You all know about the Panama Canal but what about visiting the Baru Volcano and the coffee plantations or seeing the old fort at Portobelo and watery resting place of Sir Francis Drake or seeing the fabulous coral gardens off the old 'devil's island', the Island of Coiba? For more go to
Places to Visit
Panama has astounding wildlife - boasting an incredible diversity of tropical birds (929 to be exact!) and unusual animals (sloths, anteaters, white-throated capuchins, mantled howlers, night monkeys and endangered species such as rufous-naped tamarins, and black-handed spider monkeys – as well as proud, vibrant, indigenous peoples, such as the Kuna, Embera and Wounan making up 5% of the population.
With its low cost of living and with so much to offer it is the place to travel to and discover this year!
Once you have been to Panama you’ll probably never want to go back home! In how many countries in the world can you see the sun rise and set on the same beach or swimin two tropical oceans in one day, stay on your own Private Island or wake up to local coffee and songbirds on a highland plantation?
In Panama you can go white water rafting today and sea kayaking tomorrow, you can hike through the cloud forest with quetzals or witness a giant leatherback lay her eggs. You can SCUBA dive pirate ships and train wrecks and snorkel some of the oldest reefs in the Caribbean. Or try going fishing in Panama and catch world-record sized sailfish and tarpon or catch bass on a fly or go out on the town and experience some of hottest club acts in the Caribbean.
For information on Visa requirements for travelling to Panama click here
Airlines - International
There are many companies that fly to Panama. However if you want good deals from the US try Spirit Air from Fort Lauderdale. For those visiting west Panama i.e. Bocas Del Toro or Chiriqui province, you can fly to Costa Rica and then fly to David, Panama. Because of high volume, airfares are much cheaper to Costa Rica and with some research you can find flights to San Jose for as little as $200.00. From San Jose you can take bus (around $30) to David.
Try using Expedia.com or Vayama.com to find a cheap fare. And remember it will be cheaper if you fly Monday-Thursday.
Airlines - Domestic
Panama has a number of airlines and they fly all over the place at reasonable prices. Air panama and Aeroperlas are $185 to Bocas Del Toro and round trip flights to the San Blas Islands for $97 for example.For internal flights go to: http://www.aeroperlas.com/ http://www.flyairpanama.com/ http://www.tacaregional.com/
For an International Directory with flights
heck out vacationdirectsite.com
too. It is affiliated with the top travel agents in the world. You can find the perfect vacation, cruise, hotel, flight, carrentals and much more, all in one place to compareand save.
Booking Flights to Panama
Panama City Airport
Tocumen International Airport (PTY)
Location: The airport lies 17 miles (27km) from Panama City. Time: GMT -5. Contacts: Tel: +507 238 2700.
Transfer to the city: The only public transport into Panama City is provided by minivans dubbed 'Taxi de Turismo', which can be booked from the Information Booth in the arrivals hall. The fare is US$15, and transfer time is about half an hour. Regular taxis also operate day and night at fixed prices depending on the number of passengers, but are not metered. The taxi rank is outside the arrivals area.
Car rental: Car hire companies represented in the arrivals hall are Alamo, Avis, Barriga, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National and Thrifty.
Facilities: There is a bank and ATM on the departure level. A restaurant and coffee bar are situated on the mezzanine overlooking departures, and snack bars in arrivals. Last-minute gifts can be bought at several stores on the first and second floors, including duty free. Baggage storage is available, and information booths are located in arrivals.
Parking: Open-air parking is available in front of the terminal.
Departure Tax: US$20.
Traveling by bus in Panama is efficient and affordable, with virtually every part of the country accessible. All buses in Panama City depart from the Albrook Bus Terminal, which is located just outside downtown city - a short 5 minute taxi ride. The standard taxi fare from Panama City to this airport is between $1.25 - $1.75, depending on where you depart.
Two bus companies offer international bus service between Panama and Costa Rica - Panaline and Tica Bus. The trip between Panama City and San Jose, Costa Rica takes approx. 16 hours, with one-way tickets costing $25.00.Buses to David & Colon from Panama CityLarge, comfortable, air-conditioned buses service the cities of David and Colon. Buses to David depart 24 hrs/day. Daytime trips normally take approx. 6-7 hours, however, the express buses that depart during the evening hours can complete the trip in as little as 5 hours.
Express and local buses to Colon depart regularly everyday. Express buses depart Panama every 30 minutes between 4:40 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. and cost $2.50 each way - the trip takes approximately 1.5 hours. Local buses depart between the hours of 3:50 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. and cost $1.80 one way - the trip takes about 2 - 2.5 hours.
Buses to the Interior
The medium sized, mini-buses that service the country’s interior, i.e. Santiago, Chitré, Las Tablas, etc., are comfortable, normally air conditioned, and depart regularly throughout the day at set times.
Overnight bus service from Panama City to Bocas del Toro is also available. Buses depart Panama at 8:00 p.m., arriving Almirante at 6:00 a.m. (adults $23.00 one-way) and Changuinola at 7:00 a.m. (adults $24.00 one-way).
Local Buses in Panama City
In and around Panama City most of the buses is service are the old, school bus style that lack air conditioning, however, some of the more heavily traveled routes do use more comfortable, air conditioned buses. Public buses, including those that go to Tocumen International Airport, cost $0.25 - the air conditioned express buses to the airport cost $0.75.
The Panama Canal Railway, a 47.6-mile transcontinental railroad operating parallel to the Panama Canal, offers passenger service between Panama City and Colon Monday - Friday. The train departs Panama City from Corozal at 7:15 a.m. and returns from Colon at 5:15 p.m., with the trip lasting approximately one hour. Tickets cost $22.00 one-way and $38.00 round-trip. You can’t reserve seats in the tourist car, which has a glass ceiling, however, if you arrive early you should be able to obtain tickets without too much difficulty - so arrive early. The standard taxi fare from Panama City to Corozal is approx. $5.00 one way.
While in Panama City travel the historic Panama Canal Railway, the original and world's first trans-continental railway. Inaugurated in 1855, it was built for the California 49ers for their quest for fortune during the Gold Rush. The trip takes you in special luxury observation cars across the scenic Isthmus from Panama City on the Pacific, to Colon on the Atlantic Ocean in about 90 minutes. Along the way, enjoy views of the Panama Canal and lush rainforest surroundings. (Tel: +507-317-6070)
Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty etc. are all here offering car rental services. Cars can be picked up from the airport or delivered to your hotel.
Taxis in Panama
Taxi’s throughout Panama are plentiful, and can be easily recognized by their numbered markings; however, they come in all size, shapes and colors. All fares are based on zones or areas, and not determined by meters - cab drivers are required to carry a copy of the zone chart with them at all times.
Most fares within the metropolitan area average between B/.1.00-B/.1.50, and for each addition person there is a B/.0.25 surcharge.
Trips from Panama City to Tocumen International Airport cost approx. B/.15.00 per person, with each additional person paying B/.5.00. The standard hourly rate for taxi rental is B/.8.00, however, that can vary depending on the type of service you are requesting, so establish a price before departing.
Staying Safe on your Journey
The US government warns U.S. citizens not to travel to Darien Province. Embassy personnel are only allowed to travel to Darien Province on official business with prior approval of the Embassy’s Regional Security Officer.