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panama tourism and travel

Transportation

Domestic Airlines & Charters

Google Map - Albrook Airport

All domestic flights in Panama City originate from Albrook (Marcos A. Gelebert) Airport, which is located just 5-10 minutes outside the city district. There are no public buses that service Albrook Airport, you will need to take a taxi.

International Airlines

Google Map - Tocumen Airport

Panama's Tocumen International Airport is located just 30 minutes southeast of Panama City. Direct and connecting flights depart and arrive daily, flying to and from all major destinations. As well, the airports in Bocas del Toro and David service international flights.

  • Air Panama - flies to San José, Costa Rica from David and Bocas del Toro.
  • Copa Airlines
  • Nature Air - offers service between Bocas del Toro, Panamá and Pavos Airport in San José, Costa Rica.

Domestic Bus Service

Google Map - Albrook Bus Terminal

Traveling by bus throughout Panama is efficient and affordable, and virtually every part of the country is accessible. Larger cities, like David, Santiago and Colon, are serviced by large, modern buses, whereas much of the country’s interior is serviced by mini-buses. All buses depart from the Albrook Bus Termina and are privately owned, they are not part of the state owned Metro bus system.

The metropolitan bus system, known as "'El Metro", has a fleet of uban buses that run along most of the city's main arteries. In order to ride the Metro you'll need to purchase a pre-paid card, which, unfortunately, are not easy to come by. The best places to purchase a card is at the Albrook or "5 de Mayo" bus terminals, as they are the largest. They are difficult, if not impossible, to find elsewhere. Local routes, or those that traveling within the city district, cost $0.25, whereas longer routes to the outer-lying areas cost $1.25. Visit their website for more information (Spanish only).

Bocas del Toro

Buses to Chiriqui Grande, Almirante and Changuinola depart daily during late afternoon, early evening hours. The ride lasts approximately 10.

Panama / Costa Rica Border

Buses to the Panama/Costa Rica border (Paso Canoas) depart daily, making brief stops in Santiago and David. The trips lasts approximately 8.5 - 9 hours. As well, you can take a bus to David (see above), and then take a local bus to the border. On the Caribbean side, buses depart Changuinola daily en route to Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Limon and San Jose Costa Rica.

International Bus Service

There are just two bus companies offer intenational bus service between Panama City and San José, Costa Rica.

Google Map - Albrook Bus Terminal

Sightseeing Panama Tourism Bus

Sightseeing Panama is an international company that offers bus tours throughout Panama City. Your ticket allows you to "HOP ON" and "HOP OFF" at any of their many stops, some of which include Albrook Mall, Miraflores Locks (Panama Canal), Museum of Biodiversity, Flamenco Island (Amador Causeway), Casco Antiguo (Viejo), Multicentro Mall, Panama Viejo and Multiplaza Mall. Visit their website for more information.

Ferry Services

Helicopter Rental & Tours

Metro Train Service

Inaugurated in 2014, at a cost of over $1.5 billion dollars, Panama's Metro is Central America's first underground railway system. The Metro currently operates two lines, one which extends from the Albrook Bus Terminal to the Los Andes Shopping Mall ($0.35), and a second connecting San Miguelito with Tocumen ($0.50). You must obtain a Metro card in order to ride the train, there is no other form of payment - it is the same card needed for the Metro buses. Unfortunately, Metro cards are not sold at every terminal. The Albrook and "5 de Mayo" terminals are the best places to purchase a card, most of the other terminals only have machines to recharge them. The Metro offers visitors an affordable, rapid and convenient way of getting around Panama City.

Motorcycle Rental & Tours

Panama Canal Railway Service

Google Map - Panama Canal Railway

The Panama Canal Railway, a 47.6 mile transcontinental railroad operating parallel to the Panama Canal, offers passenger service Monday - Friday between Panama City and Colon. The train departs Corozal at 7:15 a.m. and returns from Colon at 5:15 p.m. The trip lasts one hour and provides passengers with a wonderful opportunity to see the Panama Canal in its entirety.

Getting to Corozal

The train station is located near to, and a bit further from the city than the Albrook Bus Terminal. There are no Metro buses that stop at the station, so you'll need to hire a taxi.

Taxi Service

Taxi’s throughout Panama are plentiful and can be easily recognized by their yellow color and numbered markings. All fares are based on zones, there are no meters; cab drivers are required by law to carry a copy of the zone chart with them at all times. Most fares within the metropolitan area average $2.00 - $4.00, and for each addition passenger there is a $0.50 surcharge. Trips between Panama City and Tocumen International Airport cost $25.00 - $30.00 for two people (one way). The standard hourly rate for taxi rental in Panama City hovers between $8.00 - $12.00, depending on the vehicle type and service you are requesting.

An increasing number of people, both foreigners and locals alike, are now utilizing the services of online shuttle companies.

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