I don’t usually keep track of what I spend when I travel, but I decided to give it a shot in Panama in order to share it with you. I was only going to be there for a week, so I didn’t really keep to as tight of a budget as I would have if this had been part of a much longer journey.
*Note: Since Panama uses USD as currency, none of the prices below have been converted. They are all USD.
If anyone has questions, please comment!
January 2, 2014-January 8, 2014
Transportation within Panama: $173.25
I was traveling alone, but had I been with another person, I could have saved money by splitting a lot of the cab fares. I had no idea how much one needs to use cabs in Panama City, so that took up a bit more of my budget than expected.
Make sure that you find out how much a cab fare should cost and then negotiate to get that price. There are no meters in cabs, so they tend to invent higher prices for tourists. If you speak Spanish to them, it definitely helps you to get a good price.
I also chose to endure the 8hr bus ride instead of flying because it was cheaper. The bus from Panama City to David has A/C though!
Panama City Cabs
Cab from airport $30Cab to Miraflores Locks $15
Cab to Casco Viejo $5 (shared)
Cab to hostel $5
Cab from hostel to bus station $5
Cab to hostel $4 (shared)
Cab to Multicentro mall $3
Cab to Albrook Mall $4
Cab to hostel $4
Cab to airport $20
Getting from Panama City to Boquete and Back
Bus ticket from Panama City to David $15.25
Extra metro card required to board the bus $1.50Bus from David to Boquete $2
(These local buses are like old school buses with no A/C)
Bus from Boquete to David $1.75
Bus from David to Panama City $15.25
Cab to/back from waterfall (shared) $5.50
Cab to/back from canyons (shared) $10
Food & Drink: $157.09
When it comes to food and drink, I splurged a little on some meals and had many of them quite cheap. Food and alcohol is usually pretty cheap in Panama.
When I was staying at Hostal Mamallena in Boquete, I became friends with a few Americans there. We had a salad night, where everyone contributed by making some different salads. There was also a burger night where the guys at the hostel made burgers and salad. These meals were usually cheaper than when I ate out at restaurants for dinner.
Of course, the last dinner I ate in Panama City (at probably the nicest looking place), made me sick that night after I had been just fine at all the local haunts.
The meal that made me sick (didn’t take any pics of it): $17.50
Various other food and non-alcoholic beverages: $21.74
I partied quite a bit with my new friends in Boquete.
It would have been cheaper to share my private room in Boquete with someone else. My room in Panama City wasn’t private, but I only shared a bathroom with 2/3 people.
2 nights at Casa Ramirez in Panama City: $63
4 nights at Hostal Mamallena in Boquete in a private room, ensuite: $132
In hindsight, I realize I spent way too much on some of the souvenirs I bought at the Albrook Mall. However, it was my last day of the trip and I was feeling like spending some money.
Souvenir Churucas bought at a rest stop: $4
Total for everything above: $595.43
Plane tickets, round-trip from Miami to Panama City: $475.40
Trip total: $1,070.83