Having airport access in Panama is crucial if you want to go around this beautiful country. It cuts down on the amount of travel time, letting you enjoy the vacation more. Knowing the airports in Panama can give you a superb advantage with your logistics.
Panama has more than 100 total airports in the entire country. It has one international airport: The Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City. It also has airports that go to regional Central American destinations. Everything else is domestic, which goes into major cities and tourist destinations in Panama.
If you’re looking to take advantage of these airports, you need to know where they go. Knowing their arrivals and points of destination can help you plan your entire trip schedule. Use this quick guide so you can make your connections faster!
Here we go.
How Many Airports Does Panama Have?
Panama has over 100 airports, with some for private use and some for public use. Airports in Panama are there to provide air transport across many cities and islands. Some are hard to access by road, so air travel provides the best and fastest access.
While Panama itself has many international airports, a good majority of these serve only within the region of the Carribean, Central, and South America. Only one airport, Tocumen International Airport, serves as a global access point. For tourists, the best place to concentrate on is the use of Tocumen International.
|AIRPORT NAME||PROVINCE||CITY SERVED||ICAO||IATA|
|Achutupo Airport||Guna Yala||Achutupo||ACU|
|Ailigandí Airport||Guna Yala (San Blas)||Ailigandi||AIL|
|Panamá Pacífico International Airport||Panamá Province||Arraiján||MPPA||BLB|
|Bocas del Toro “Isla Colón” International Airport||Bocas del Toro Province||Bocas del Toro||MPBO||BOC|
|Cartí Airport||Guna Yala||Cartí||CTE|
|Chame Airport||Panamá Oeste||Chame||MPCM|
|Changuinola “Capitán Manuel Niño” International Airport||Bocas del Toro Province||Changuinola||MPCH||CHX|
|Chitré Alonso Valderrama Airport||Herrera Province||Chitré||MPCE||CTD|
|Enrique Adolfo Jiménez Airport||Colón Province||Colón||MPEJ||ONX|
|Calzada Larga Airport||Panamá Province||Calzada Larga||MPCL|
|Contadora Airport||Panamá Province||Contadora Island||MPRA||OTD|
|Coiba Airport||Veraguas Province||Coiba Island|
|Corazón de Jesús Airport||Guna Yala||Corazón de Jesús||CZJ|
|David “Enrique Malek” International Airport||Chiriquí Province||David||MPDA||DAV|
|El Porvenir Airport||Guna Yala||El Porvenir||MPVR||PVE|
|El Real Airport||Darién Province||El Real||MPRE||ELE|
|Garachiné Airport||Darién Province||Garachiné||MPGA||GHE|
|Jaqué Airport||Darién Province||Jaqué||MPJE||JQE|
|Miraflores Airport||Darién Province||La Palma||MPMF|
|Augusto Vergara Airport||Los Santos Province||Los Santos||MPNU|
|Mulatupo Airport||Guna Yala||Mulatupo||MPP|
|Punta Patiño Airport||Darién Province||Punta Patiño|
|Albrook “Marcos A. Gelabert” International Airport||Panamá Province||Panama City||MPMG||PAC|
|Tocumen International Airport||Panamá Province||Panama City||MPTO||PTY|
|Capt. J. Montenegro Airport||Los Santos||Pedasí||MPPD||PDM|
|Playón Chico Airport||Guna Yala||Playón Chico||PYC|
|Puerto Obaldia Airport||Guna Yala||Puerto Obaldia||MPOA||PUE|
|Bahía Piña Airport||Darién Province||Puerto Piña||BFQ|
|Scarlett Martínez International Airport||Coclé Province||Río Hato||MPSM||RIH|
|Sambú Airport||Darién Province||Sambú||MPSB||SAX|
|San Miguel Airport||Panamá Province (Pearl Islands)||San Miguel||MPMI||NMG|
|San José Airport||Panamá Province (Pearl Islands)||Isla San José (Panama)||SIC|
|Fernando Eleta Airport||Panamá Province (Pearl Islands)||Isla Pedro Gonzalez||MPFE|
|Ruben Cantu Airport||Veraguas Province||Santiago||MPSA||SYP|
|Tonosí Airport||Los Santos Province||Tonosí|
|Tubualá Airport||Guna Yala||Tubala||TUW|
|Ustupo Airport||Guna Yala||Ustupo||UTU|
|Ustupu-Ogobsucum Airport||Guna Yala||Ustupo||OGM|
|Wannukandi Airport||Guna Yala||Wannukandi||MPWN||NBL|
|Yaviza Airport||Darién Province||Yaviza||PYV|
For the average person, mastering all airport destinations will be a feat for you. We’re here to give you the ones you need so you don’t have to waste your time. From this list, we’ll extract all the airports you need and where they go.
Tocumen International Airport (PTY)
The Tocumen International Airport (PTY) is your gateway to Panama. It connects Panama City to the rest of the world, with a connection to 36 countries and 87 destinations around the globe. If you’re a tourist, chances are you will connect to Tocumen International Airport.
Tocumen Int’l Airport is also the home base for Copa Airlines, its international flag carrier. There are also domestic flights in Tocumen all day long. These flights will allow you to connect across Panama’s many domestic airports in many of its major cities.
If you’re coming from the US or Canada, you have options. They are:
- Broward County, Florida via Fort Lauderdale
- Houston via Houston Intercontinental
- The tri-state area via Newark International
- Miami via Miami International
- Atlanta via Hartsfield-Jackson
- Boston via Logan Int’l
- Chicago via O’Hare
- Denver via Denver Int’l
- Las Vegas via McCarran
- Los Angeles via LAX
- Montreal via Montreal-Trudeau
- New Orleans via Louis Armstrong
- New York via JFK
- Orlando via OIA
- San Francisco via SFO
- Tampa via Tampa Int’l
- Washington via Dulles
There are also Asian connections that go straight to Panama City via Tocumen. These include Beijing and Istanbul.
