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Getting There & Departing

If you are lodging in El Valle, ask your hotel about transportation to and from Panama City, which they can arrange for you for a price (about the same price as a taxi, or less).

By Car -- It's easy to drive to El Valle because the road is well-maintained and suitable for any kind of vehicle (unlike many destinations in Panama, you won't need a 4WD). To get here, take the Interamericana Highway west for 98km (60 miles) until you see the turnoff for El Valle. From the Interamericana, it's 28km (17 miles) to El Valle, along a very curvy road. Drive slowly and keep an eye out for people and animals walking on the road, especially at night. The road is quite scenic, and you'll want to stop occasionally to snap a photo or two.

By Bus -- Buses leave from the Albrook Terminal near the national airport every 40 minutes to an hour, depending on demand. The trip takes a little less than 2 hours and costs $3.50 (£1.75) one-way. Buses are surprisingly convenient because drivers will drop you off at your hotel if you let them know ahead of time, otherwise, buses stop at the market on Avenida Principal. There aren't many taxis in el Valle, though, so getting dropped off at your hotel really is the better option, especially at night. Direct buses run from 6am to 6pm, or you can catch a later bus until 9pm and be dropped off at the highway, where you can flag down any bus headed for Panama City.

By Taxi -- A taxi from Panama City costs around $70 to $90 (£35-£45) one-way or about $150 (£75) roundtrip. A taxi to any one of the beaches from El Valle costs around $30 to $40 (£15-£20) one-way. Again, this is subject to change due to the ever-increasing cost of gas.

Getting Around

By Taxi -- There are only a handful of taxis in El Valle, and on weekends the wait can be up to an hour if your hotel calls one for you. If you're lucky, you might be able to flag one down on the main street. The cost to travel around El Valle is $1 to $2 (50p-£1).

Orientation

There is an ATP visitors' kiosk (tel. 983-6474; Tues and Thurs-Sun 7:30am-3:30pm) at the handicrafts market on Avenida Principal, but they speak limited English and usually have few materials to hand out other than brochures about Panama destinations in general. Don Pepe has maps of El Valle for sale.

Fast Facts

There is a 24-hour ATM inside Banco Nacional on Avenida Principal. The medical clinic is located directly behind the Iglesia San José, and is open from 7am to 3pm (tel. 983-6112 for 24-hr. emergencies). The post office is located adjacent to the police station and fire brigade on Carlos Arosemna Guardia. There is Internet service at FSR Technology Services next to the Supercentro NG on Avenida Principal (Mon-Fri 8am-noon and 1:30-6pm; Sat 8am-5pm; Sun 11am-3pm). Right next door is a laundry service, open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.