travelling to locations with power cuts and limited access to electricity such as Panama.    [12] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
Do solar chargers work in Panama?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot weather

Do solar chargers work in Panama?

The sunshine in Panama should be adequate enough to recharge solar power bank dependably, however it needs to be left in strong sunshine in order to provide suitable power for a single charge. This could prove inconvenient to constantly unpack a solar power bank then wait for it to recharge in sunny spells.

  • The larger durable solar panels found on a solar backpack give the bag the ability to create more electricity within a shorter period of time, making them ideal for the climate in Panama.
  • Phones that have been plugged directly into a USB charging port of a solar backpack will trickle charge the battery during sunny spells in Panama, however might be inconvenient to have a phone continually connected to the bag should it be needed constantly. A solar powered bag is usually exposed to daylight therefore can be powering up a power bank during the day, unlike a handheld solar power bank that requires unpacking and facing sunlight.
  • Although the climate in Panama is suitable, a bag should have a solar cell efficiency of at least 22%, be able to generate a minimum of 6 watts of power and be used with a 10,000mAH power bank or stronger. The durable and flexible solar cells used in solar powered bags have been designed to survive scratches and bending, unlike normal firm solar cells. Solar bags are available in backpack, laptop messenger and rucksack styles making them perfect for travel, work and domestic use.  [17] [18]

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Panama chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Panama?

When you are travelling with more than one device and visiting more than one country then the best international travel charger for Panama is a multiple USB port adapter which includes compatible plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger. Panamanians use two different standards of wall outlets (B and A) and bringing this ensures that you are covered for type A. Because these types of chargers come with interchangeable plugs and handle 100 to 240 volts will mean that you can travel to multiple countries around the world just by changing the supplied plugs. If your type of device can support Fast Charge then you will benefit from much faster recharging times with one of these travel adapters, plus support for more power hungry devices like tablets. Unlike other chargers this will also allow you to power multiple devices simultaneously without needing to bring multiple travel chargers for your trip. Only packing a single travel charger will keep the overall size and weight down, making it perfect to store in hand luggage whilst travelling. Due to their space saving versatility these types of power adapters can be used when back at home not just abroad so when you're not travelling they can be used overnight charging multiple tablets, phones and speakers and using just a single plug socket.

For those travelling frequently we suggest buying this type of flexible travel adapter online. The travel adapter illustrated here is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger which has been successfully tested for powering multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries around the world. [7]

What USB charger do I need for Panama?

Why use a travel USB charger for Panama?

  • Most travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, this means that you should only need to bring a single charger to charge multiple devices. It helps reduce the weightand size of your luggage by only bringing one USB wall charger instead of bringing several different USB power chargers.
  • Travel USB power chargers will include swappable plug heads for different countries. This is perfect when visiting multiple countries across North America which are likely to use a different standard to Panama.
  • A good USB power charger is rugged, lightweight and compact; ideal for rigors of travel rather than risking packing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair in Panama.
  • USB chargers can accept both the 120 volts used in Panama power outlets and different voltage standards across the world.
  • It is possible that hotel rooms or accommodation in Panama might only have one power outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single power supply with all your devices instead of waiting to charge one device at a time.
  • Because of their flexible nature they take the uncertainty out of visiting any unknown destination as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets in airports can be scant and demand for charging multiple devices during departure can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is ideal.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a good quality travel charger allows for unexpected fluctuations and will prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded smartphone in Panama might prove to be difficult and costly.
  • Higher priced USB chargers should also include a power outlet strip to allow you to use low powered domestic appliances such as laptops, but please note these are unsuitable for high wattage domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. For further information please see our guide on using travel appliances with a Panamanian power outlet for helpful guidelines on the best power adapter to use with a Panamanian power outlet for high powered devices.
  • Some tablets and mobile phones could require more than the usual 500 mA produced from a normal 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Ensure that the USB power adapter can support fast charging incase some of your devices draw extra power.
  • On returning home travel USB power chargers can still be useful by charging multiple cell phones and tablets every day using a single power outlet. [7]

What is the best USB charger for Panama?

