1. Fly From Costa Rica. For those visiting West Panama ie Bocas del Toro or Chiriqui province
You can fly to Costa Rica and then fly to David, Panama. Because of high volume, airfares are much cheaper to Costa Rica and with some research you can find flights to San Jose for as little as $200.00. From San Jose you can take bus (around $30) to David, the capital of Chiriqui or you can fly to David on Air Panama for $245. Air Panama flies to David on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We recommend you fly from San Jose to David since the border crossing experience is miserable.
Airfares are lowest on those days so plan both to depart and return on those weeks days and you will get the lowest fare on regular airlines.
3. Avoid coming to Panama from December 15th to January 6th. Fares are highest during the Christmas/New Year holidays. Mid December thru March which is the high season and the summer months June-August fares are also higher.
4. Get a Retirement Visa in Panama and get a 25% discount on all international and domestic airfares.
If you are going to reside in Panama and are of retirement age ( in Panama that is 57 for a woman and 60 for a man) get a Retirement Visa. For this you need a lawyer and it will cost around $1000.00.
But it will pay for itself quickly in airfares, since all retired persons get a 25% discount on both international and domestic airfares.
( Your retirement visa makes you eligible for many other discounts as well. See our Panamainfo page about Retired Persons discounts)
5. Visit Panama Free on a Stop Over Visit.
If you’re going somewhere else in the region via Panama on Copa, you can schedule a Panama vacation stop for free. Copa doesn’t charge for layovers in Panama.
Also, you can use your frequent flyer miles with Continental, Delta and Copa which all share the same frequent flyer program. Copa has the most direct flights to Panama- from New York, Newark, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando and Washington D.C.
Bonus: Cheapest Flights to and from Europe
KLM has direct flights three times a week from Amsterdam and Iberia has direct flights three times a week from Madrid. These flights usually have the lowest fares. If you are in Panama neither airline has a customer service office so the only way to get a ticket is online or through a local travel agency. We recommend Fidanque Travel, tel: 265-5599.