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bus service from panama city to bocas del toro

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, so you will need to take a taxi.

Google Map - Albrook 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. Also, the airports in Bocas del Toro and David service international flights.

Google Map - Tocumen Airport
  • 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.

Traveling by bus in Panama is both efficient and affordable, and virtually every part of the country is accessible. Larger cities, e.g., 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 Terminal 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 large, urban buses that run along most of the city's main arteries. To ride the Metro you'll need to purchase a pre-paid Metro card, which, unfortunately, is not easy to find. The best places to purchase one are at the Albrook or "5 de Mayo" bus terminals—they are difficult, if not impossible, to find elsewhere. Local routes that circulate 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 the late afternoon, early evening hours. The ride lasts approximately 10 hours.

Panama / Costa Rica Border

Buses to the Panama/Costa Rica border (Paso Canoas) depart daily, stopping briefly in Santiago and David. The trip lasts approximately 8.5–9 hours. Also, you can take a bus to David (see above) and then another local bus to the border. On the Caribbean side, buses depart Changuinola daily en route to Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Limon, and San José, Costa Rica.

Google Map - Albrook Bus Terminal
  • Ferry Express – Cartagena, Colombia & Bocas del Toro, Panamá
  • Caribe Shuttle – Bocas del Toro, Panamá & Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Inaugurated in 2014, at a cost of over $1.5 billion, Panama's Metro is Central America's first and only underground railway system. The Metro operates two lines: the first 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 purchase a Metro card to ride the train, as 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; most only have machines to recharge them. The best places to purchase them are the Albrook and "5 de Mayo" terminals, and they cost $2.00 per card. The Metro offers visitors an affordable, rapid, and convenient way of getting around Panama City.

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 and 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 an additional $0.50 surcharge for each additional passenger. One-way trips between Panama City and Tocumen International Airport cost approximately $25.00 - $30.00 for two people. The standard hourly rate hovers between $8.00 - $12.00, depending on the vehicle type and service you are requesting.

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