A 4 port USB travel charger is the most compact option for travellers from around the world who only have USB devices, however for those also wanting to use their domestic plugs these power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power adapters offer surge protection which can be crucial for travellers to regions with unreliable or unstable power supplies. These travel adapters come supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering Europe, America, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel adaptor has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable option for travellers originating from North America visiting Panama using type B American plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from North America using type B plugs. This gives the same functionality as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet for almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting Panama. [7]

Power converters for Panama

What is a power converter for a Panamanian power outlet?

A power converter for Panama will allow you to use a 220-240 volt electric device with a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter for Panama?

An expensive and bulky power converter will convert a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet to work with a non-120 volt appliance, whereas a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your device to slot into a power outlet in Panama. [19]

Do I need a power converter for Panama?

When you are visiting Panama from a different country please ensure that the device will accept a 120 volt power supply.

  • You need a step up power converter if you are travelling from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your appliance isn't compatible with 120 volts. See the WikiConnections list of world power outlets page to find out which voltage your country uses.
  • You don't need a power converter if you are already using either a single voltage device that works with 120 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, devices which originated from a different country which use a higher voltage such as 240 volts and then used in a 120 volt power outlet sometimes take longer to charge or won't power up. If your device charges slowly or does not power up when visiting Panama from a different country check that it is compatible with a 120 volt power outlet otherwise you will need a step up power converter.
  • You won't need a converter if you are attempting to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet as these are typically designed for international use and dual voltage, but always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • When supplying power to appliances which draw more power or generate heat (for example hair dryers and clothes irons) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter.
  • Purchasing a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance might be more cost effective and practical than investing in a much heavier high wattage power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these comprehensive travel guides on using curling wands, clothes irons, blow dryers and hair straighteners in Panama , along with advice on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [10] [20]

Will I need a power converter if I'm visiting Panama from America?

An American plug won't require a power converter as the voltage in Panama is in the same 100-120 volt range as the US. [10]

Panama

What kind of converter do I need for Panama?

If you want to use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance in Panama you will need a step up power converter[10]

What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

What voltage is used in Panama?

Panama uses 120 volts in their normal power outlets. [2]

Panama
https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/

How to convert 120 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Panama before plugging that into a Panamanian power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage from 220-240v.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 220-240 volt appliance can now be used with a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet. [10]
How can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device?

Dual voltage hair dryer

How can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device?

The easiest method to tell if your device is dual or single voltage is to check for numbers printed on the charger, or on the device itself, typically on the rear or near to where the power cord goes. This location will vary depending on the make or model of your device, it should also state on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might say a specific number - such as 220V.
  • Single voltage devices could also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V.

Substantiations

See the power adapter substantions section for more information on how we compared travel adapters (October 2018).

What type of adapter do you need for Panama?

Which type of power adapter will you need for Panama?

The plug adapter or power converter which is best to use in Panama is dependant on various requirements, so before choosing the right one to use we recommend using this checklist:

How many electrical devices are you packing for Panama?

How many electrical items will you pack

How many electrical devices are you packing for Panama?

  • Add up how many devices and applicances you want to pack for Panama (such as cell phones, laptops, eReaders, curling irons or hair straighteners).
    • Take into account that you might own more electrical items at a later date. Do you intend on buying a new tablet computer next year for example?
    • There are an increasing number of USB powered rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers which utilise USB for a power source. Therefore next time you have to buy a new device it could use a USB adapter so ensure your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these as well.
  • Will you be travelling with a partner who will need to recharge their iPads as well?
What types of devices do you want to use?

Make a list of items to bring

What types of devices do you want to use?

  • There are three types of electrical devices or appliances:
    • Low wattage electronic devices which can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example a laptop.
    • High wattage electrical appliances which plug into an electrical outlet - for example curling irons and hair dryers.
    • USB powered electrical devices which charge using a USB port - for example phones and tablet computers.
  • Should you only need to take just USB powered devices then you'll find that a simple travel USB charger is ideal as you will only have to pack that single charger rather than needing to pack lots of domestic chargers.
  • Travel power strips are built for powering and voltage conversion for many low wattage devices, but won't work with high wattage appliances that require voltage conversion.
Will you only be planning on charging USB devices in Panama?

