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Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

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Chicago, Illinois
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Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

Hi, I will arrive at Tocumen International Airport from Chicago at 2:38 pm on Saturday, April 13. There is a flight to Bocas Del Toro from Albrook Airport that leaves at 4 pm. Do I have enough time to go through customs and take a taxi to Albrook to make the flight to Bocas Del Toro?

How long do you think it will take to go through customs and travel to Albrook from Tocumen?

I have not booked the flight to Bocas Del Toro yet, but I would like to do it if possible.

I appreciate any advice you can give me!

Thank you, Tom

Panama City, Panama
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1. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

I would say unlikely.

If lucky, you might make Albrook by 3.30 - but if unlucky, it could be 4.30 or later.

I don't know how much time in advance you need to be at Albrook - but doubt that even 30 minutes is enough.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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2. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

There is no way you'll make it. Even if you're the first person off the plane and sprint for immigration, you still have to wait for your luggage before you can clear customs. On the best of days, it's going to be 30 minutes. And, on the very best of days the drive time to Albrook is 35 minutes. Arriving at Albrook with less than 30 minutes to take off -- 30 minutes later than Air Panama's check-in window -- and you still have to check in, get your luggage weighed and tagged? Even if you should be so lucky as to get on board as they slam the door on your ..... your luggage will never make it. (Air Panama is not very good about getting lost or delayed luggage to your destination. Two dive buddies in Bocas spent the week wearing the same clothes and using rental gear while their dive bags sat at Albrook. They collected the bags when they returned.)

Keep in mind, carry-on on Air Panama is one VERY small bag of no more than 7 lbs. They are very strict about that. So, forget the idea of not checking luggage.

The solution? Relax. Welcome yourself to Panama and Panama time where "mañana" doesn't neccesarily mean "tomorrow;" it just means "not today." Take your time to check into a hotel in the city, have a nice evening and get up early enough to take the 6:00am flight to Bocas. You'll be in Bocas in time for breakfast and a day at the beach ... or diving ... or whatever. When you think about it -- what do you gain by rushing like a crazy person to get into Bocas at 5:30pm? It's dark as midnight by 6:30. What are you going to do? Have dinner at a restaurant? You can have that in Panama City without having a heart attack while rushing to get there. 'Nuff said.

London
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3. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

I am also doing a similar sprint across Panama but am now considering staying overnight. Does anyone have anywhere they can recommend that is between the two or close by one or other of the airports without huge taxi costs in between? Budget is about $60.

Thanks

Panama City, Panama
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4. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

I stayed in the Hotel Miami at about $70. There are cheaper places around. Read other threads.

Denver, Colorado
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5. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

We are arriving in Panama City at 12:45 and are trying to make the flight at 4pm. we will also have 2 dogs and an infant with us. Do you think we can make it? If not, does anyone know somewhere we can stay in Panama City with dogs and a baby. Thank you.

Cambutal, Panama
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6. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

Doubtful you will make that. If you are flying in allow for 1.5 hours to get out of customs and immigration. They are now fingerprinting all arrivals at Tocumen so that's adding time to the process.

Panama City, Panama
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7. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

Normally I would say that you would be lucky to make that connection.

I strongly suspect that having the dogs will cause additional delays. Have you sorted out the paperwork that you need for them >

Edited: 16 August 2013, 06:09
D R
Tulsa, Oklahoma
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8. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

Yeah...going through immigration didn't take us very long, but it took 45 minutes for our bags to show up on the carousel. Customs only took 15-20 minutes in line. It's a good, solid 30 minutes from airport to airport, and that was midday with no traffic. Traffic can be a beast. With that said, we boarded our small plane about 5 minutes before we left. I think you're taking a huge risk. I would recommend you stay overnight at the Albrook Inn (cheap, and near Albrook airport) and take a morning flight to Bocas

Panama City, Panama
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9. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

It can vary - this evening it took me an hour from when the plane landed to emerging from the airport - most of that was in immigration, no wait for baggage.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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10. Re: Albrook Airport from Tocumen Intl

Going back to the issue of the dogs. They will have to be examined and cleared by a government vet before they can enter the country. Then, there is a 30 day "house quarantine" which means they can't leave your side for 30 days. I strongly recommend you send LN a pm about this process. There is a LOT of paperwork and procedures that must be completed within a VERY small window of time. Doing the exams and issuing the certificates too early or too late and not having every T crossed just the right way will cause your dogs to be placed in quarantine at the airport. That is something you don't want, because they will not be fed, watered or let out of their cages until they are cleared. It's advisable that you make arrangements through your attorney in Panama to meet you at the airport with the vet in tow.

The debate about whether you run into traffic between Tocumen and Albrook may be a moot point. Oh -- and have you talked to anyone at Air Panama about bringing dogs on the flight?

As for places to stay in Panama -- take a look at Torres de Alba. The rooms are suites with kitchens and washer/dryers.