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Tocumen Airport (Panama City) Mini Guide
Tell me About Panama City
Panama City is one of Central America’s most exciting cities with a huge range of influences seen in the buildings, languages, culture and food of the city. It’s home to the Panama Canal, one of the technological wonders of the modern age and the San Blas Islands, favourites of the cruise lines. It’s also got a great old town divided into Casco Vieja and Panama Vieja which was once the haunt of the infamous pirate Henry Morgan who terrorised these waters from the safety of his Panamanian base.
How do I get to Panama City?
Many arrive there on the cruise ships that ply the Central American coast but if you want longer in the capital city of the state of Panama then you’d do best to fly into Tocumen Airport, fifteen miles from the city centre. With flights from across North America and for European passengers from Madrid, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, getting to Panama City is relatively easy. Beware at the airport of unregulated taxis who will fleece you or packed, dirty buses where you can easily be pickpocketed. Car hire is a far better way of getting into the city provided you know which areas to avoid. It’s also better to try to arrive in daylight hours when the city is safer.
What Should I do in Panama City?
Get a handle on the history of the city and the country it governs through a visit to the old parts of the city; Casco Vieja, the ‘new’ old town, and Panama Vieja the ‘old’ old town from where the city moved when it became dangerous because of the buccaneers. There you’ll see plentiful colonial buildings in various states of repair. Many have been renovated whilst others have deliberately been left to show the original forms and layouts but all are fascinating.
What is the Airport Like?
It’s considered the most modern of any in Central America and is certainly the busiest, serving six million passengers a year currently. It is the only Central American airport to operate two runways and the newest facilities opened only just this year. Surprisingly for a Central American airport, it has plenty of facilities with several shops including designer labels Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger and restaurants providing international and traditional Central American fare. Car hire desks are easily found for you to collect you pre-booked Tocumen Airport hire car from and banks and ATMs for any emergency cash requirements are dotted through the airport.