There is a bank (Banco National) in town but no ATM. Our friends wanted to get some cash but they couldn’t get it even from the bank. Panamanian currency is the Balboa but they also use US$. (US$1 = 1 Balboa) As a matter of fact, it is important to bring sufficient money (US$ including small bills) when you visit San Blas/Panama. The customs and immigration office doesn’t take a credit card. It easily costs around US$400 for clearance, depending on the size of a boat and number of people on the boat. You need cash for the clearance. In the neighboring country, Colombia, you cannot get any US$. We already met two sailboats who were concerned about not having enough cash to clear customs.
Three times, we visited the local store in town. They were supposed to have fresh produce delivered by a boat. Each time, they didn’t have the produce. ‘Nope’, the boat didn’t come yet. I asked the store girl to call me when the boat arrives. My phone rang. She spoke in fast Spanish but I caught the Spanish words ‘Fresh Produces’. I confirmed it with my slow Spanish and called our neighboring boat. They gave us a dinghy ride to get some produce. I felt healthy getting some bananas, pineapple, apples, watermelon, cucumbers, carrots, green peppers, sour oranges, tomatoes, eggs, and two whole chickens (Head and Feet attached!)
***Guna General Congreso stopped by our boat and asked us for general anchorage fee. We paid $60 (Anchorage Fee $20 + $40 for Two People) and received an official receipt good for 30 days.