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TRAVEL TIPS

You have two options when deciding to visit Bocas del Toro. Flights are available daily from Panama City aboard AeroPerlas or Mapiex Airlines. The flight lasts around one hour and may or may not stop in Changuinola first. The landing strip on Bocas is just 3-4 blocks outside of Bocas town, and is easily within walking distance to most hotels and restaurants. At times, a bus taxi is there and will shuttle you to your final destination for about $0.50 - $1.00.

You can take a bus from Panama City to Almirante or Changuinola, which departs Panama in the evening hours and arrives early morning. Upon arriving at either port you can take a water taxi to Bocas del Toro (Isla Colon).

Water taxi service is available from both Almirante and Changuinola, the latter being the most popular with those visiting Bocas del Toro from Costa Rica. The water taxis that service Amirante cost $3.00 each way per person, and the ride takes approximately 30 minutes. (These water taxis leave Isla Colon from the office that is just to the left of the IPAT building) Water taxis departing from Changuinola cost $5.00 each way per person, and the ride lasts approximately 1 hour to Isla Colon; for those entering Panama from Costa Rica this is the best option since you won't be forced to take a bus/taxi from Changuinola to Almirante in order to get the water taxi. Getting the water taxi in Almirante will save time and money. Service is available between 8:00 a .m. - 5:00 p.m. from Changuila and from 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. from Bocas del Toro.(Water taxis depart Isla Colon from right along Main Street) Taxi service to and from the dock to the Changuinola bus terminal costs $1.00.

For those of you traveling between Changuinola, Almirante and David by bus we have provided this additional information.
Small, comfortable minibuses travel between Changuinola and David daily, passing by Almirante on the way. (David is the capital of the Chiriqui Province and has a local airport with daily flights to and from Panama City, Changuinola and Bocas del Toro) The bus ride between Changuinola and David takes approximately 4 - 4 1/2 hours and costs $8.00 or $10.00 per person depending on where you get on. The trip goes primarilly from north to south, forging through some of the country's most mountainous terrain. The mini-buses do not stop for food or drink along the way. Below we have supplied more detalied information.

Getting to Almirante or Changuinola from David
Buses depart daily from David en route to Changuinola between the hours of 5:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. There is one major bus terminal in David, which is located just minutes from the city's central park (If you don't know your way around or are taking a taxi just ask for the "terminal de buses") All local buses use this same terminal. Once at the terminal you'll have no problem finding your way, there are numerous buses lined up with their final destinations well marked on the respective buses. The phone number for the bus terminal in David is 775-0268.

Getting to David from Almirante or Changuinola
All buses en route to David depart from Changuinola between the hours of 4:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.; Changuinola is just 30 minutes from the Costa Rican border. There is a bus terminal in central Changuinola from where all local buses depart. It is easy to find or get to in a taxi.

Almirante - The buses do not actually enter the town of Almirante when traveling between Changuinola and David, but rather stop just outside of town; approximately 5-10 minutes from Almirante. The stop is known as "el cruce", and there is a small restaurant on the corner; you will probably see other people waiting for the bus. Taxis can take you to or from "el cruce" from Almirante for about $1.00. In Almirante water taxis depart for Bocas del Toro throughout the day.