Passenger numbers on a Cosmos pilgrimage are a maximum of 44 and a minimum of 15.
Most hotels offer a laundry service; however, it can sometimes be costly. Alternatively, some cities offer Laundromats.
Internet: Most Hotels offer wireless Internet connection; however, this may come at a cost.
Telephones: During your pilgrimage, hotels will either have telephones available in-room or at reception. Any such call charges will be billed to your room and paid for by the pilgrim on tour.
Mobile phones: A mobile phone is often the easiest way to contact friends and family, however it can be costly. You should check international calling and text rates with your cell phone provider and disable data roaming. Alternatively, an international mobile phone and purchasing a prepaid SIM card can help control your costs.
Smoking is not permitted on board the coach. We do make regular stops along the way which allows you the opportunity to smoke outside if you wish.
Within Panama City, safety precautions are the same as any other major European or North American city.
Pilgrims under the age of 18 will be accompanied by an adult Pilgrim Leader, or will be in the hands of experienced Cosmos Tour Directors and support staff at all times. As a further precaution, Pilgrims over 18 years old will be encouraged to travel in groups so they can watch out for each other.
Petty crime, mentioned in Australian Government safety briefings, refers to pick-pocketing and bag theft. Care should be taken in crowded public spaces such as airports, bus terminals and public transport. This type of warning is normal for many European and North American cities.
ATM fraud is a risk whenever anyone travels. Not parting with your credit card, being aware of who is around when using an ATM and using cash machines in well lit, occupied public areas are sensible precautions. Precautions that are relevant to travellers in Europe and North America.
It’s advisable to avoid protests and demonstrations. If such events occur while in Panama City, all care will be taken to avoid them.
Beware of counterfeit $50 and $100 notes – use a traveller debit card, or carry low denomination bills dispensed by a bank.
Passports are valuable documents and should be kept in a safe place. Immediately report lost or stolen passports to the Australian authorities in Panama.
A concern for many travellers is the Australian Government advice on the Smart Traveller website. It states that visitors to Panama should Exercise a high degree of caution.
Sporadic events in the ‘Do Not Travel’ area, the Darian Gap, on the approach to the Colombian border, have led the Australian Government to implement this warning. It is important to remember Pilgrims DO NOT travel anywhere near the NO GO area.
To find out more about travel safety
Being away from home, in a foreign country, can be especially daunting when you’re unwell. Knowing the potential risks, what precautions to take, and where to get help in an emergency is very important.
Whenever you travel overseas, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. To make things easier in the event of a medical emergency, ensure your travel insurance will cover costs immediately, rather than having to pay out and reimburse later.
Panama has excellent medical facilities, Punta Pacifica, Punta Paitilla, San Fernando and National Hospital are excellent hospitals with mostly bi-lingual doctors.
Mosquitos – the advantage of travelling in the dry season is the mosquitos are less. The best advice is to apply a good insect repellent to reduce the risk of being bitten. Cosmos suggest an insect repellent that contains Deet.
Water – the water supply in Panama City is ok to drink. If in any doubts bottled water will help avoid potential tummy upset.
Food - in tropical climates, its best to avoid raw or undercooked foods, especially in street or rural environments.
Animals - the best way to keep safe is don’t get too close to wild, or stray animals. In city areas, keep away from stray dogs and cats. In rural areas, look but don’t touch.
Yes, on every pilgrimage operated by Cosmos, an experienced and caring Tour Director will host your pilgrimage.
Touring with Cosmos is like travelling with a knowledgeable friend. Our Tour Directors know where to go, what to see, where to eat, where to shop. They arrange everything, taking the effort out of travelling. They make travelling easy!
Behind the scenes, Cosmos ground operators will ensure everything works like clockwork. Arranging transportation, visits to attractions, contracting hotels, designing itineraries, providing local support. All of this ensures the Pilgrims can focus on their spiritual intentions and travel without effort.
In addition to our Tour Directors, Pilgrims can rest assured they are travelling with the back-up of our global Incident Response Team.
Designated staff members, who have been trained in Incident Response will be on call 24/7 should a major incident occur. In addition, strategically placed in the USA, UK, Switzerland and Australia, Incident Response staff can galvanise an immediate worldwide response.
If a major incident should occur, Cosmos staff will refer to our Incident Response Guide to ensure correct protocol is implemented. We take safety seriously. Acting promptly and efficiently is our priority.
Cosmos will have Head-Quarters set up on the ground in Panama.
Please check back as their will be more information and updates to come about the location of the Cosmos WYD HQ.
It is not essential to speak languages other than English. Generally, Tour Directors are multilingual and will be able to communicate with the locals on your behalf.
Buenos Dias! Good morning!
Buenas Noches! Good evening!
Me llamo _____. My name is _____.
Cómo se llama usted? What is your name?
Mucho gusto. Pleased to meet you.
Cómo está usted? How are you?
Bien, gracias. Y usted? Fine, thanks. And you?
Mas o menos So-so.
Hasta luego! See you later!
Por favor. Please.
Vivo en ______ I live in _____.
(Muchas) gracias. (Muy amable.) (Many) thanks. (Very kind.)
De nada. You're welcome.
Lo siento. I'm sorry.
Me permite? May I?
Disculpe. Excuse me. (To get someone's attention.)
Con permiso. Excuse me. (For leaving or passing through.)
Perdón. Excuse me. (For sneezing, arriving late, etc.)
Salud! Cheers! (For toasting with drinks.)
Gesundheit! (When someone sneezes.)
Me pasa ______ por favor? Could you please pass me ______?
Gracias Thank you.
No entiendo, I don’t understand.
No hablo español, I don’t speak Spanish.
Habla inglés? Do you speak English?
Dónde está el baño? Where is the bathroom?
Está cerca? Is it near?
Está lejos? Is it far?
Siga recto. Go straight ahead.
Gire a la derecha. Turn right.
Gire a la izquierda. Turn left.
Nescito esto. I would like this.
Una mesa para dos, por favor. A table for two, please.
La carta, por favor. The menu, please.