Malpelo (Panama)How to get there

Malpelo/ Panama – How to get there
(Last updated August 2010)

Panama – The beautiful country in Central America which combines the northern and the southern part of America has a lot of national parks and protected areas. Something special for all visitors is the Panama Canal.

Panama also has a lot of beautiful islands and dive sites for all dive levels. Malpelo and Coiba belong to the best and famous dive sites in Panama. You can see a lot of reef sharks, eagle rays, manta rays, barracudas and lot more.

The gateway airport for Panama is Panama City. Here you usually need to stay overnight before you can travel to David, where some dive cruises start.

We have listed some of the most common air connections below. Please contact us for detailed routings suitable for your trip.
From North and South America
Flights from the United States to Panama City are operating with Delta Airlines from Atlanta and Boston, with Continental Airlines and Copa Airlines from Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando and Washington. There is also a possibility to fly with United Airlines from Houston or New York City or with American Airlines from Miami or Washington.

Flights from South America to Panama City are operating with Copa Airlines from Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Bogota, Cali, Caracas, Cordoba, Guayaquil, Madelline, Sao Paulo, Santa Cruz and San Jose. Other possibilities are with Avianca from Buenos Aires, with Santa Barbara Airlines from Cartagena or with Lineas Aereas Costarricenses (Lacsa) from Madellin or San Jose.
From Australia and Asia
There are no direct flights from Australia and Asia to Panama City. If you travel from this region, you need to fly via the United States/Canada or South America.

There are flights from Sydney to Buenos Aires with LAN or Qantas. You can also fly from Sydney to New York with Qantas, American Airlines, US Airways or United Airlines or to Los Angeles with Qantas, Delta Airlines or American Airlines.

The 2 main hubs in Asia to the United States are Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore Airlines flies to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston, whereas Cathay Pacif flies from Hong Kong to Tronto, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. United Airlines, Continental Airlines and Delta Airlines also operate flights from Asia to North America.
From Europe
There are flights from many European cities like Frankfurt, Zurich or London to Panama City. They are operated by Iberia or LAN via Madrid or Barcelona. Another possibility is to fly via Amsterdam with KLM.
Domestic flights
There are daily flights from Panama City to David with Aeroperlas regional, in addition, there are flights from/to San Jose in Costa Rica.

The flights from Panama City go from the Albrook Airport, this can be best reached by taxi from Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. A single ticket costs about USD25.00.
Please note that baggage rules and regulations are subject to change at any time.

In Economy class most big airlines have a free check in baggage allowance of 20kg (44lbs) per person.

The free baggage allowance at Aeroperlas regional is one piece of 30lbs (~13,6kg) per person, extra baggage will be charged at 1% of the published fare per additional pound.
As part of your travel plan we will happily assist you in finding the most suitable flight connections to your dive destination. In many cases we can issue the tickets on your behalf.

Air taxes are subject to strong fluctuations and can change daily or until your flight ticket has been purchased. Taxes generally include local airport/security fees, departure taxes, ground handling fees and fuel surcharges.

Should the most convenient route involve instant purchase airfares we can still issue them with your authorisation. All airfares issued by us will attract a small service fee and might slightly be more expensive then the cheapest offers online.

In general, airfares available for purchase online depend on day of departure and time of travel. Those instant purchase airfares require full payment at time of booking. If you choose to arrange your own flights online, we won’t be able to provide any services for seat reservations, schedule or itinerary changes.
Visa & passport requirements
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Panama for the most up to date information.

Panama requires visitors to have the equivalent of USD 500 or a credit card, as well as a return or onward travel ticket, to enter the country. A departure tax is payable if the cost is not included in your air ticket.

If you are travelling to Panama through the United States of America (USA), or if you are transiting in Honolulu or other USA points of entry, you are required to meet USA entry/transit requirements. Make sure you check with your nearest US Embassy or Consulate your visa requirements well in advance of your travel. You should also read our travel advice for the United States of America. For information about some recent changes to United States border entry procedures, including the use of Emergency Passports and Documents of Identity, please see our travel bulletin on entry into the United States.

Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
We can also arrange accommodation in Panama City if needed.
Links to more information
The following information is supplied by the foreign affairs section of the relevant country or the tourism authority of the destination. Please check the links for up to date information on visa and safety requirements, embassy and consular contacts, general information:

Australian Travel advice for Panama:

UK travel advisory for Panama:

US travel advisory for Panama:
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