Winter at Tantora

Under $100: Tocumen, Panama

by Benjamin Kerns

Jul 17, 2018

Toucan in Boquete, Panama © Arvind Grover | Flickr

Under $100 / South America

Tocumen, Panama, is essentially a suburb of Panama City that contains the country’s largest airport. As such, tourists often find themselves stranded here for a day or two before making their way to the next destination. If you’ve got a substantial layover there are plenty of places nearby to explore on the cheap.


Start with breakfast at Chez Titi. Here you’ll find incredible crepes and tea for an affordable price, right near the airport. A meal with cost you roughly $10.


From there, make your way over to the MetroMall. Slightly outside of Tocumen’s city limits, it’s still a must see while in the area. Inside, you’ll find a wide array of shops and fun things to do to help you kill some time.


Next, seek out the Museo de Panama Viejo. It’s a little further into the city but is a great showcase of the history of the region. The open-air museum highlights the ruins of the first European settlement in the Americas. Entrance is free.


For lunch, check out the Diablo Rosso Café. It’s right off the highway, not far from the airport, and serves exquisite Panamanian food and great coffee. A meal will run you $15.


Spend the afternoon exploring Panama City’s historic district, Casco Viejo. Having undergone something of a rejuvenation in recent years, this beautiful district offers wonderful architecture and a few unique points of exploration. The Teatro Nacional is a highlight of the area.


For dinner, make your way back to the airport and check out Tierre Firma. The food is decent, especially the pasta, but you’ll most appreciate the convenience. Expect to drop $20 here.










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