Transport and infrastructure in Panama

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of Panama with the average of all countries in America. Overall, the main traffic and transport routes are well developed and in comparatively good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Panama ranks 130th in the world with 0.02 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 77 kilometers long.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the 2,490 km of coastline. In 2020, about 7.73 million freight containers were transported.

Airports in Panama

Back to overview: Panama

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 15,137 km. For each of the country's 4.35 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 3.48 meters. This puts Panama in 135th place in the global ranking. However, it is also important to note that the country's population density is very low at around 58 inhabitants per km². In this case, disproportionately long distances generally have to be covered to reach the more remote parts of the country.

With an average of 566 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in Panama is considered reasonably safe. This corresponds to 13.8 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In Panama, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. This regulation was enforced on April 15th, 1943. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways15,100 km3,478.76 km200.70 m
Railroads100 km17.70 km1.02 m
Waterways800 km183.85 km10.61 m
Commercial harbors7,9801,833.950.106

Central America

 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways950,800 km4,294.37 km349.46 m
Railroads31,600 km142.75 km11.62 m
Waterways9,600 km43.32 km3.53 m
Commercial harbors15,67270.780.006

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Panama: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in PanamaThe 17 biggest airports and 2 airlines in Panama with further information and data with further information on airlines and destinations
Panama: ClimateClimate details in PanamaA climate analysis for Panama incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, water temperature
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing