Is Portobelo Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Portobelo is generally safe for solo female travelers. Crime is relatively low and residents are friendly and helpful. However, it's important to exercise common sense precautions just as anywhere else. Preferably avoid walking alone late at night in unpopulated or poorly lit areas. As a rule of thumb, always keep close watch of your belongings and stay aware of your surroundings.

Safety rating

Meet new people

Get the Travel Ladies app to meet new people, find travel buddies, share solo travel experiences and stay with locals through couch surfing.
Download from App StoreDownload from Google Play
Get the Travel Ladies App

How safe is Portobelo?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Unsafe

Portobelo, is an interesting blend of history and culture. However, it would not be advisable to walk alone at night. Panama generally has lower crime rates than some neighboring countries but instances of petty theft do exist. At night, the streets become quite deserted, which might escalate the risk. Therefore, it is somewhat better to explore the city in a group, especially at night or you could hire a local guide to ensure safety. It's always a good idea to remain cautious and aware of your surroundings.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Moderate

Public transportation in Portobelo, is relatively safe as long as you maintain usual precautions. Buses and taxis are the major modes of transportation and they are generally reliable. However, buses can often become crowded and don't follow a strict schedule, and language barrier could be an issue while communicating with drivers. It's advisable to avoid traveling alone at night or in remote areas and always make sure to protect your belongings against pickpockets, especially in crowded buses.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Low

Portobelo is a relatively safe place for solo female travelers. The local community is generally respectful, kind, and helpful. Nonetheless, it's always vital to stay vigilant and maintain personal safety measures. Instances of street harassment are quite infrequent, but like anywhere, unwanted attention can sometimes occur. Don't let this discourage you from exploring the beauty and cultural richness of Portobelo.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:Low

Portobelo is a relatively safe place compared to other areas in Panama. Petty crimes like pickpocketing or bag snatching might happen but are not common, especially if you are cautious of your surroundings and belongings. However, like anywhere else, it's always best to stay vigilant and avoid flashing expensive items in public.
Tap water:

Tap water:Unsafe

In Portobelo, it's generally advised not to drink tap water directly. The treatment of water varies across locations, and there are chances of contamination. The safest course of action would be purchasing bottled water or using a reliable water purification system if you're planning to stay for a longer period.

Is Portobelo safe to travel?

Is Portobelo safe right now?

Before your visit to Portobelo, it's essential to check travel advisories for Panama, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.

United States Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The United States Government advises exercising increased caution in Panama due to crime. Some areas pose an increased risk. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 17, 2023

Canada's Travel AdvisoryTake normal security precautions

The Canadian Government advises to take normal security precautions in Panama. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: May 6, 2024

Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Panama overall due to the threat of violent crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: November 27, 2023

Safety in Panama