Panama Travel Guide

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Traveling in Panama offers many different forms of excitement. Whether it’s the thrill of an incredible journey through a tropical paradise, a leisurely cruise near the ocean or the exhilaration of a rush-hour journey through downtown Panama City, there is plenty of excitement to keep your attention. There are many good forms of transportation in Panama, and travel guide is helpful in knowing your options. While there is no longer passenger train service in Panama, there airplanes, boats, buses, taxis, and rental cars.

While this is the most expensive option when traveling in Panama, any travel guide would recommend this as the easiest. Since Panama has an extensive rainy season, highway travel can be difficult, if not dangerous. The country has developed a good regional service to the provinces, which is links Panama City to the rest of the country. For example, a traveler leaving Panama City for Boquete would take a one hour flight to David, then travel thirty minutes to Boquete by either bus or rental car. This trip would take nearly six hours of driving, so it is easy to see the benefits of flight.

In many regions of Panama, particularly between Bocas del Toros and San Blas archipelagos, boats are the primary means of transportation. In addition, it is possible to arrange passage with Kuna Indian merchant ships between Puerto Obaldía and Colón along the San Blas coast. For travel on these ships, it is necessary to use a local Panama travel guide. The majority of tourist travel by boat is done on the Panama Canal, which offers an amazing journey through the most important engineering feat of the 20th Century.

The buses in Panama serve two very important purposes. First, they are the main form of daily transportation for many Panamanians. This type of bus is called “Urbana”, can be brightly painted with murals and sayings and is typically a “school bus” configuration. These buses are not always comfortable, but they are extremely economical and generally link all parts of the city. If you listen carefully, you might even find that your driver is an excellent Panamanian travel guide! The second type of bus is the highway, “Greyhound” type bus that is used for travel between major cities. There are numerous companies offering service between such cities as Panama City, David, Colón and even into other countries. Many of these buses have air conditioning, movies and restroom facilities onboard. The price for travel between cities is quite reasonable as well.

Taxis are quite easy to locate in any Panamanian city, due primarily to their abundance, color and tendency to honk while trolling for fares. From the perspective of a travel guide in Panama, this is the easiest form of transportation available in the country. It is possible to hail taxis on the street or even call and reserve a pick-up time. For complaints, compliments or reservations, each taxi has a number and the taxi company’s phone number is available to the public.

Rental Cars
As a guide to travelers in Panama, rental cars may represent the best and worst means of transportation. The freedom of having a vehicle is priceless and many of the large companies from the US are represented in Panama. At the same time, due to a large number of uninsured motorists, (insurance isn’t mandatory in Panama) the cost of rental car is very high. Traffic conditions can also be very tricky. Many vehicles are not well maintained, so driving can be hazardous. Effective use of brakes and signaling by Panamanian drivers are oftentimes absent. Add to these factors dense traffic, poor or nonexistent signs or traffic signals and neglected streets and you will find that your best guide to travel in Panama is to take a taxi or bus.

While there are many forms of transportation, each has distinct advantages and disadvantages. The best guide for Panamanian travel is to consider your travel needs and select the best form for you. But above all, travel extensively in Panama; there is much to do and see in this tropical paradise.

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