Getting Around in Panama, Visiting Panama - Allo' Expat Panama
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Getting Around in Panama

By Air

Smaller airports for internal flights are: Aeropuerto Marcos A. Gelabert in Albrook and Enrique Malek in David, Chiriquí. Internal air services operated by Aeroperlas, Aerotaxi, Ansa, Aviatur and AeroMapiex include flights from Panama City to all centres in the interior of the country.

All domestic airlines operate out of Panama’s main domestic airport, Aeropuerto Marcos A. Gelabert, located in the Albrook area of Panama City, commonly known as Albrook Airport. Be aware that baggage weight allowance on domestic flights is a total of 25 lbs. for checked baggage and carry on combined. You will also be asked to state your body weight at check in. The small domestic planes have maximum weight limits. Overweight charges (for baggage) varies according to destination, but is rarely more than $1.00 per pound.

By Rail

The Ferrocarril de Panamá currently only operates freight trains and is in the process of selling the national rail service. The Panamá Canal Railway Company (PCRC) ( runs a scenic 47-mile passenger route from Panama City to Colón as well as cargo services. Further information can be obtained from the Instituto Panameño de Turismo.

By Road

There is a reasonably good road system throughout Panama. The Trans-Isthman Highway links Panama City and Colón. The Corredor Norte toll road has reduced the travel time to Colón by 30 minutes.


There are services between most large towns, but they can be very slow. There are two kinds of buses in Panama. The ones you find on the highway, and "city buses". The highway buses are constantly making journeys from terminals in Panama city to different destinations along the Pan American Highway, and back to the terminals. They're pretty frequent, and the buses will pick you up or drop you off at any point along their route, and most of them are air conditioned. The roughly linear shape of the country makes it ideal for a bus system, so ideal in fact that you don't really need to rent a car to get around most areas. Take a bus to the intersection on the Pan American highway that you want. You can get on a bus any place on the Pan American highway going towards Panama City, but all trips originating from within the city require a ticket. The Grand Terminal in the city is large and modern, and will remind you of an American shopping mall or airport (it actually is a shopping mall, Albrook Mall, too).

If you want to get on a bus, stand by the side of the road, hold you out your arm and make obvious pointing motions toward the ground. If you're on the bus and want to get off, yell "parada!" You'll get the hang of it pretty quick. The locals are very helpful with tourists on buses, and may offer help.

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