I actually had no plans for the day, as I was staying at Waldorf Astoria, and really just planned to swim at the pool, and get some work done.
Well, transport situation from Tocumen International Airport to Panama City. Note to self: always follow the advice of other travelers. I went to a counter for authorized taxi, they waved a guy down, who wheeled my carry-on for like 50 yards to the taxi line outside, and then proceeded to demand for a tip. WTF. Alright, my fault, lesson learnt. Just walk straight to the taxi line outside, and look at the board for official rates.
When I was put into a big van, I was definitely nervous about being overcharged. Rates from the airport to the city are pegged at $30, and I was afraid the driver would insist I pay him more because he was driving a van. Thankfully, when he dropped me off in front of the hotel, there were no issues. I handed over $40, and he returned $10.
If you are trying to save some money, I heard reports about going up to the departures, and basically flagging down a cab dropping people off. Another more reliable option would be Uber, which puts the rate at $25.
The USD is legal tender in Panama. No need to change money.
Hotel: $14 (89 USD – the 75 USD gift card I am expecting for this the promotion via Visa Signature Luxury Hotel)
Total: $ 46