One of the big questions which arises with all travellers between Central and South America involves… well, getting between Central and South America. Making that leap. As previously mentioned, I hadn’t thought further ahead than Mexico when I started travelling from the top of Central America downwards, and realising in Nicaragua that it wasn’t going to be another standard case of just getting on a bus from Panama to Colombia came as a shock.
All because of the dreaded Darien Gap.
But that’s fine: there were options. Boats. Planes. Cheap flights, if you looked long and hard enough…
Wait. I’m afraid you can’t anymore.
Let’s hear it for the global recession – plenty of airlines have closed down various routes or gone bankrupt, and one such airline was the Colombian AIRES. 98% of AIRES shares were bought out by Chile-based LAN, and LAN aren’t even so much as keeping the name, let alone the flights or the low, low prices. Very sad indeed.
So, if anyone comes across cheap-ish flights or reliable airlines flying between Panama and Colombia, do let us know. In the meantime, as of Jan 2012, Copa Air do one-way flights for about US$450 with all the tax and extras tacked on, so it’s actually better value to do the boat trip via the San Blas Islands.