Getting there & away
The Panama Railway Company (PCRC; 317 6070; www.panarail.com; Carr Gaillard) operates a glass-domed luxury passenger train from Panama City to Colón (US$22 one-way, US$35 for a round-trip), leaving at 7:15am and returning at 5:15pm every day. It’s a lovely ride that follows the canal, and at times the train is surrounded by nothing but thick vine-strewn jungle. If you want to relive the hey-day of luxury train travel for an hour or two, this is definitely the way to do it.
Barcos Calypso (314 1730; roundtrip US$10) has departures to Isla Taboga from Panama City at 8:30am and 3:00pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:30am on Tuesday and Thursday and 8:30am, 10:30am and 4:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Ferries depart Isla Taboga at 9:30am and 4:00pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 4:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 9:00am, 3:00pm and 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Ferries depart from La Playita de Amador, which is located behind the Centro de Exhibiciones Marinas on the Causeway. The easiest way to reach the dock is by taxi (US$4 to US$6).
International flights arrive at and depart from Tocumen International Airport (238 4160), 35km northeast of the city center.
International airlines serving Panama City include:
American Airlines 269 6022
Continental Airlines 263 9177
COPA 227 2672
Delta 214 8118
Grupo TACA 360 2093
LAB 264 1330
Lufthansa 223 9208
Mexicana 264 9855
United Airlines 225 6519
Domestic flights depart from Albrook airport (315 0403), aka Aeropuerto Marcos A Gelabert, in the former Albrook Air Force Station near the canal.
All flights within Panama last under one hour. Prices vary according to season and availability. Flights within Panama are inexpensive and will save you lots of time getting around. Flights listed below are approximate one-way fares:
Bocas del Toro (US$60; Air Panama 2 per day Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun, 1 per day Mon, Tue, Fri Aeroperlas 2 per day Mon-Fri, 1 Sat-Sun)
Chitré (US$25; Air Panama 2 per week)
David (US$60; Air Panama 2 per day Mon-Sat, 1 per day Sun Aeroperlas 2 per day Mon-Sun)
El Porvenir (San Blás) (US$35; Air Panama 1 per day Aeroperlas 3 per week)
Isla Contadora (US$30; Air Panama 4 per day Sat & Sun, 2 per day Mon-Fri Aeroperlas 4 per day Sat & Sun, 2 per day Mon-Fri)
La Palma (Darién) (US$40; Air Panama 1 per week Aeroperlas 3 per week)
Playón Chico (US$40; Aeroperlas per day)
Puerto Obaldía (Darién) (US$40; Aeroperlas 1 per week)
Río Sidra (San Blás) (US$35; Air Panama 1 per day Aeroperlas 4 flights per week)