Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Panama Car Rentals

Panama City at Night, Wikimedia

Panama is quickly emerging as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central America. Visitors to Panama have plenty of options when it comes to getting around, from buses to car rentals.

Panama has two main types of buses. Highway buses mainly travel between Panama City terminals and different stops along the Panamerican highway.

These buses are usually air conditioned, and are fairly consistent. Travelers can let buses know they want to get on by making waving and pointing motions toward the ground as the bus approaches.

The highway buses usually cost about $1 per hour traveled.

The city buses are usually old school buses, and rarely have air conditioning. Because these buses can be more dangerous, tourists are not advised to travel on them.

Taxis are another reliable form of transportation in Panama. Taxi rates are set up by zone, so it is important to find out the expected payment before getting in the taxi.

Usually, taxi prices within Panama City cost between $1.25 and $2.50. A trip across the city will usually cost about $5.

Renting a car in Panama can be a good idea for tourists, as the road system is fairly well developed.

Panama City can be difficult to drive in, especially during rush hour. Renting a car would be ideal for travelers wanting to see other parts of the country.

Figuring out what car to rent and becoming familiar with rental rates in advance will keep tourists from being tricked into paying high rates from “airport coyotes” upon arrival.

Here are some of the car rental agencies in Panama:

National Car
Calle 50 Ph Universal
Main Office
Panama City, Panama 832-1412

Budget Car Rental
Panama International Airport (in terminal)
Panama City, Panama
** Added fee applies to drivers between the ages of 21 and 24.

Europcar Rentals
Panama International Airport (in terminal)
Panama City, Panama
**Added fee applies to this rental if car is not returned with a full gas tank. Added fee also applies to drivers under 23 years of age.

Thrifty Car Rental

Two Locations:

Panama City International Airport (In terminal)
Panama City, Panama
507 238 4955

Via Espana No. 100
Panama City, Panama
507 214 7677

Alamo Rent a Car
Panama City International Airport (In terminal)
Panama City, Panama

NU Car Rental
Calle 1ra
C Norte Number 62 El Carmen Bella Vista
Panama City, Panama

** Age restrictions apply. Minimum driving age is 23. Drivers aged 21-23 will incur an additional fee.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020

Panama City Cruise Port Guide

Panama City overview
Panama City is a destination in its own right with plenty of shopping and attractions.

Colón Panama Cruise Port

Panama photo
The Colón cruise port is popular on western Caribbean cruises thanks to the Panama Canal.

Best Times to Visit Panama

Celebrity Equinox
The best time to visit Panama is during the dry season from the late winter to late spring.

7 Best Panama Tourist Attractions

Top Beaches in Panama

5 Great Tourist Attractions in Western Panama

Panama Canal Cruise Guide

Panama Cruise and Hotel Vacation Tips