If you drive in Panama, Waze is a must-have app for your smartphone.
Even if you have the directional instinct of a carrier pigeon, you’ll still find the app useful for syncing up with friends, outsmarting traffic jams, and keeping abreast of any surprise-surprise detours or route changes.
And for those of you that have a heavy foot, Waze also gives you a heads up on any police that may be stationed on your route. (Not that I would ever need this feature, of course.)
Driving isn’t unsafe in Panama, but for the first-timer it can be confusing. There are few street signs, and (in Panama City) many one-way streets that you just kind of have to know about.
Luckily, a cheeky little phone app called Waze has made navigating Panama easy as can be.
Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app. Unlike other GPS apps, Waze relies on a local community of drivers to share real-time road info, including traffic alerts, road hazards, and even police sightings.
Thanks to its community-edited map system, Waze is able to stay abreast of Panama City’s ever-changing landscape when other GPS tools cannot. So if you’re wondering why bother replacing your favorite go-to app (yes, Google Maps included)– you’ll find that in Panama, Waze is really the only one you can count on.
The ways in which Waze (ha) will make your life easier go on and on. For example, you could land at Panama City’s airport and decide that you want to be adventurous- rent a car and explore on your own! It’ll be a stress-free journey with Waze, which will tell you exactly how to get to, say, Playa & Casa Bonita- the luxury beachfront resort hotel & residential community just 10 minutes outside of Panama City.
As for us beach lovers, well- you don’t need a GPS system when driving within Coronado and Gorgona. It can, however, be helpful in getting you from Panama City to the Gold Coast…and knowing the best times to make the trek (What? You thought there was no rush hour in Panama?)
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Want to see for yourself how much Waze can simplify your life? Take it for a test drive:
- Download Waze from the app store of your smartphone. (Don’t worry, it’s free!)
- Press the button in the lower left hand corner to open the Navigate feature.
- Enter, for example, directions leading from Tocumen International Airport to Playa Bonita Resort and Residences. (As the only beachfront resort within 15 minutes of Panama City, this is a favorite go-to spot for expats and travelers fresh off the plane!)
- See the drive mapped out right before your eyes!
If you have Waze on your phone, you’re inevitably going to save yourself some time and confusion. Amazing to think that only a few years ago, it was every driver for themselves! It just goes to show you how quickly Panama is adapting to become more convenient than ever.