WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET AROUND PANAMA?

When planning an unforgettable luxury vacation in Panama, one of the most important aspects to consider is transportation. How will you navigate this vibrant country, from its bustling capital to its serene beaches and lush rainforests? Let’s explore the best ways to get around Panama and help you make the most of your stay at the premium Amarla boutique hotel in Panama City.

An introduction to Panama’s transportation options

Panama offers a variety of transportation options, each with its own set of benefits depending on your itinerary and preferences. Whether you’re exploring the urban landscape of Panama City, venturing into the highlands, or relaxing on the coast, there’s a convenient way to get there.

Metro: fast and efficient in Panama City

Panama City boasts the only metro system in Central America. The metro is a fast, clean, and efficient way to get around the city, especially during peak traffic hours. With a single line that covers key areas of the city, it’s ideal for quick commutes. The metro operates daily from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM, making it a reliable choice for early morning explorations or late-night returns.

Buses: the primary mode of public transport

Buses are the backbone of Panama’s public transportation system. They connect nearly every part of the country, from urban areas to remote villages. In Panama City, the Metrobus service offers extensive coverage and frequent services. For longer distances, comfortable coach buses travel between major cities and tourist destinations, such as Bocas del Toro and Boquete. Buses are a cost-effective way to see the country, but schedules can be less predictable outside the capital.

Hotel Amarla panama casco viejo paseo

Taxis: convenient and widely available

Taxis are ubiquitous in Panama, especially in Panama City. They are relatively inexpensive and offer a door-to-door service that is convenient for tourists. While most taxis do not use meters, fares within the city are standardized, and you can negotiate the price for longer trips. For added comfort and reliability, consider using ride-hailing apps like Uber, which operate in the city and provide a safer and more transparent pricing model.

Rental cars: freedom and flexibility

Renting a car gives you the ultimate freedom to explore Panama at your own pace. Major international rental companies have offices at Tocumen International Airport and throughout Panama City. With a rental car, you can easily access destinations off the beaten path, such as the Azuero Peninsula or the volcanic highlands of Chiriquí. However, driving in Panama City can be challenging due to heavy traffic and aggressive driving habits, so it’s best suited for those comfortable with urban driving.

Parking in Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo, the historic district of Panama City, is a must-visit with its charming colonial architecture and vibrant atmosphere. However, parking here can be a challenge due to narrow streets and limited parking spaces. It’s advisable to use public parking lots located at the outskirts of Casco Viejo and explore the area on foot. Alternatively, using a taxi or ride-hailing service can save you the hassle of finding a parking spot and navigating the tight streets.

Domestic flights: quick and convenient

For those looking to travel longer distances quickly, domestic flights are an excellent option. Panama has a well-developed network of regional airports, with Air Panama and Copa Airlines offering regular flights to destinations like Bocas del Toro, David, and the Pearl Islands. This is the fastest way to reach remote areas and islands, allowing you to spend more time enjoying your vacation rather than traveling.

Boats: exploring coastal and island destinations

Panama’s extensive coastline and numerous islands make boat travel a unique and enjoyable way to get around. Ferries and water taxis operate between the mainland and popular island destinations like the San Blas Islands and Isla Contadora. Chartering a private boat is also an option for a more personalized and luxurious experience, perfect for a day trip or multi-day adventure.

Bicycles and walking: eco-friendly options

For short distances and leisurely exploration, consider renting a bicycle or simply walking. Panama City has made strides in becoming more bicycle-friendly, with designated bike lanes and paths such as the Cinta Costera, which offers stunning views of the Bay of Panama. Walking is also a great way to explore historic neighborhoods like Casco Viejo, where you can immerse yourself in the local culture and architecture.

Tips for choosing the best transportation

Choosing the best way to get around Panama depends on several factors, including your itinerary, budget, and personal preferences. Here are a few tips to help you decide:

  • Plan your itinerary: Determine which destinations you want to visit and how far they are from each other. This will help you decide if you need a combination of transportation methods.
  • Consider your comfort: Luxury travelers might prefer private transportation options like rental cars, private transfers, or domestic flights for convenience and comfort.
  • Budget wisely: While public transportation like buses and the metro are cost-effective, renting a car or taking a domestic flight can save time and offer a higher level of comfort.

Make the most of your stay at Amarla Hotel

As you plan your escape to Panama, remember that the Amarla Hotel is dedicated to ensuring your experience is nothing short of extraordinary. Whether you need assistance arranging transportation or recommendations for the best local tours, our concierge team is here to help.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and to book your stay at the exquisite Amarla Hotel in Panama City. Experience the perfect blend of luxury and adventure in one of Latin America’s most captivating destinations.