There are also flights straight from European countries like Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.
The best, easiest route to any destination unless you’re from Central and South America is always Tocumen. The locale affords you connecting flights almost anywhere in the country, so you’re sure to get the best service here.
If you’re in the vicinity around the Caribbean, Central and South America, especially Costa Rica, it’s best to go with the other airports. Costa Rica has regional flights that can connect you to more specific destinations. This can make travel easier for you by getting out of the bustle that Tocumen provides.
Panama Pacifico International Airport (BLB)
The Panama Pacifico International Airport is one of the few gateway airports in the region. Known as the Howard Airport, this is the third-largest airport in the country, located in Balboa. It serves five flights daily, connecting flyers to four destinations in Colombia and Havana in Cuba.
For people who want to get to Colombia or Cuba without much hassle, this route is the best pick except for Americans. US embargo on Cuba is still on effect unless you’re Cuban-American, a student or a religious missionary.
Albrook “Marcos A. Galabert” International Airport (PAC)
Albrook “Marcos A. Galabert” International Airport (PAC) is the second largest airport in Panama. It is local to Panama City and the hub for Air Panama, the second-largest air carrier in the country. PAC serves 12 destinations, with 11 domestic destinations in Panama and one to Costa Rica.
If you’re looking for a domestic alternative to Tocumen, Albrook International is the best pick. It’s not busy at all, so it’s going to be friendly for people who don’t like hustle and bustle. PAC has flights to major destinations like David, Chitre, Contadora Island and Puerto Obaldia.
Scarlett Martinez International Airport (RIH)
One new option that you have if you’re traveling from outside Central and South America is the Scarlett Martinez International Airport (RIH). Known as the Rio Hato Airport, it serves are a connection point between Panama and Canada.
Scarlett Martinez International hosts 3 regular destinations, with 2 extra seasonal destinations. These all connect to Canada. These are:
- Panama City via Albrook
- Montreal via Montreal-Trudeau
- Toronto via Lester Pearson Int’l
- Saguenay via Bagotville
- Quebec City via Jean Lesage
If you’re coming from Canada, RIH can be a solid choice. It’s not as busy as Tocumen while providing easy connections to Panama City.
Enrique Malek International Airport (DAV)
The Enrique Malek International Airport (DAV) is the third-largest airport in Panama. It dubs as “international” due to a single regional destination to San Jose, Costa Rica. Other than that, its destinations limit to Panama City via Albrook and in Bocas Del Toro.
Panama City Airport Tips
If you plan on going around Panama, the best way is to go through Tocumen Airport. All other airports in Panama connect either to Tocumen or Albrook. It’s also a short drive within Panama City to connect to almost any part of Panama via these airports.
Tocumen is around a 30-minute drive from downtown Panama City. Most transport options are either taxi, shuttle or even chartered car service. Most hotels and resorts will have a way to either pick you up from the airport or shuttle you there on your departure.
If you want adventures, it’s best to ride the local buses, which should cost you around $0.25.
For those planning to use Albrook Airport, it offers daily flights to every major town and city. It even offers as much as two to three daily flights to David, Chiriqui.
One pro-tip: when you’re going around Panama City, locals call Albrook as the “Marcos Gelabert”. Albrook, in local routes, refers to the Albrook Mall, the largest shopping center in the city. Buses will have routes listed as “Albrook”, which refers to the mall.
Airfare is cheap in general, which can be around the price of a domestic flight in the US. When scheduling, consider current weather and traffic conditions. Many small domestic airports have limited daily flight schedules, so missing one can be a hassle.
Every smaller airport in Panama has minimal services because of their flights to one or two destinations. Each one, however, has its own customs.
Is Air Travel The Only Option I Have To Get Around in Panama?
Is air transport the only good option for you? The answer is yes and no.
Air travel is super convenient if you’re a tourist in Panama. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it affords easy access to much of Panama’s islands. Even far off islands like Contadora will only take 15 minutes of travel time.
The problem, however, is everything in between. If you combine check-in time and wait times for the next flight, flying to your next destination may not even be the fastest pick.
There are two other ways to get around Panama, depending on where you are going. If you’re going somewhere inland, a scenic bus tour is both cheap and easy. It will only cost you a few dollars and it’s ultra-comfy. The only issue will be the hours you spend going around.
Most buses from major cities like Panama City will have a bus going straight to a major town. If you’re trying to conserve your budget or have enough time with you, this is a great pick.
Taxis and chartered cars are also great choices if you want something with more privacy. These can be faster compared to buses and can get you straight to your destination inland. Most of Panama itself is accessible via the Pan-American Highway, so most of the travel is straight.
Another choice is to go around via ferry. If you’re going on an island adventure, a ferry is an easy tour that you can pick.
Panama has more than 100 airports both international and domestic. Among these airports, the only proper international option that you have is the Tocumen International Airport. If you’re a tourist, it’s likely your flight will go here.
When scheduling your tour around Panama, consider if air travel is the best for you. With Panama’s slew of domestic options, you can go anywhere, anytime. If you have enough of a budget, this is the most comfortable route.
If you’re saving up your pocket money or want to go the scenic route, why not pick a bus or a ferry? It’s cheap and lets you see places off the beaten path.
Whichever you choose, Panama will still be a beautiful place. Come, it’s waiting for you.
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