Traveling from Panama City to Boquete is fairly straight forward. Basically you have to travel from Panama City to David (30 minutes by plain or 6 hours by bus or car), and then from David to Boquete (30 - 45 minutes by bus, taxi or a shuttle).
The best way, well... it depends on what you want: fast and convenient, or taking a bit more time and saving some money but enjoying the countryside and starting a more realistic immersion in our country. To travel from Panama City to David, and then from David to Boquete there are mainly 2 options:
- A flight from Panama City to David (30 minutes), and a bus, a shuttle or an airport pickup from David to Boquete (30 - 45 minutes)
- A bus from Panama City to David (6 hours), and a bus or bus station pickup from David to Boquete (30 - 45 minutes)
Option 1: Panama City to David by Air
One way airline tickets from Panama City to David cost between $85 - $150. You can view flight times and make online reservations at: www.copaair.com and www.flyairpanama.com.
Copa Airlines flies to David from Tocumen Airport (PTY - the same airport that you will be flying into from abroad) and their last flight to David departs everyday at 5.30 p.m. so if you land into Panama City at the right time (4 p.m. at the latest, but that can be quite tight), you can make it on the same day to Boquete.
Copa Airline's flights are also cheaper than Air Panama's.
Air Panama flies from Albrook Airport (PAC), which is the city's domestic airport. This flight does not depart from the same airport that your arriving flight to Panama City does (PTY). You will arrive to Panama at Tocumen Airport and to fly from Panama to David with Air Panama you have to go to Albrook Airport.
You can take a taxi between Tocumen Airport and Albrook Airport, or spend a night in a hotel in Panama City and then take a taxi next morning to Albrook Airport.
A taxi from Tocumen Airport to Albrook Airport or to a hotel in Panama City should cost around $35. A taxi from your hotel should not charge you more than $5 to take you to Albrook Airport if you are staying within Panama City.
With Air Panama, the last flight to David from Albrook Airport departs around 4:00 p.m., so if you want to fly AirPanama and land in Panama City after 1:00 p.m., plan to spend the night in a hotel in Panama City or take a bus from Albrook Bus Station to David. The last bus to David leaves Panama City at 3:00 a.m. You should allow at least 3 hours between landing at Tocument Aiport and getting to Albrook Airport or Bus Station because of customs, immigration and then the journey within Panama City.
For $45 we also arrange airport pickups at Tocumen Airport to a hotel in Panama City (with a known driver that will wait for you at the airport with a sign with your name on it) and on the following day for $25 a pickup from your hotel to Albrook Airport or Albrook Bus Station if what you decide is to stay in Panama City to rest after your international flight.
If you arrive to David through a flight, you will land into Enrique Malek Airport. A modern and convenient shuttle or airport pickup can be booked for only $35 (1-2 passengers pay a total of $35, and 3 or more $15 each) and will take you directly to our Spanish School in Boquete or to your hotel. If you prefer to take a bus to Boquete, you will have to pay a taxi to take you to the Bus Station in David. The taxi should charge around $5, and the bus from David to Boquete is $1.75 USD per passenger.
If you want to take a bus to David from Panama City, you first have to take a taxi from Tocumen Airport or from your hotel in Panama City to Albrook Bus Terminal. There you will be able to catch a bus to David. Busses depart almost every hour so you shouldn't have any problem with the schedule and you don't have to bother with reservations. The only dates when you will not be able to easily catch a bus is when it is a Panamanian National Holiday. On these days you are better of booking a flight from Panama City to David because buses can get chaotic.
The first bus departs everyday at 6:00 a.m. and the last one departs at 3:00 a.m. The bus ticket from Panama to David costs $15 or $20 per passenger depending if it is an express bus or not. Express buses are the fastest and depart at 3:00 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Once you are in David we can arrange a Bus Terminal Pickup for $35, or you can easily take a bus to Boquete for $1.75.
If you can also rent a car in Panama City to drive to Boquete, but you can also rent cars in Boquete so if your reason for doing this is to just have a car, wait until you get to Boquete, but on the other hand if you want to explore the country it is a good option to rent a car in Panama City.
Click here if you need more detailed information about traveling to Boquete (maps and sketches) or if you need information about how to get to Boquete from San José, Costa Rica.