Get to Boquete from Panama City, Costa Rica, Bocas, Colombia

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How to Travel to Boquete?

This page was LAST UPDATED: JULY 17TH 2018.

The following information was specially crafted for those students studying at our Spanish School in Boquete, but it'll help anyone visiting our charming town in the mountains.

How to get to Boquete? First of all it all depends on:

  • how you'll be traveling into Panama (as in the country, not in the city)
  • how fast you want to make it to Boquete (with or without spending a night in Panama City, or in San José, Costa Rica)
  • your budget (using a domestic flight or taking the bus once you're in Panama City or in Costa Rica)

Click here or more information about airlines that fly to Panama (country)...

map of Panama with location of Panama City, Boquete, David, Bocas del Toro and Paso Canoas

In this page we'll explain how to travel to Boquete depending on how you entered our country and we'll tell you how long it'll take you to get to Boquete.

Where will Spanish take YOU today? Boquete!

The most common ways travelers enter our country are:

And once you're in Panama (the country) there are several ways to travel to Boquete:


Flying Into Panama City and From There Going to Boquete

Traveling from Panama City to Boquete is fairly straight forward. Basically you have to travel from Panama City to David (30 minutes by plane or 6 hours by bus or car), and then from David to Boquete (30 - 45 minutes by bus or taxi).

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. 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 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)

Panama City to David by Air and Then to Boquete

One way airline tickets from Panama City (PTY or PAC) to David (DAV) cost between $85 - $150. You can view flight times and make online reservations at: and

Or if you're going to study at Habla Ya Panama Spanish Schools, we'll be happy to book a flight for you for $25 per ticket per passenger.

Copa Airlines flies to David (DAV) from Tocumen Airport (PTY - the same airport that you'll be flying into from abroad) and their last flight to David departs everyday at 4.00 p.m. so if you land into Panama City at the right time (2.30 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 to David 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'll arrive to Panama at Tocumen Airport and to fly from Panama City 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're 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 your are planning to study Spanish at our schools, feel free to Contact Us and we will get back to you with your flight options and give you the very best advice.

Copa Airlines has a 44 pound (20kg) baggage allowance for domestic flights (1 checked bag - you can also take hand luggage and personal items). More details about Copa's baggage allowance here. Air Panama has a 30 pound (14kg) baggage allowance and on their website they say that: "any excess baggage is accepted as baggage conditional and subject to available space inside the aircraft. If there is available space it will be sent on the same flight, otherwise it will be sent on the next flight". More info about Air Panama's baggage policy here. To this date we have NEVER heard of someone not being to take all of their luggage on a flight from Panama City to David so no worries! What we can't tell you is exactly how much it will cost but people tend to pay between $5 - $25 for additional luggage (sorry, but they change what they charge so check out their websites if you want up to date info!)

For information about hotels in Panama City for different budgets please click here...

If you arrive to David through a flight, you'll land into Enrique Malek Airport. We can arrange an airport pickup or "shuttle service" for $35 (for up to 2 persons, for 3 or more the cost is $15 USD per passenger) that will take you directly to Boquete to wherever you need to go to (our Language School or your hotel - home stay setup fees already include a pickup in David). If you prefer to take a bus to Boquete, you'll 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.


Panama City to David by Bus and Then to Boquete

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'll be able to catch a bus to David.

The first bus departs everyday at 5:30 a.m. and the last one departs at 12:00 a.m. The bus ticket from Panama to David costs $15 or $20 per passenger depending on whether it is an express bus or not. Express buses are the fastest and depart at 10 p.m., 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. Click here for a complete schedule of buses from Panama City to David and vice versa. Please note that the 22:45 express bus from Panama City to David has been changed to 23:00.

Busses depart almost every hour and tickets can only be bought on the same day. Non-express day buses are almost always available. Night express busses, however, sometimes sell out, most often from Thursdays to Sundays, during Panamanian National Holidays, and during school breaks (3 times a year and dates constantly change).

Once you're in David we can arrange a Bus Terminal Pickup for $35, or you can easily take a bus to Boquete for $1.75.

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 and then make the drive all the way to Boquete.


Entering by Paso Canoas

If your plan is to only travel around the west side of Panama then it could make sense to take a bus to David without going to Panama City. Tickets to San José, Costa Rica, from most parts of the world are cheaper than tickets to Panama City and from San José you can take a bus from Costa Rica to Panama. But you also have to take into account the money and time that you would need to spend in a hotel in San José and then on the means of transportation to David.


