Travel info updated for COVID:
The easiest way to get here is from Panama City. You can either take a flight (limited flight schedule in pandemic times), or the bus.
You can also come across the border from Costa Rica, but flights from Costa Rica have stoped.
Book flights directly with Air Panama (airpanama.com).
Their website isn’t always the greatest, and the flights fill up fast, so book as soon as you know your dates!
- The domestic airport (ALBROOK) is DIFFERENT from the International Airport (TOCUMEN). They are about 45 min a part. Factor this in when booking flight times!
- You will probably need to stay a night in Panama City – we recommend the Casco Viejo area. A pre-vacation vacation 🙂
- From Panama City Airport – take an Uber to Albrook Airport (or to your overnight accommodation).
- Uber works great in PTY and is way cheaper than the taxi drivers who will surely be hollering at you at the arrivals gate.
Once you’ve made it to Bocas:
- You should book your flight online as far in advance as possible; during high season flights often sell out. For more information and to book flights visit: airpanama.com
Upon arrival in Panama City:
- Take a taxi to the Albrook Bus Terminal. ($35-$40, 35-60 min)
- Purchase your overnight bus ticket to Almirante at the bus terminal.($35, 10-11 hour)
- Take a taxi to from the Almirante bus stop to the docks. ($1, 5 min)
- Take a boat (water taxi) to Bocas del Toro. ($6, 20 min)
- Overnight buses from Panama City to Almirante depart around 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and you will arrive in Almirante between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. The last water taxi leaves Almirante for Bocas at 6 p.m.
- Buses are air conditioned and have reclinable seats.
- Bus tickets aren’t available online, but can typically be purchased up to a few hours before departure. The Bocas del Toro bus ticket office phone numbers are: 303-6326 and 303-6327.
- If you are returning to Panama City from Almirante, the bus departs daily at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. This ticket can be purchased a few days in advance from the local Bocas del Toro office.
Upon arrival to Costa Rica:
- I’m gonna be real honest (like I always am), Costa Rican airlines can be unpredictable.
- Some days Skyway is flying directly here for ($175 – $220 one way, 45 min)
- Other times their airlines are cancelled because they can’t keep up with international security measures. Please don’t quote us on their flight availability without checking first.
- If they are flying you’re in luck because they leave from the same airport, so just walk to the new terminal.
Caribe Shuttle – The Caribe Shuttle is one of the best ways to cross the Costa Rican border to Bocas Del Toro, Panamá:
- The shuttle has wi-fi and air-conditioning and will pick you up from the Denny’s restaurant right by the airport. ($78 each way, 8-10 hours)
- They may also pick you up from select hotels in San Jose City Center.
- Price includes: lunch at Banana Azul in Puerto Viejo, a guide to help you cross the border, and boat transportation to Bocas Town.
- The shuttle departs daily at 6:00 a.m. from the Denny’s restaurant, but get their 15 minutes early. Border fees are not included and cost $8 to exit Costa Rica.
- For more information or to book the shuttle in advance visit: caribeshuttle.com.
- Public bus options are available, but the taxi fare between the bus station and airport is ~$40, so the shuttle service may be a better option.
You Made it! – Now That You’ve Reached Bocas Town
You can catch a taxi or white shuttle bus from anywhere in Bocas Town to Nomad. The cab ride is $6-8 for a group of 2 people, and $5 for a single person (~15 min). Coming from the airport? Your trip to Nomad will likely be $4-5 a person. It’s best to find out the price for the trip before getting in to make sure they don’t try and over charge you.
Nearly all the drivers in town know where we are located by name (Nomad), but in the off chance they don’t know where we are, ask to go to the large Blue House right before the creek, which is just minutes past Paki Point. Every driver knows where that is. Follow the road leading up to, and past the blue house driveway. It’s about a 3-minute walk up the road, towards the back of the Blue house, or ask them to drive up (We don’t own that road and it can be very wet, so having them drive up as far as possible is best).
Once you arrive at Nomad, you will see a large building at the top of the hill. Follow the steps all the way up, past the pool, to the backside of the large building. You will see a concrete patio and screened doors to enter our public lounge space and check-in area.