Country Guide » Travel To and Around
The majority of international flights will arrive/depart at:
- Tocumen International Airport (PTY): Panama’s Tocumen is the largest and most important airport in Panama and Central America with flights to more than 65 cities between America and Europe. All flights from Europe are directed to Tocumen International Airport via Frankfurt, Madrid or Amsterdam. The airport is also popular for connections between the Caribbean, South America, North America and Central America. Tocumen is located about 30 minutes from Panama’s downtown center, and arriving by taxi, shuttle or rental car is manageable among the adjacent toll road, Corredor Sur. Buses are also available for $0.25 (un cuara) to downtown and are recommended for only the most adventurous of travelers. Regional note: “PTY,” Tocumen’s airport code, is used primarily as a written reference among locals to colloquially refer to ¨Panama.¨
Flights to/from Costa Rica also have the option of arriving/departing at:
- Albrook “Marcos A. Gelabert” International Airport (PAC): Located at the former U.S. airbase in Panama City, Albrook International Airport is Panama’s second largest airport and home to the country’s second largest airline, AirPanama. The airport offers daily flights to every major town and city in Panama, including 2-3 daily flights to David, Chiriqui with AirPanama. For domestic flights to/from Panama City, Marcos A. Gelbert is the name for Panama City’s domestic airport (not to be confused with Tocumen International Airport). Regional note: “Albrook” can also refer to the large nearby shopping center (formerly part of the airbase), as advertised for bus routes.
- Enrique Malek International Airport (DAV): Panama’s third largest airport, this airport is dubbed ¨international¨ for its flights to/from San José, Costa Rica. It also has flights to/from Panama City’s Albrook and two airports in Bocas del Toro.
- Bocas del Toro “Isla Colón” International Airport (BOC): This airport has routes to/from Pavas and Tamarindo, Costa Rica with Nature Air as well as Panama City’s Albrook and Tocumen with AirPanama. It is a small airport with minimal services, but does include international customs.
For domestic flights, Panama officially has over 100 airports, making it the country with more private airstrips per square mile than any other country in the world. It is technically feasible for many chartered and private planes to access the remote interior regions and beach towns of the country and hop from town to town. However, with climate conditions, weight restrictions, and the February 2012 cease of operations of the regional airline, Aeroperlas, taxis, buses and cars are both reasonable and secure for most domestic transportation, and a chance to see all the beauty Panama has to offer.