In Bocas del Toro, you will hear a lot of Reggae with Spanish lyrics. The largest celebration being held in the province of Azuero, in the town of Las Tablas, where two streets compete with separate queens, activities, parades and musical performances.The party begins on Friday with a presentation, parade and crowning of the queens, a fireworks show; with drinking in the streets legal, the party begins and doesn't stop until 5AM.Shorts are considered extremely casual wear suitable only for the beach, although this attitude has begun to change in some areas.
Music is definitely one of the highlights of Panama.
Salsa music seems to permeate everything in the Latin parts of the country.
Think nice, neat, and clean, and you will already be showing a great deal of respect for locals.
If you are making a side trip to Boquete, especially during the rainy season (April thru November) please dress in layers, bring a light rain jacket, and waterproof hiking boots.
However there is a dress code to follow to enter in all banks and governmental institution as well as many stores and supermarket.
If you enter these establishments with inappropriate dress like wearing Bermuda or skirts above the knee, security will probably refuse access and ask you to leave.
Every carnival day has a theme: Friday is the Opening, Saturday is International Day, Sunday is Pollera day, Monday is costume day, Tuesday is the Queens day and on Wednesday is the "entierro de la sardina"(the sardine burial) before 5AM. The area known as "Calle Uruguay" has probably a dozen or so nice discos and bars within a 2 block radius, and is the best place for partying. You will find here many restaurants such as La Posta, Peperoncini, Habibis, Tomate y Amor, Madame Chang, Burgues or Lima Limon, which make up a great pre-party event.
Don't try to dress to 'fit in', just be yourself.
That being said, there is no need to wear a suit everywhere, either. For men, a clean pair of jeans and ironed collared shirt will do nicely for most excursions, you could dress more casually or more formally depending on the situation.
Reggaeton originated in Panama and is also very popular and is known by the name Plena.
There are over 100 radio stations in Panama broadcasting online, some in English. They know how to let loose and have a genuinely good time, dancing, conversing and drinking. It is held 40 days before the Christian Holy Week, running through the weekend and ending on Ash Wednesday (February 21-24 in 2009).