Ways to Get to David Panama

Ways to Get to David Panama

There are three. One of the ways is to drive yourself from Costa Rica or Panama City. This assumes that you have flown into either San Jose or Panama City. I will not spend much more than these sentences regarding this option as most people will get to David by the two other methods.

Tocumen airport, Copa Airlines HP-1722CMP

Photo Courtesy of InSapphoWeTrust (Flickr.com)

The other two ways to get to David are either by bus or plane after arriving at our lovely international airport in Panama City, Tocumen.

Tocumen  was renovated and expanded last year.  Now it  has a total of 40 gates.  Last year in 2012  the airport welcomed 6,962,608  passengers. This airport is the regional hub for flights to South America, North America and the Caribbean. It services United and American flights from the US as well as flights from the US with Copa.

Copa is Panama’s own airline and is in Star Alliance with Continental/United.  There are direct flights from Miami, Houston and Newark to Panama City. As of this writing, Tocumen is the only airport in Panama that receives flights from the US.  Also worth noting, Tocumen  does not have flights to David. Those flights are serviced at Albrook “Marcos A. Gelabert ” International Airport across Panama City.


Panama City to David by Bus

The most popular and cheapest way to get around in Panama is by bus. To that end, the new bus terminal in Panama City services the entire country.  It is located at the Albrook Mall which conveniently also has the Albrook airport nearby.  The terminal itself is huge,clean and safe. Find the ticket counter saying David, pay $15.25 for your ticket. You then proceed into the waiting area, get your ticket for 10 cents for each person to get through the turn style and wait until they board. There are three different bus companies that drive to David. They are all the same really. The buses are clean, have bathrooms and show movies for the 7 hour trip. All buses stop midway at Santiago at a bus stop for a 30 minute break. You have to get off the bus. These stops are open air places that serve food and have bathroom facilities. You are not suppose to eat or drink on the bus. These buses run almost every hour of the day. There is no need to make a reservation in advance.  The express bus which many people like takes less time because it does not make as many stops and travels through the night. Here is the schedule Panama City to David. In theory, you could arrive at Tocumen in the evening and go directly to the bus terminal for an overnight bus ride to David. Most people choose to spend a night in Panama City.

Panama City to David by Plane

The airport in Panama City that has flights to David is the Albrook Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport. This airport is almost located on the canal and is at the opposite side of Panama City than Tocumen. It is about 20 miles from one airport to another. That doesn’t sound like much, but you are talking about traveling through congested downtown Panama City traffic. Most international arrivals from the US arrive at night. Therefore, you would have to spend a night in Panama City in order to catch a daytime plane to David.

Taking a flight to David would require a reservation. The Albrook airport was formerly part of the Air Force station there. The terminal is very small. The flight time is one hour. Currently the only airline that flys into David’s Enrique Malek Airport is Air Panama. They have a weight restriction for baggage of 30lbs. They have 3 flights a day to David and the cost is $80 one way. There website is here Air Panama.

David’s Enrique Malek Airport has a totally new terminal as of last year. They have been trying to get international flights to come to David. It is deemed an international airport, but as of now, they only receive an send flights to San Jose, Costa Rica. Many people fly from the states to San Jose and then on to David. Just another way to come. Even though the airport is small it looks great. Here as well as the Albrook airport, to board the plane you walk out onto the runway. I found a video of our new airport. the video is very accurate. There is never anyone at the airport. It is like a ghost town.


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