Panama's

TOCUMEN AIRPORT

 

Description :  The international airport, 26km N-E of Panama City

Comments :  It is a rather small and tranquil airport, with just enough facilities to run the usual businesses 

What to do ?   
- On arrival : change money, get tourist info  and leave, either by walking 5mn toward a public bus or by taxi
- On departure : pay $20 in exchange of an orange sticker (the departure tax) / If some money left, shop at the duty free shops / Watch the planes from the upper floor / Ask for a seat on the right side to admire the city, the bridge of Americas and the canal one last time. Waow !

What you may not like ?  The lack of safe comfortable buses into town / The lack of bag space in the public buses / The cost of the taxi alternative / The late arrival of most flights, making the taxi the only alternative / The departure tax, heavy on any budget / The "suggested donation" for the use of the toilets (with many $1 bills in the basket) 

Internet ?  $2.5 per hour minimum. Much cheaper (or even free) in town ! 

Change ? Banco Nacional de Panama changes major countries currencies as well as TC (1% commission) in US$ 24 hours a day. There is also an automatic ATM for Visa, Mastercard & Cirrus.

Leaving ? Buses to town pass every 5mn or so from 4am to 8pm from the main road, 5mn walk away. After that, they are less regular and not recommended anyway as walking around at night with a big bag is a very bad idea. They cost around $0.3 and should take 1-1.5 hours to reach Plaza Cinco de Mayo, in the center of town, a relatively safe place. The only alternatives are the taxis. But there are several kinds : the tourist type are the safest but cost $25 (1 or 2 people with one destination), $14 p.p. (2  people, 2 destinations) or $10 p.p. (3 people min w. 3 destinations). Cheaper but probably not as reliable taxi drivers can be found inside or outside of the building : $10-12 during the day, $18-20 at night. 


See also the trip from Panama City