Panama City is the national capital of Panama, as well as the provincial capital of the Panama Province, and largest city of Panama. It is the most modern city not only in Panama, but the rest of Central America. Panama City has been an incredibly popular tourist and retirement destination, particularly for U.S. and Canadian citizens, due to city prices being cheap compared to most other places. Recently, Panama City has been given the unofficial title of The Dubai of Latin America, due to the recent rapid influx of skyscrapers, high-rise buildings, and increasing number of wealthy people in the city.Panama City is a very multicultural place, with large populations from many different parts of the world. Spanish is spoken by most, and many speak some form of English. Customer service is slowly improving, and surprisingly dismal in hotels. However, on the streets Panamanians are for the most part friendly and helpful and would love to give you some advice.There’s great shopping, from high-end stores in the malls around Paitilla and in the banking district around Via Espana, to veritable bargains around La Central (Central Avenue, now turned into a pedestrian walkway) and the Los Pueblos outdoor mall. You can find many ethnic stores (mostly Chinese and Indian), in certain parts of the City.Panama city has been developed following a USA model. It means going from A to B by car or taxi. There is public transportation like a metro and a system of (metro) buses. However to walk from A to B is unusual if the distance is more than half a mile. The only exception to this rule is the former European part (Casco Viejo) and Avenida Central where walking is possible and even common among the locals living there.Tocumen International Airport (IATA: PTY) is just outside Panama City (it’s part of the San Miguelito district, which has been incorporated as a separate city but essentially exists as part of Panama City). The airport is a hub for Copa Airlines which operates flights to/from various cities in the Caribbean, North, Central & South America. In the U.S and Canada they only serve Boston, Chicago, Denver, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Montreal, New Orleans, New York-JFK, Orlando, San Francisco, Tampa, Toronto, and Washington-Dulles. Additional flights to other U.S. cities are operated by United on a codeshare basis. Other airlines that fly to Tocumen are:Getting from Tocumen to the city center is easy by taxi. It costs $25 to $30, which can be reduced to $10 if you can find two other people to share with. Depending on traffic, the route and the hour of the day the trip can take between 20 minutes to well over an hour. Uber is another cost effective option to get in and around the city, and has a flat $25 fee to/from the airport. Traffic varies widely, so if you can, try to book a flight that will allow you to avoid rush hour traffic. With traffic, a 30 minute drive to the city center can stretch to almost two hours.Getting to the center by bus is not too complicated. There are modern, air-conditioned buses which cost $1.25 to get to the city center from the highway near the airport (5 minutes walk, well-marked). These modern (metro)buses only accept fare cards, not cash. Not for sale on the bus or in the airport. However, the bus is usually full of people going to and from the airport, so you might be able to find someone willing to pay your fare with their card and you can pay them back in cash. You can buy fare cards (2 USD) at Albrook terminal, but also at metro stations such as plaza 5 de Mayo (the place to get off if you are going to stay at Casco Viejo). There are also independent buses frequently serving the route between the airport and the center. These buses cost the same $1.25, but take cash. Watch and listen for ‘Terminal’, meaning Albrook bus terminal. They also stop at Plaza 5 de Mayo and other places along the Corredor Sur route.More details regarding how to catch the bus to & from the airportBus route “Tocumen Corredor Sur Albrook”The diablo rojo red devil buses (or chiva buses) no longer serve the airport, although they are still common in the city.Domestic flights leave out of Gelabert/Albrook Airport (IATA: PAC) ICAO/MPMG, a former US military airfield (Albrook Air Force Base). Domestic airlines are safe, and many fly very modern small jet aircraft. There are daily flights to every major town and city in the country. The major carrier here is AirPanama . (Aeroperlas regrets to announce the decision to cease operations in Panama as of this 29th of February of 2012.).Getting from anywhere out of the city to this airport is not that easy as it is to nearby Albrook Terminal.If you are up to travelling by Metrobus around Panama City then arriving to the Albrook Terminal on any fitting bus should not be a problem.Next you will have to go to Bay-D and transfer to C820 bus (direction Ciudad del Saber). It will get you to the other side of the airport/mall/terminal complex where the Albrook Airport entrance is. You must only step down at the second bus stop (Paseo Andrews) and walk 200 m down the Av. Canfield south.There you will find the Air Panama check-in hall plus a bunch of car rental offices.Don’t rely on some reports that could be found in the web that the Albrook Terminal is easily connected or merged with the Albrook Airport. There is no underground walkway or such. Another option is getting a cab.There is a now third airport in Panama City, Panamá Pacifico (BLB), formally Howard Wilson US Air Base. It is located about a 20minute drive (US$15~ taxi, US $7-9 Uber) from the city center – you cross over the Panama Canal en route. You can get there also by “chicken bus” or “diablo rojo” from Albrook Bus Terminal very cheap. But you have to have Metrobus card, which costs 2 US$. At the Albrook terminal you have to go to Exit 11 or “Salida 11” (located near food court) and pay at the exit by this card just 0.1 US$. Then take bus to Veracruz, in the bus you have to pay 0,7 US$ in cash. This bus will drop you in about 500 meters from the airport.