By Bus from San José, Costa Rica to David, Panama Through Paso Canoas

Three different companies make the journey from Costa Rica to Panama (David): Panaline, Ticabus and Tracopa. To see bus schedules and prices please visit:, or

The bus journey from San José to the border can take from 6 - 9 hours. Why such a big margin? Well, the roads in Costa Rica aren't that brilliant and sometimes buses can encounter lines of trucks in front of them. Crossing the border can take from 1 - 3 hours because of bureaucracy (Panamanian and Costa Rican combined). Roads in Panama are definitely better than their counterpart in Costa Rica. And finally from the border to David it should take 45 minutes to 1 hour and a half, depending on the speed of the bus and traffic. And from there to Boquete the trip should take between 30 - 40 minutes by bus.

If you purchase a bus ticket in San José to David, the bus' final destination could be either David or Panama City. So if the bus that you chose is heading towards Panama City be sure to tell the bus driver that you need to get off in David and pay attention that you don't continue the journey too far (and also only pay the fare to David). How to identify David? Looking out for the signs and it will also be the first really populated area within Panama.

Tracopa leaves San José to David at 7:30 a.m. They stop at David and do not continue to anywhere else. They also have a bus from David to San José that leaves David at 8:30 a.m. Their phone number in David is +507-775-0585.

Panaline leaves San José at 1:00 p.m. They travel directly to Panama City so if you're coming to Boquete make sure to tell the bus driver to leave you at David. They should be passing by David between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The last bus from David to Boquete leaves at 9:00 p.m. so if you choose this option you have to ask us to arrange a bus station pickup for $35 to bring you to Boquete OR you have to spend one night at a hotel in David.

Ticabus leaves from San José to Panama City at 12:00 p.m. noon and 11:00 p.m. Their buses from Panama City to San José, Costa Rica leave at 11:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The daytime buses are nicer buses known as "Ejecutivos". Their phone number in Panama City is +507-314-6385.

You can also look for a bus to the Costa Rican border, and buses from there to David depart every hour or so. The same is valid for the journey in the opposite direction (David to San José).

If your bus is continuing its journey further ahead then David, then you have to get off on a bus stop in front of a Super Market, called "Super Baru", which is located on the Panamerican highway, also known as Interamericana, the one supposed to go from Canada to Argentina, but interrupted by the Darién Gap. I wouldn't say this is the outskirts of town. If you were coming to David from Panama City it would be the entrance of David. If you cross by foot "La Panamericana or Interamerican" (the highway), and get on the opposite side of the road of where "el Super Baru" is, you'll be standing on the corner of a gas station. You'll be just a block away from Vía Boquete (the road that goes from David to Boquete). From that corner you'll need walk further up the road (still a block from Vía Boquete) and there you'll be able to wait for a bus to Boquete. Buses to Boquete should be passing by every 30 - 45 minutes. The bus only costs $1.75. A taxi would charge you $35.

If your bus final destination from Costa Rica is David, then you don't have to worry because you'll be dropped at David's bus terminal from where you can directly catch a bus to Boquete.

The only essential difference between these two approaches would be the schedules from Costa Rica to David.

The only thing to keep in mind, is that buses from David to Boquete run from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. so do not take a bus from Costa Rica that will arrive too early or too late.

After writing down all this info we have to say that the best way to plan to travel from San José to Boquete by bus is to sort everything out once you're in Costa Rica because you cannot book tickets by phone or online. You have to purchase them in person.

The normal bus fare should be between $8 to $10 to the border or about $20 to David. One of the bus companies also has a "luxury" ticket.

Remember to purchase a return bus ticket in Costa Rica. Even if you're not planning to use it or don't have your exact dates, it is a requirement to be able to enter Panama (or your return flight ticket also works as long as it is a flight leaving Panama). You have to have a valid return ticket that demonstrates that you intend to leave the country. Read more about visa requirements to enter Panama...


Flying Into Bocas del Toro from San José, Costa Rica or Crossing the Sixaola Border

If you're in Costa Rica and want to spend some days in Bocas del Toro before coming to Boquete, you can take a bus from San José, Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro. To travel from David to Boquete read above.

For more info about traveling by bus from San José to Bocas del Toro and crossing the Sixaola border please click here...

By Bus from Bocas del Toro to Boquete

First of all you'll have to take a water taxi to get off Isla Colón. Make sure the boat is going to Almirante. Once in Almirante take a cab to the bus stop in Almirante and wait for 30 minutes to 1 hour for a bus to David to pass by. Once in David at the bus terminal take a bus or a taxi to Boquete.