Panama

Getting there and around

Entry Requirements
Every visitor needs a valid passport and an onward ticket to enter Panama, but further requirements vary by nationality and change occasionally.
Travelers entering Panama overland will probably be asked to show an onward ticket and a show of sufficient cash (500 USD) or a credit card. Embassy of the Republic of Panama in London.

Airlines
International Airlines serving Panama with regularly scheduled flights:. Aeroperlas, Copa Airlines, KLM, Delta Air Lines, IberiaAvanca,  American Airlinesand Condor have flights to Panama.

Panama has a good domestic flight network, the main domestic airlines areMapiex, Aeroperlas and Air Panama.

By Car
Traffic drives on the right. 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 journey time to Colón by 30 minutes. Traffic conditions can be tricky. Many vehicles are not well maintained, including buses and taxis, so driving can be hazardous. Effective use of brakes and signaling by Panamanian drivers are often both notoriously absent. Add to these factors dense traffic, poor or nonexistent signs or traffic signals, neglected street repairs, and many uninsured motorists (insurance is not mandatory in Panama), and you have a situation that should give pause to many travelers considering self-drive auto rental.

Taxis
From your hotel or any downtown street, taxis are easy to get, numerous and cheap. Getting to most places in Panama City by taxi won't cost more than $4. There are no taxi meters. It is best to negotiate the price with the driver when you tell him where you want to go. If you take a hotel taxi it will be more than double. To avoid them, just walk out to the street and hail a regular taxi.

By Bus
There are services between most large towns, but they can be very slow.
Embarkation from Panama City to any of the major cities in the interior, such as El Valle, Col ón, David, or Aton, requires going to the new Gran Terminal de Albrook, located near the downtown area. Buses leave throughout the day at hourly intervals or less, depending on destination. It is not a rapid form of transportation, but it is fairly comfortable and dependable.

How To Get Colon Island
The town of Bocas, on Colon Island is reachable by air with daily flights from Panama City as well as flights from San Jose, Costa Rica. You can also come by bus and take a ferry from the mainland. Aeroperlas and Air Panama have several daily flights from Panama City to Bocas. Round trip tickets from Panama City are around 165 USD.
By land you can take a bus or car to Almirante on the mainland and take a launch ('taxi 25') or ferry to Bocas town on the main island, Isla Colon. In Almirante there's a safe place to leave your vehicle for the duration of your stay in Bocas. You won't need a car in Bocas. The drive between David and Almirante is mountainous and very scenic.

Bocas town is small and you get most places by walking. Bocas taxis are inexpensive-they will take you anywhere around town for between 50 cents and a dollar. For island excursions you can arrange for a taxi to take you to a beach and come get you at a later hour. If you are going to one of the other islands, water taxis are plentiful and cheap. Bikes are also available for rent. If you are walking around late at night, stay on the main streets.

Where To Stay
Bocas has a hotel for every budget. There are pensions for the back packer, hotels and eco-lodges, including upscale eco-lodges. Most people stay in Bocas town on the main island. Several hotels in town have sea views but there are no beaches in town. Playa Tortuga Resort , just outside town does have a private beach. You can also stay on one of the outlying islands on a beach or over the water. The nearby islands of Bastimientos and Carinero have attractive cabins and upscale eco-lodges like Punta Caracol, Al Natural and Tranquilo Bay offering extraordinary close-to-nature experiences.