Panama is a country in Central America and located at the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Impressions of my Vlog

Panama City

I celebrated New Year’s Eve in the capital Panama City after over 300 days of traveling the world. The old town Casco Viejo consists of old colonial houses and the skyline with the skyscrapers is good visible from here. We saw a few animals and had a good view of the city on a trip to the Metropolitan Nature Park. We were also at the Panama Canal and the Pipeline Road.

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal connects the Pacific with the Atlantic Ocean so that large container ships must no longer sail over the southernmost tip of Argentina. There is a lock near Panama City that costs entry. However, we admired the large container ships for free at the starting point of the Pipeline Road at the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center.

Rainforests

With luck we saw a sloth and an anteater in the rain forest of Panama. The free Pipeline Road at the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center near Panama City, which we hiked along on a day trip, is very suitable for this.

Travel Tips

Planning

  • I traveled to Panama on my world trip through Latin America:
    • 1. Flight from Cartagena (Colombia) to Panama City.
    • 2. Night bus from Panama City to San José (Costa Rica) via David.
  • I used for my planning and can recommend the Lonely Planet for Central America.

Transport

  • Arrival
    • The Darién jungle lies between Panama and Colombia and there is no road connection. Traveling through it is too dangerous as the area is used for smuggling illegal goods. The alternatives are as follows:
      • From Cartagena are sailing ships for 5 days that make stops on beautiful islands along the way. Sounds good, but it also costs about 500 €.
      • Flights between € 150 and € 200 are faster and cheaper. We booked our flight over a month in advance.
      • The cheapest option is to sail around the dangerous part. To do this, however, you have to take the bus awkwardly close to the borders.
      • There was once a ferry for 1000 passengers, but it was discontinued.
    • Between Panama and Costa Rica are several national borders. From Panama City or David are buses like the TicaBus (www.ticabus.com) that go directly to San José in Costa Rica. Otherwise, you have to take the bus from David to the border and then continue on the other side with another bus. We wanted to take the TicaBus, but it was fully booked days in advance. So we took a night bus from Panama City to David and then a bus to the border. When we arrived in Costa Rica, we took a bus to San José.
  • Transportation between cities
    • Rome2Rio has some bus connections between cities.
    • There is only one central bus station in Panama City.
    • TicaBus has a direct bus from Panama City to San José in Costa Rica.

Accommodation

Visa

  • No visa is required as a German.
  • Proof of departure from Panama is required on arrival such as a flight ticket. The airline will check this at check-in. For me this was in Cartagena (Colombia) and I had a flight ticket as a PDF on my smartphone.

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