We have returned to the U.S. to visit my daughters. The first part of this trip is the travel to Panama City. There are some options for accomplishing this.
COPA is just about to start flights from Tocumen (the international airport in Panama City) to David (the hub for travel to the mountains and beaches in Chriqui). This is good news because up until now, Air Panama has been the only option. They fly out of Allbrook, the local airport on the other side of Panama City so time, a $30-35 taxi ride, and possibly a night in a hotel are necessary.
If you travel to Panama City by ground, you can drive or take the bus. Right now we wouldn’t consider driving because the road is either under construction or in poor condition between David and Santiago (the half way point), and when you get to the city you have to figure out something to do with your car (there are fees for parking at the airport). The buses are large, comfortable (except for cold air conditioning most of the time), and affordable at $15.25 per person.
There is construction as soon as you leave David
There continues to be a lot of digging and earth moving.
I am always amazed at how they make these huge concrete beams on site for the bridges
Driving on the new side of the road! You can see how much earth has been moved by the funny islands left around the utility poles that haven’t been moved yet.
The checkpoint. This time the whole bus was just waved through. Usually they walk through and glance at everyone’s ID
More dirt moving and digging
As we got closer to Santiago, we drove over some of the older road that is in such poor condition with all the cracks and holes. The vehicles were all over the road as they tried to avoid the bumps and holes as much as they could. It is going to be wonderful when there is a new road!
There were more and more parts looking closed to finished.
We are driving on the new side!
The trip in the bus is long, so I appreciate that they stop for a break in Santiago, and show movies (even if they aren’t always ones I would choose).
I don’t remember seeing these windmills before. I have heard there are going to be more of them to try and decrease additional demands on the hydroelectric systems.
The scenery got even prettier as the afternoon wore on.
Pretty scenery and clouds
We came in over the Centennial Bridge which was a surprise. Most other bus trips have taken us over the Bridge of the Americas
We finally made it to Panama City! We got a bite to eat at the bus terminal and then caught a taxi to our hotel near the airport in preparation for our flight out the next morning. Our first flight was to Atlanta. We booked with Delta but the second leg from Atlanta to Seattle was an Air Alaska flight. It was a new, comfortable plane with free movies which made the long flight go much faster.
On the runway, ready to go. I remember falling in love with Panama the first time I saw those beautiful green mountains.
We fly over Cuba. I wonder if someday I will be able to visit that beautiful and interests country.
The islands and turquoise water north of Cuba are really beautiful.
There is a shelf around the Bahamas that was clearly visible from the air.
Arriving in US airspace, the east coast of southern Florida is clearly visible.
It is really good to be back here with my family! We have Internet and video chats to keep in touch but sometimes you just have to be there, and be together in person.
About Kris Cunningham
We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
Welcome to Washington, Kris! We live in Olympia, and we just got back from Panama in December! Have a great vacation!
Thanks! How interesting we are in the same areas. It is really beautiful here.
Enjoyed the pics of the new construction. It’s been a couple of years since I made my way over to PC.
A lot of people are wondering what to expect when traveling though so I thought an update might be good.
How about this, Kris…https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=789143557807401&set=vb.100001352927030&type=2&theater
That is crazy!! I always wondered how those big buses do on that difficult route. Apparently this one didn’t fare so well.
Have a wonderful visit and keep warm!
Thank you 🙂 yes, it is a bit chilly here at the moment but we are still having a lot of fun.
Enjoy the cold, we did not when were in Arizona and California in November/December. So enjoy your time with family, that part of our trip was enjoyable.
I don’t like the cold either but it sure is good to have some time with my family. 🙂
Have a fun vacation, Kris! I live in Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula. I’ve been following your blog for over a year – really enjoy it! Hoping to make it to Panama some day soon……..
Thanks so much, glad you enjoy the blog. This is a really beautiful area and I am glad for the opportunity to spend some time here. I hope you can get to Panama too. It is quite different but there is also a lot to love there.
Great report Kris!
Enjoy your stay in Seattle.