Are you only bringing USB devices

Will you only be planning on charging USB devices in Panama?

Will your appliances only work with a 120 volt power outlet?

How many Panamanian power outlets will be available?

How many power outlets will be available

How many Panamanian power outlets will be available?

  • Your hotel may offer only a single power outlet, this will be an issue if charging the batteries of multiple items such as cell phones, tablet computers and cameras overnight as you will only be able to recharge one device at a time then need to swap.
  • If you need to recharge more than one device simultaneously then we recommend using a USB wall charger or a travel power strip that can charge multiple USB ports or power outlets. [6]

Are you intending on visiting anywhere abroad in the future?

Do you intend on visiting countries other than Panama?

  • Most single plug adapters will only operate in the one country that they are designed for, so if you wish to visit multiple countries you'll need to bring along additional power adapters which in turn adds to the number of adapters you'll have to bring.
  • On the other hand travel USB wall chargers and universal travel adapters are designed for travelling to more than one country becuase of their interchangeable head system.

How much can you afford?

  • Cheap power adapters start at under $10 which powers only one device in a single country (provided that it is dual voltage or is compatible with 120 volts), but paying anywhere between $15 to $20 means you can power multiple devices simultaneously and bring them to various different countries.

Will you always have good access to electricity?

  • Voltage in Panama could sporadically fluctuate and this can potentially cause damage to your devices, use a power adapter which has surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • Because Panama has power cuts and having partial access to power you might find that whatever power charger you bring to the country doesn't work anyway. Prepare for power cuts and limited electrical access in Panama by bringing a portable charger and a solar backpack.  [4] [4] [17]

Do you still need use your charger when returning to America?

Do you intend on bringing hand luggage?

Are you only using hand luggage

Do you intend on bringing hand luggage?

How long does it take to travel to Panama?

Arriving at an airport

How long does it take to travel to Panama?

  • With extended journeys it's worth thinking about bringing an airport-friendly charger that works in different outlet types, one which is light enough to pack in carry-on luggage and can top up tablets and phones just prior to a lengthy flight.
  • As not all airports actually have power outlets available think about bringing a portable charger for recharging on the go. After arriving in Panama you could need to use your cell phone to make calls, reading emails , using mapping to find your accomodation or viewing your itinerary; so please ensure that your phone has ample charge remaining. [4]

What can I connect to a Panamanian power outlet

Travel appliances which can connect to a Panamanian power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Panamanian power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Panamanian power outlet

Mobile phones that can be connected to a Panamanian power outlet

Apple iPhones which work with the Panamanian power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to a Panamanian power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which can connect to a Panamanian power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Panamanian power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travellers visiting Panama, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets[21]

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

  1. Wikipedia - Panama Wikipedia web page.
  2. iec.ch - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type B plug adapter - US and Japanese 3 pinned Type B plug adapters have a single unearthed round pin along with 2 shorter parallel rectangular flat blades containing holes in each blade, costing between $5 to $10.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go, between $45 to $50.
  5. Wikipedia - power adaptor
  6. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries, under $40.
  7. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, costing around $15.
  8. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices, costing between $15 to $20.
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, priced between $15 to $20.
  10. Step up power converter - A step up power converter allows a 220-240 volt appliance to be used in a 100-120 volt power outlet, under $120.
  11. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  12. 10,000mAh portable charger - Lightweight 10000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for mobile phone charging, estimated price between $30 to $35.
  13. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered cordless blow dryer suitable for travelling, costing between $180 to $190.
  14. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, priced at between $20 to $25.
  15. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days, estimated cost under $50.
  16. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, costs under $130.
  17. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, priced between $90 to $100.
  18. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device, between $20 to $25.
  19. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, estimated cost under $100.
  20. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, under $170.
  21. Wikipedia - AC power plugs and sockets -