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.
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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