Though most well-known as the home of the Panama Canal, Panama has plenty to offer the tramp-traveler beyond the glitter and motion of the capital. If you’re interested in a delicious cup of coffee, check out the highlands and cloud forests in and around Boquete in the north. If all-night dance parties followed by lounging on pristine Caribbean beaches is what you’re looking for, the Bocas del Toro archipelago will be sure to please. A more laid-back vibe can be found up and down the Pacific coast, particularly in the small surf town of Santa Catalina. And you can’t forget to visit the Kuna Yala/San Blas archipelago, center of the Kuna Yala province and home to the Kuna, one of the most highly organized and autonomous indigenous groups in Panama. Transport is generally cheap, and buses go pretty much anywhere the average tramper would like to head. After the high-priced atmosphere of Costa Rica, Panama is a breath of fresh air for the tramper wallet.
ARRIVING // LEAVING
When entering Panama it will save you a lot of frustration and protesting if you have an onward travel itinerary printed and in hand. It is likely the immigration officials will ask for this along with proof of at least $500usd in cash or in a bank account. Of course there are ways around this — a false itinerary, the ATM account balance receipt from your own or another’s bank account showing your proof of funds. Just be prepared to show these things, as they tend to be pretty strict. The Panama City airport also charges a $40USD airport service fee, though this is generally included in the price of the ticket. Make sure to check before spending all your balboas!
Cities // Islands // Towns