Honestly, having a rental car company bring a car to your hotel is not a good idea. Neither is hiring someone to drive you out of the city. And, for a number of reasons.
First, you'll be picking up your rental from a downtown rental agency. If someone is bringing your car to your hotel, how will you know how to find the agency? Any that I know -- Dollar, Hertz, Avis, Barriga, Budget -- expect you to return the car to their agency. They are not about to try to find it at your hotel.
Second, you will have to find the place -- or your hotel -- on your own, which is probably not the way the hired driver is taking you out of the city. He knows all the sidestreet short cuts and how to avoid the traffic between here and the bridge. Good luck, Hansel ... the bread crumbs will be long gone when you try to return.
What I recommend is picking up your car at Albrook Airport. It's very easy to get out of town from there -- whether your heading west for Coronado, El Valle, Pedasi or Boquete or north for the Caribbean, ortobelo and Isla Grande -- it's easy to get out and easy to get back.
Readers: Please NOTE: The original post on this thread was from over a year ago; so keep in mind the info given in 2011 may be null and void - please check dates of postings on this thread.
Thank you GB. I appreciate this information and actually the cost differential is minimal from downtown in relation to the airport costs at Allbrook. The only real difference is the taxi cost to and from that airport. I talked to hubby about this and although we have driven in some really hairy scary places this is a trip to relax and not to start out with the stress. The Dollar downtown place is less than 5 minutes walking from the hotel and as the grow flies close to the PA Highway, but truly getting there when you map it out is a trick. I do not think I want to do that at 6am in the morning without being experienced in driving in PC. Your advice will help us enjoy the trip more. Valuable and insightful!
greetings from Panama City. Husband and I arrived a week ago, picked up at car at the Tocumen Airport and drove straight to Boquete with a lunch break on the Pan American Highway near San Carlos. Took us 8 hours. We stayed a 2 nights in Boquete and drove to Bocas del Toro. Got into Panama City last night and that was the most harrowing part, after dark with an inadequate map. luckily we had no hotel prebooked, and just winged it, Walked into Crowne Paza Hotel but they wanted too much, Some guy told me to drive behind the hotel where the cheaper hotels are at. Found a newish place for $65 with free private parking and wifi. Hotel Milan. Nice clean large rooms, good hot water and air conditioning, very quiet, but it's a no frills hotel. Driving wasn't bad until last night but we survived. Patience and being chill despite getting lost thanks to terrible road signs is an important trait to have. We are still friends my husband and I.
Thank you for the input. We are going to fly into Toc and then taxi into town. Stay 2 nights and then to Boquete for 3 and then Pedasi for 3 and then back. It was recommended we do not rent a car until the day we leave and we are going to pick up at Gelabert airport the day we drive and then return to the same place when we come back. That way no driving in the city at all.
I truly appreciate the information.
Also, did you have any issues with immigration at TOC? Just curious since I have not been to that airport before.
Fran W.........Please post your own NEW thread for this question instead of highjacking a post over a year old, especially as your question has nothing to do with the original post.....
Sorry for creating a situation. I am very new to this site and am still trying to learn how to move around and respond to feedback. Sorry if I offended you.Edited: 13 August 2012, 23:05
I appreciate the help Nanie since I was so new. Guess I misunderstood.
No offense...............BUT I can help you navigate t/a better - that is the good news !
Please read this first at the top of the main forum page:
There is great advice on getting around this forum.
At the top of the main forum page you will see a small block (gold color)
that says "Ask a Question"...............click there and the place to ask this
question (perhaps copy and paste your inquiry from above) will appear.
Hope this information helps you to research your trip now. Good luck.
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