Fly To Panama City, Panama
Discover Central America’s cosmopolitan capital in Panama City. The city is the gateway to Panama’s natural riches such as Soberania National Park but it’s also an eclectic hub thanks to its Latin American, Asian, North American and European communities. As such there’s no shortage of chic clubs and a fabulous array of restaurants with everything from authentic ceviche to chicken kebabs.
Visitors to Panama City are aoften drawn to the neighbourhood of Casco Viejo for its historic buildings and cobbled streets that are reminiscent of the old Havana. Although the area was abandoned for more stylish digs and left to crumble of the edge of the sea for literally decades, Casco Viejo is now making a comeback following reclamation of the colonial district.
Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South African passport holders travelling to Panama City do not require a Visa to enter Panama for stays of up to 180 days. You will need to make sure that your SA passport is valid for 6 months from the date of your return, and that you have at least 2 pages free for stamps.
- The closest South African Embassy is located at A. Victor Andres Belaunde 157, Edificio Real Tres “3”, Office 801, PO Box 27-013, San Isidro, Lima, Peru. Phone: +51 1 440 9996.
See and do
The top of your list for your visit should be an outing to Panama Canal. Head towards the Miraflores Locks and watch the massive boats go by. Stroll around the informative visitor’s centre and museum or catch a movie at the movie theatre. There’s a swish restaurant too and a luxury train ride along the canal to Colon.
Panama Viejo is where you can see the ruins of the original city of Panama that was sacked in the 1600s by pirate Henry Morgan. Later on the city was moved to Casco Viejo and today Panama Viejo is home to a national park.
Amador Causeway connects three islands to the mainland and offers a fantastic view of the city. It’s a peaceful place to go jogging, bicycle riding and roller blading down the causeway or you can grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or bars on the islands. You can also rent a bike or take a ferry trip to one of the other islands.
There are loads of street markets and malls in Panama City from thrifty to couture. Souvenirs worth looking for include Panamanian crafts.
The easiest way to get around Panama City is by taxi. They don’t have meters so fares are set by the authorities and determined according to the section of the city you’re traveling to and from. Buses are also cheap and convenient.
Tocumen International Airport – PTY
Tocumen International Airport is situated 24 kilometres from Panama City. It underwent extensive expansion and renovation in 2006 in order to bring it into the modern world! At the moment it’s the only airport in Central America with two runways, making it the busiest.
Food and beverage: There are restaurants and bars in both the public areas and areas that are for exclusive use of passengers. There is a good range of local and international fare.
Currency Exchange: There are various ATMs, banks and currency exchange offices throughout Panama City Airport.
Airport Hotel: No onsite hotel but there are several international hotels nearby that can be reached via the airport’s shuttle service.
Car Hire: Alamo, Avis, Barriga Rent a Car, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, Sixt, National and Thrifty.
Airport Hub: Tocumen International Airport (code PTY) is a hub for Copa Airlines.