Best way to get from Colon, Panama to Boquete?
July 19, 2013 7:59 AM   Subscribe

My husband and I are taking a repositioning cruise this fall and will end up in Colon, Panama at 8:00 am on a Saturday morning. We'll have about 10 days to spend in the area and Boquete looks like it has everything we're looking for. The problem is, we're not sure how to get there. Here's what I've learned so far...

It's apparently seven hours from Port of Colon to Boquete. After much searching, it appears it's possible to get there by bus but the route would look something like this:

Colon > Panama City > David > Boquete

Accounting for wait and travel time, I know the seven-hour estimated travel time is likely to go way up. What are the buses like? Should I anticipate standing room only, no air-conditioning, long waits at bus stops? Issues with finding space for our luggage?

On the other hand, we could make our way to Albrook Airport, fly into David, get a taxi to the bus station, and take the bus to Boquete. I think?

Setting Boquete aside, we're open to ideas if we're overlooking a better place to stay nearer to Colon, especially considering we'll have to re-trace our route to get home again. The bustle of Panama City holds little appeal for us, but we're willing to have our minds changed. We want to live as locals and would prefer Airbnb-type accommodations over chain hotels. The only absolute requirement is wifi because both of us will be working each day.
posted by _Mona_ to Travel & Transportation around Panama (3 answers total)
I can't comment on your route but I can tell you about bus conditions -- long bus routes will be serviced by large, comfortable, very air conditioned buses. Your luggage goes in a compartment beneath the bus and there is lots of room. Bring a sweater, because it gets very cold!
posted by queens86 at 8:16 AM on July 19, 2013

I was in Boquete this spring and the "locals" you'll be living like there are ex-pat USA, unless you get out into the hills on the farms (which are beautiful and everyone is super friendly). Most coffee shops we went to had wifi but I don't remember any restaurants having it. Boquete is a BEAUTIFUL place. If outdoorsy stuff interests you at all and you're in average+ cardio shape, get up at midnight to make the trek up Volcan Baru. Most hostels have shuttles to the trailhead for a few dollars and let non-guests join in.

Anyhow, you're not going to find chain hotels in Boquete but if you're trying to get away from hostels, I would stick to accommodations east of the river in town. You're still close enough to walk to everything in Boquete. If you choose a place further out of town, you can always hitchhike or take a cab (they're everywhere!).
posted by thewestinggame at 1:27 PM on July 19, 2013

Best answer: Your plans for getting to Boquete are both viable - you can take the bus or fly from Allbrook to David to cut down on the travel time. As to other possibilities, it depends on what you're looking for. Boquete is beautiful, in the high rain forest with pleasant to cool temperatures. As thewestinggame says, there are a lot of expats living there. There are attractions closer to Panama City, but the weather is tropical. There are eco-retreats in the jungle areas of the former Canal Zone. Ther are also a number of gorgeous beaches west of Panama City (you need to get past Coronado, which is very crowded). I like Panama City, but it is definitely a city.
posted by gteffertz at 8:01 PM on July 19, 2013

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