Panama power adapters - what plugs are used in Panama?

Panamanian power outlet

What adapter do I need for Panama?

You need to use a Type B plug adapter [3] 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 [4] 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 [3]. 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.

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

Different combinations of frequencies and standards can all be daunting when planning to travel to a different country, especially if you've never been there before. This isn't as complex as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of sockets used in the world this guide tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in Panama. This page has links to simple instructions demonstrating exactly how to supply power to your devices when you're travelling to Panama using the standard Type B or A 120 volt 60Hz power outlets. Power is different depending on which country you are in so please read the World power adapters page for a complete list of countries.

What is the best power adapter for Panama?

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

What is the best power adapter for Panama?

What is a power adapter for a Panamanian power outlet?

A power adapter for Panama is a small and cheap plastic adapter which permits an electrical socket in Panama to accept a different shaped power plug from an appliance from a different region.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [5].

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter enables a visitor travelling from a different country to use electrical appliances and devices in Panama simply by adapting the shape of the plug from one type to another.

Do I need a plug adapter in Panama?

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

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

An American plug does not require a power adapter because it already fits into a Panamanian power outlet.

Will a power adapter convert the voltage in Panama?

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

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 outlets used in Panama, types B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can identify the plug socket by 2 thin adjacent slots next to each other where the pins go.
  • Plug Type B - This power socket (called a type B power outlet) is recognised by the 2 slots next to each other with a single hole below for the long earthed pin.

Do US plugs work in Panama?

Yes, an American plug will work in Panama and does not need a power converter or a plug adapter.

What is the frequency used in a Panamanian power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from a Panamanian power outlet is 60Hz.

Is the voltage in Panama the same as the US?

The voltage from a Panamanian power outlet is the same as in America.

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.

How do I use a 220 volt appliance in Panama?

A step up power converter will allow you to use a 220V appliance in Panama.

Are there many power outages in Panama?

Typically Panama reports power failures on a monthly basis.

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.

Do I need a power bank for Panama?

USB power bank for charging smartphones

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 portable charger [4] 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 [4] which can store enough electricity to power over three full cycles while a 20,000mAh portable charger [9] 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 [10] 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 [7] or gas hair straighteners [8] can be used for travelling to locations with power cuts and limited access to electricity such as Panama.
Do solar chargers work in Panama?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot countries

Do solar chargers work in Panama?

The sunshine in Panama should be adequate enough to recharge solar power bank [12] 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 [11] 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.

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 [13]. 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 [13] which has been successfully tested for powering multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries around the world.

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.

What is the best USB charger for Panama?

The 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.

Power converters for Panama

What is a power converter for a Panamanian power outlet?

A power converter enables travellers to use their 220-240 volt electrical appliance 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 [14] 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.

Do I need a power converter for Panama?

When visiting Panama from another country please check that your device can be used with a 120 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step up power converter [15] if you are visiting Panama from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your appliance or device is incompatible with 120 volts. Read our WikiConnections world power outlets guide to discover the voltage is used in your country.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already use either a 120 volt device or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Normally devices which come from another country which use a higher voltage such as 230 volts and used in a 120 volt outlet may take longer to charge or simply won't power up. If your device slowly recharges or doesn't turn on when you are visiting Panama from a different region then check that it will work with a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet or you will need to bring a step up power converter [15].
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you wish to power a smaller electrical device such as a tablet as these are normally dual voltage and designed for international use, however always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • If supplying power to high wattage appliances or generate heat (such as hair dryers or curling irons) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [16] which allows it to be used with a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet.
  • It could be more cost effective to purchase a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than paying for a heavier high wattage power converter to Panama in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read these guides on travelling with clothes irons, curling irons, hair straighteners and blow dryers in Panama , along with recommendations for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

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

You won't need a power converter because the voltage from a Panamanian power outlet is in the same 100-120V range as America.

What kind of converter do I need for Panama?

You will need to buy a step up power converter [15] to use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance in Panama.

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 power outlets.

How to convert 120 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter [15] 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.
How can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device?

Single voltage hair dryer

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

The way to see if a appliance is dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the supplied power adapter or on the device itself, normally near to where the power cord plugs into. The location might depend on the make and model of your unit but could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices might also say a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

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 travelers 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 [18].

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama - Panama Wikipedia web page.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage.
  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.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  8. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  9. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  10. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  11. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  12. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  13. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  18. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets