Our Mission
Unexpected Moments of Magic Panama is dedicated to empowering individuals worldwide through the encouragement of self-exploration through social entrepreneurship, volunteerism, philanthropy and education as powerful forces for worldwide change. Be the change!

Traveling to Panama
If you would like some additional travel tips & advice, please click here for your UMMP Travel Resource Guide that will help you search for discounted airfare.

Unexpected Moments of Magic is not responsible for any communication or flight bookings. When considering flight options we suggest you also consult a local travel agent.

Your Travel Route
Panama is just a short plane ride away if you are coming from the USA and cheap flights are available on a regular basis! Eight major US cities offer direct daily flights to Panama City: Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Orlando. You can also fly directly from Madrid and Amsterdam and rumors are that direct flights will also be offered from Frankfurt and London in the near future.

Panama City, Panama and San Jose, Costa Rica are the same distance from Boquete, so we suggest to check prices for both locations, although flights to David from San Jose are less frequent, but if you plan to take the bus, San Jose may be the cheaper option.

If you arrive in Panama City the flight to David is around 30 minutes and is offered by Panama Air to David. If you decide to take the bus, it is about 6-8 hours by bus or car. From David to Boquete is it about 45 - 60 minutes by bus, taxi or a shuttle.

Option 1: Panama City to David by Private Shuttle The easiest option. UMMP can arrange private shuttles from your arrival airport in Panama City directly to the Volunteer House for $450. You will walk off the flight and your very own bi-lingual tour guide will be there waiting for you with a sign with your name on it. No taxi's, no airport transfers, no hassles. And you can make stops along the way whenever you would like! To book a transfer, email us today.

Option 2: Panama City to David by Air One way airplane tickets from Panama City to David cost around $140. You can view flight times and make online reservations at: www.flyairpanama.com. These flights do not depart from the same airport that your arriving flight to Panama City does. You will arrive to Panama at Tocumen Airport and to fly from Panama to David you have to go to Albrook Airport, which is about 45 minutes away depending on time of day and traffic. You can take a taxi between Tocumen Airport and Albrook Airport, or spend a night in a hotel in Panama City and then take a taxi next morning to Albrook Airport.

A taxi from Tocumen Airport to Albrook Airport or to a hotel in Panama City should cost around $25-$35. A taxi from your hotel should not charge you more than $5 to take you to Albrook Airport if you are staying within Panama City.

The last flight to David from Panama City departs around 4:00 p.m., so if you land on Panama City after 1:00 p.m. plan to spend the night in a hotel in Panama City or take a bus from Albrook Bus Station to David. The last bus to David leaves Panama City at 3:00 a.m. You should allow at least 3 hours between landing at Tocumen Aiport and getting to Albrook Airport or Bus Station because of customs, immigration and then the journey within Panama City.

UMMP is also able to arrange airport pickups at Tocumen Airport to transfer you to a hotel in Panama City and on the following day a pickup from your hotel to Albrook Airport or Albrook Bus Station.

Option 3: Panama City to David by Bus
If you want to take a bus to David from Panama City, you first have to take a taxi from Tocumen Airport or from your hotel in Panama City to Albrook Bus Terminal. There you will be able to catch a bus to David. Busses depart almost every hour so you shouldn't have any problem with the schedule and you don't have to bother with reservations. The only dates when you will not be able to easily catch a bus is when it is a Panamanian National Holiday.

The first bus departs everyday at 6:00 a.m. and the last one departs at 3:00 a.m. The bus ticket from Panama to David costs $12.50 or $15 per passenger depending if it is an express bus or not. Express buses are the fastest and depart at 3:00 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Once you arrive at the Bus Terminal in David, you can easily take a connecting bus to Boquete for $1.45 from the same terminal. Please call your Volunteer Coordinator from David so we know your approxamate arrival time into Boquete and we will then meet you at the final stop in Boquete upon your arrival.

Option 3: Panama City to David by Rental Car
You may also rent a car in Panama City and drive to Boquete. This is a good option for those who feel comfortable driving in other countries, but may be overwhelming to some drivers. Rental cars are also available in Boquete. Budget has an office in the town center, so that may be the best option.

Visit Budget online for more information at: http://www.budget.com/budgetWeb/locationsearch/location.ex?hyperlink=notenableand countryName=Panamaand prevCountry=PA

Arrival Procedure
Volunteers need to arrive at the Enrique Malek Airport in the city of David. On arrival you will be met by a UMMP Staff member who will take you from the airport to the volunteer accommodation where you can rest and relax before Orientation begins.

The airport in David has adequate traveler facilities: baggage tenants and carts, tourist information, assistance counters, telephones, etc. To make your airport pick-up possible you are required to advise your UMMP Volunteer Coordinator of your flight details (flight number, airline, date, and time) at least one month prior to traveling. Flight details are submitted online using the Extra Details Form. While traveling should your flight be delayed or should you have problems at the airport, please contact UMMP at 6630-3769.

Remember volunteers have a responsibility to show up on time at the assigned pick up point on arrival in Panama. If you do not meet with UMMP as scheduled you may be required to find your own way UMMP Head Quarters in Boquete.

*Please note UMMP does not do pickups on Sundays or Fridays after 3 p.m.

Airport Customs
All baggage is x-rayed on arrival and is inspected by a random spot check carried out by customs officials on arrival and departure. Personal effects, film and cameras may be imported temporarily free of duty. However professional video equipment, tape recorders, radios, musical instruments and souvenirs from other countries may require a customs bond to ensure re-exportation.

Departing Panama
Once volunteering is finished you will need to organize and pay for your own transport to depart the program. UMMP is able to give great advice on the best way to depart the program and even help you with the proper arrangements. Most volunteers choose to fly out of Panama. Please be aware airport departure tax of around US$20 is required when departing Panama payable in US currency only. You may have already paid this tax when you purchased your international air ticket. If you are flying domestically in Panama a local airport service charge is also payable on departure for domestic flights.