Flights from the States
The most common way people get to Panama is by international airlines into Tocumen International Airport. Many airlines fly into PC through Miami, Atlanta, Houston and other hubs. It is about a 3 hour flight from Miami to PC. You will then need to get over to the domestic airport (see below) for a short flight to Bocas. Depending on your Tocumen arrival time, you may need to stay overnight in PC to make a connection.

Hotels are inexpensive and comfortable in PC. Besides, if you have not ever been to Panama, I'd highly recommend a few days there to see the city. There is a lot to do: visit the Canal, Casco Viejo, Gamboa Rainforest Preserve, Lake Gatun, art and craft museums and galleries, great restaurants, etc., before hopping over to Bocas.

After arriving at Tocumen International Airport you have a number of travel options to Bocas. I urge you to fly unless you want to visit the Pacific coast beaches, in which case you could take a bus or rent a car, but that is a long haul.

If you elect to fly to Bocas, after clearing customs at Tocumen Airport, you will need to transfer to Albrook Airport, the domestic airport, for your approximately one hour flight to Bocas Del Toro Airport on Isla Colon. It is about a 40 minute taxi ride from airport to airport, and costs about $25. Currently two airlines fly from PC to Bocas, Aeroperlas and Air Panama. Both are fine. The less than one hour flight from PC to Bocas over the city, canal, mountains, Caribbean and the Bocas Archipeigo is spectacular. Sometimes it goes directly to Bocas and sometimes it goes first into Changuinola. Don't get off at the wrong place!

As of December, 2005, Bocas Del Toro has gone International (well, sort of). We now have flights to and from San Jose, Costa Rica on Nature Air. Nature Air flights to Bocas are only 3 days a week, so you'll have to coordinate your flights. You may want to consider flying this route as flights to San Jose from the U.S. should be shorter and less expensive than going through Panama City. Nature Air flies through the domestic airport, so you will need to transfer from the San Jose International Airport to the domestic airport, about a 30 minute taxi ride, for your flight to Bocas, which takes about 45 minutes.

You can also take a comfortable 6-8 hour bus ride from San Jose through Limon along the Caribbean side to Bocas. We have not done this, but I have heard it's fun... once or twice is probably enough, though.

Many of the general websites on our Links & Reference page have info on travel, airlines, buses, trains, ferries, etc. For personal help and attention many travelers and local gringos use the people below to make their lives easier:

  • Jose Saenz: [email protected], Phone (507) 614-7811
    Web, Fax (507) 263-7604

    is an excellent contact to assist you in Panama City. We frequently have him pick us up at the Tocumen International Airport and take us into town. Jose or a taxi charge $25-$30 from the airport to downtown. He can also take you from your hotel to the domestic airport at any hour. If you want to tour PC or shop he or one of the staff will drive you around PC for about $8/hour. They know where to get anything!
  • Another great contact in PC is Tammy Liu: [email protected], Phone (507) 314-1417, Web,
    Mobile (507) 651-6232,
    Fax (507) 314-1417
    has arranged all kinds of accomodations, side trips and transportation for us in and around Panama City. She even has a very nice little B&B, Estancia. Both Jose and Tammy are very reliable.
  • If you go to David or Boquete, you should contact Toby Braxton: [email protected], Phone (507) 617-8629, Fax (507) 775-1812
    She can meet you at the David Airport and take you shopping or touring to Boquete, Volcan or wherever. She and her little girl Stevie are great fun and Toby is also extremely reliable and speaks fluent English..
  • Jose Palm is a travel agent in David who has an excellent reputation. I only have his phone number, which is (507) 774-1636



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