Transport in Panama


El metro de Panamá
In 2014 the first metro line in Panama was opened and two more lines are planned to start operating in the coming years. The operating line covers almost 14 kilometers  of Panama city and goes through some of the busiest points for Panamanians. Although it’s not always punctual, it’s quite clean and efficient. The route begins in Transístmica Avenue and ends at the Albrook Bus Terminal.


The traffic in Panama City is quite chaotic and often busy at peak hours: 7:00 in the morning and 19.00 in the afternoon. It’s necessary to be cautious and drive carefully. An important issue is to ensure that your license allows you to drive in the country. Outside the big city it is easier to drive since The Panamerican – the main highway of the country- is fairly well paved and well signed. There are several companies that rent cars in most of the cities and large towns, also in the Tocumen Internacional Airport, and prices are reasonable.


MiBus -or the Metrobus- is the service responsible for bus transportation in the Panama and San Miguelito districts. It has more than 150 routes in the area and is the cheapest option for getting around the city. Of course, depending on the traffic, it may take you more or less time to complete your route. It is important to ask before getting on one of the busses, because you have to buy a card first so you can pay for your ride as they do not accept cash on the bus. The card is sold in some stores, pharmacies or retail outlets and they are rechargeable.
Just like anywhere in the world,, take note of where you have to get off, even if the bus extension is not that big since soon you will get familiar.


Panama Canal Railway Company
The Panama Railroad links the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. It is a transcontinental train that has a 77 kilometers route and runs from Panama City to Colon. It is better to buy tickets in advance (internet-based service often is not operational) since it is common for tickets to be sold out if you try to buy it at the ticket counter the day of. Sometimes disorganization prevails in the stations, if this case... have patience and everything will be fine. The railway is a good transportation method to border the Panama Canal or to see the lush and wild landscape of the country.

Ships and ferries

Panama is a country surrounded by water so it has several routes connecting land with other points. Surely boats and ferries are some of the most suitable transport to go around, especially when going to Bocas del Toro, the Darien area or the San Blas Islands. There are several ports on both sides of the country, both in the Caribbean Sea or the Pacific Ocean, with several routes and boats to get around. Also, it is easy to reach Colombia, the neighboring country, from Panamanian waters and disembark in Cartagena.


Despite Panama’s chaotic traffic and the somewhat reckless attitudes of some drivers, using a Taxi to go around the city or the country is a good alternative. The trip is a little more expensive than other means of transport but it has air conditioning. Taxis can be hailed on the street or booked by phone and is quite common to rent the same vehicle for hours or days. It is recommended that before getting in the car you agree the price with the driver, many vehicles don’t have a meter and you could have some surprises with the car. It is also a good idea to tip the driver to be friendly and save yourself from having problems.

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