The main cruising attractions in Panama are the 365 San Blas islands off
the Caribbean coast, a popular destination for yachts. A cruising
permit is required to visit these islands, but the local Panamanian
officials usually treat yachts arriving from the east on their way to
the mainland with a certain degree of tolerance.
Yachts coming from the Caribbean side of Panama planning to spend longer in Panama to underake re-fit work should research carefully options available to them before arriving (and ideally before leaving the rich sources of chandlery and services in the Eastern Caribbean). It is not easy to find skilled workers in Colon and Panama; some are located in Portabello or Panamarina and there are various liveaboards in Shelter Bay Marina who have diesel and mechanical skills.