(May 2015). An Uber from AlBrook bus terminal (free wifi!) is US$7, which is a good alternative to the bus.It has been newly opened to the public, and currently there are only two airlines operating from it – Veca Airlines fly to/from San Salvador twice weekly (Mondays and Fridays), and Viva Colombia fly to Bogotá (daily) and Medellin (4x weekly). These flights may not show up on the airfare search engines, it is best to check the companies individual websites. Viva Colombia currently offer fares to/from Colombia for under US$100 (if you book a bit in advance), much cheaper than other options. Be aware that there is not much in the airport as of January 2015 since it has been newly converted to civilian use – there are no shops, no currency exchange, no wifi, (Update Nov 2017: One coffee shop), so consider this before travelling out. But if you will come by bus you will see near the bus stop there is a gasoline station “Terpel” with a cafeteria and a small shop where you can have a lunch or a coffee before your flight.There’s a once daily train service between Panama City and Colón operated by the Panama Canal Railway Co along the Panama Canal. The train goes out to Colon in the morning and return to Panama City in the late afternoon. It’s mostly a freight train, but it has a very nice passenger car. Sometimes the train ride offers views of the Panama Canal and the tropical rainforest. Since the train leaves early in the morning and returns in late afternoon, you may want to consider whether you want to spend the whole day in Colon, which has an unsavory reputation, or take a bus back to Panama City which runs much frequently.One way train fare Panama City – Colon costs an exorbitant 25 USD. The Colon train station is in the middle of nowhere.Make sure you have arranged for some transportation upon the return of the train to Panama City. Evidently, some taxi drivers take advantage of the tourists who have been dropped off at the train station without pre-arranged transportation.Most tourists will arrive via the international airport at Tocumen, where most of the major international rental car agencies have offices in the terminal. The most important thing to know is that Tocumen does not have a dedicated “rental car return” area that is expressly signed and marked as such, as at most international airports. Instead, the first section of the curb on the right in front of the terminal is the rental car area even though it is not expressly signed as such. This is where you will be taken to do the initial walkthrough on the vehicle you are renting, and this is where you are expected to return the vehicle at the end of your visit. The main route from the airport to Panama City is via the Corridor Sur tollway. It is a well-designed, well-maintained controlled-access road that runs about 20 km (12 mi) from Tocumen to Panama City. Corridor Sur (and its counterpart, Corridor Norte) both use a system of RFID electronic cards for payment on which you must deposit cash in advance, then tap the card against a panel with blue LED lights on the side of the toll booth to open the toll gate. Most rental car agencies can sell you a toll road card (although it may not be loaded with enough cash, which they will warn you about) or you can buy one at the first toll plaza about a mile from the airport at Ciudad Radial. Any lane that is marked as a “RECARGA” lane is one that is supposed to be staffed with a human cashier who can credit more value to the card. Panama toll plazas block closed lanes only with cones or gates at the plaza itself and don’t properly cone off closed lanes well in advance. Expect wild last-minute lane switching, especially at night, as drivers swerve into lanes that are open. Also look out for cashiers trying to scam you if they think you are a tourist (see the “Stay safe” section below). The western end of the tollway passes through a tunnel and then connects to a flyover which connects to the Cinta Costera/Avenida Balboa corridor which runs through the city. Corridor Norte is incomplete and is currently difficult to reach from Tocumen. It also uses a different card than Corridor Sur, meaning that most Panama City drivers have to maintain deposits on two cards to get around the city. After years of delays, the eastern extension of Corridor Norte is finally under construction. It will eventually connect to Panama Highway 1 about 2 km (1.2 mi) north of Tocumen. Corridor Norte is far less scenic than its southern counterpart

Airport: PAM Tyndall Air Force Base Cities in Panama

Country: Panama