My First Few Days in Panama City, Panama and Travel Cost in the City.

Traveling to Panama from VA was very smooth. I booked my one way flight to Panama with Delta Airlines. They have lots of direct flights from ATL to Panama. So I only had to change planes one time and no real layover time. Once I got to ATL I had to run across ATL airport to get to the next Delta flight. From there a straight shot to Panama. I have to admit I was disappointed with no real meals for an international flight. (I guess due to Covid times ugh) I don’t care if it’s only 3 hours. Delta did serve snacks throughout the flight. I would have preferred one meal instead of snacks.

Anyways! Before getting on the plane I needed to provide my negative Covid test at least 72hours before boarding. Walgreens made that easy. Requirements are always changing. The best way to keep up is to follow the Expat in Panama FB group.

Getting through customs was easy. I will let you know that most of the employees don’t speak English so the few questions they asked in Spanish I just had to use my common sense and look at their non-verbals of what they could be asking me.

Panama City, Panama Travel Cost……

Bienvenidos a Panama! I arrived in the afternoon so there were lots of people and taxis wanting my business. However, I decided to take an Uber since it was my first time in Panama. The cost I don’t remember but I now know from the airport to El Cangrejo/Obarrio/San Fransisco/Casco Viejo areas cost between $15-25. If going from the airport to Costa del Este $10-$20. If going from the airport to Albook $20-$30. Transportation costs within the city should cost between $2-$10. The cheapest way to get around is by bus or train. Bus cost .25 and train .35 you need to purchase their transportation card and add money and off you go on your merry way. By the way Panama uses American money. However, the coins are different; they use Panamanian Balboa but if you have US coins they still accept it.

Panama drivers be like…..

Taxis here are safe. When Uber prices are stupid and I have cash, I’ll hop in a taxi. There is another app called Indriver that many people use as well. I do recommend using Uber as a gauge of how much it should cost you going from where you are to the place you want to go, so if a taxi driver is charging too much you can negotiate or find another taxi who is willing to accept the price you are willing to pay. Another thing about taxis is that they don’t know anything about Panama or where things are unless it’s a major place. So be ready to have to give directions to the taxi driver. Most of them if you ask what are things to do in Panama they will give you some general answer. They are not very helpful information wise.

I would recommend hiring a driver if you want transportation and someone to give you more detailed information about the city. In the Young Black Expat FB group there is a list of services in the file that have a few recommended drivers. Also in the Panama City Expats FB or BEIP FB group you can ask for some recommended drivers as well.

First few days in Panama

Now we have the information on how to get around. My first day in Panama, my Airbnb host introduced herself, cat and her very cute apartment. She then took me to my room and gave me a few places to go to and eat. I ended up going to an Indian restaurant called the Raj. It was delicious Indian food! I later had Indian co-workers say that it is the best Indian restaurant in the city. I came back and did the I’ve arrived safely calls to the important people in my life. Even though I was exhausted I couldn’t sleep. My second day I met up with my Spanish language exchange tutor. We got some food at El Trapiche which is a Panamanian chain restaurant. The food here was also good. I’ll talk about Panama and service in another post.

Later that day I met a new friend, I know some of y’all are like how you have a new friend already! Well we connected a few months ago on FB in the Young Expats of Panama group about apartments in Panama. So I met up with her. She was wonderful. We went to Cinta Costera which is a very long and large park-like place. It has the most beautiful views of the city. People play basketball, walk, ride bikes, skate board, and there are lots of vendors selling stuff. I got my first pictures of Panama in this area. We later went to MultiPlaza. Multiplaza is a very large mall, as an American there are lots of American brands and shops. It even has the grocery store Riba Smith in it, which has most of your American food brands you may be used to. It’s a beautiful mall.

Only being in Panama for two days, I was tired. I felt I was doing way too much so day 3 I made sure I slept.

Welp! That ends my first few days in Panama. Bye see ya next time!

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