Monday, September 12, 2016

Going to Panama Canal Using Public Transport

During the planning stage of this Central America tour, I found some tour services that offer a trip package to Panama Canal that costs between 100 USD to 150 USD. Instead of booking it, I opted to use public transportation and go there in a local way. The hotel where I am staying in (Sercotel Panama Princess) is a 15 minute walk to Estacion Iglesia del Carmen.

Same in other cities, you can buy metro cards in all the stations. In this station, there are two types of kiosks: one is for buying new card and recharging while the other one is for single journey. I chose to buy new card and it costs 2 USD and you need to add value in it. I charged it with 3 USD; it is 0.25 USD per entry. You can also use the metro card in buses.

The train station is very clean. You will also see there the metro map. For now, as I know, Panama metro only has one line but there are plans to expand it (I read that they will add 7 more lines). The train itself is very clean but only few seats are available. I think it is new because it is still very white and doesn't smell anything. 

So from Estacion Iglesia del Carmen, I disembarked at Estacion 5 de Mayo (15 minutes) and it was too late before I realized that it should be in Albrook station. Nevertheless, there is a bus station just in front of it (Estacion Maranon). Make sure to wait for the bus in Bahia I (Bay I). Then this bus will go to Albrook Terminal (20 minutes) then from it, go to Bahia D and embark in the bus with sign 'Miraflores'. Take note that buses in Panama are not displaying numbers, instead it will show the route. You will not miss the Panama Canal station because you will be welcomed by a big signage 'Bienvenido a Canal de Panama'(30 minutes). So in total, I only spent less than 1 USD just to reach the famous canal.


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