It is easy to get to Puerto Armuelles.
Simple 3-Step Overview
(detailed directions below)
1. Go to Paso Canoas
(at Costa Rica border)
2. Turn south at the border
(towards the Pacific Ocean)
3. Follow that road.
It ends in Puerto Armuelles.
Do NOT cross the border when traveling from David to Puerto Armuelles.
Google Maps will tell you to do this – Don’t!
And yes, the Pacific Ocean is south, not west. (see map)
If you are flying into David, you can rent a car from the airport.
Or you can take a taxi to the bus station or all the way to Paso Canoas or Puerto Armuellles. There are taxis available at the airport.
For more taxi and bus information, scroll to bottom of this page.
Detailed Driving Directions
– From David To Puerto Armuelles –
(For taxi and bus information, scroll to bottom of this page.)
1. Get on the Interamericana
The Interamericana (pan american highway) is the main highway in Panama.
Go west on the Interamericana, heading towards “La Frontera” or Pasa Canoas. (“La Frontera” means the border. Pasa Canoas is the town at the border.)
2. Drive to Pasa Canoas
The drive takes 30 – 45 minutes.
3. At Paso Canoas
Do not cross the border into Costa Rica.
You cannot miss the border crossing at Paso Canoas.
Everything slows down at what seems like an end-of-the-road intersection. As you approach the intersection, on your left there are a couple of flag poles next to a small monument. A big roofed area will be straight ahead. (see photos)
The roofed area is the border crossing.
Do not go under the roofed area.
(If you were going to Costa Rica, you would continue going straight and enter the roofed border crossing area.)
4. Turn Left (South) Just Before Border Crossing
(You must turn left or right on this road, or end up under the roofed border crossing area)
The road you turn onto is a narrow road. It is lined with shops and often crowded with cars. It can be a bit overwhelming and chaotic at times. Once you leave Paso Canoas, the road opens up and is more peaceful.
This road is the road to Puerto Armuelles. It winds its way through a number of towns (Esperanza, Progresso, Manaca Norte & more). It ends in Puerto Armuelles and at the Pacific Ocean.
According to Google Maps this road is called Route 44. But you will not see any signs that display that, or any, road name on this route.
It takes 25 – 40 minutes to get from Paso Canoas to Puerto Armuelles.
In Puerto Armuelles
Once you are in Puerto, it can be unclear which way you should go.
Here are directions to Puerto Armuelles’s downtown waterfront park.
The park is a good initial destination. Not only are there places to eat there, but it is close to 3 hotels.
You may be interested in our tips about driving in Panama.
Taking The Bus or Taxi
It is affordable and easy to take the bus in Panama. During our first 4 months in Panama, we traveled extensively here only using buses and taxis. And we traveled with a 5 year old.
There is frequent bus service from David to both Puerto Armuelles and Pasa Canoas. You may need to change buses at the border (Paso Canoas) to one of the numerous minibuses that shuttle between Paso Canoas and Puerto Armuelles.
A minibus leaves about every 10 minutes from Pasa Canoas to Puerto Armuelles. These minibuses leave from a stop located by the Costa Rica border crossing. Ask anyone and they can point it out to you.
You can also take a taxi from Paso Canoas to Puerto Armuelles for about $20. From David to Puerto Armuelles, a taxi ride should cost 40-$50.
The buses and roads are all in good condition.
Welcome To Puerto Armuelles!
We also have directions to downtown Puerto Armuelles.
For restaurants, see places to eat in Puerto Armuelles. The places we list in both downtown and the Carmen neighborhoods are either at or only a short walk away from the downtown waterfront park.
You can learn about places to stay in Puerto Armuelles on my site too. The Balbo is a short stroll from the waterfront park and 2 other hotels, Tsunami Inn and Heavenly’s Hotel, are only few minutes drive away. They are both in the San Vicente neighborhood.
If you want to get a sense of town, see our map of Puerto Armuelles, Panama.
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