It is very handy to have a phone here. If you are an Amazon prime member you can order an incredible phone for $50. It is the Blu R1HD phone - has everything. Unlocked, two sim card slots, extra up to 128 gig ram slot, gps, camera, good processor so good for games etc. We use them here.
The best company here to get a chip is Digicel. They have a pre pay program that cost $15. It includes 150 minutes, 50 sms, and 2 gigs of data for 30 days and 5 gigabytes of whats app/facebook
Anyway if you are driving get this phone or bring any unlocked phone with google maps in it. Google maps is really very helpful here. Waze also works well here. You will find us on both as Black Rock Art Ranch.
The gps’s that the car rental companies provide do not usually work in Panama. They only show minimal roads and not places to eat, hotels, hospitals etc. Google maps does.