Posted by: vivalatinamerica | January 3, 2012

AIRES, LAN and Flights To and From Colombia

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.

Sophie Carville

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  1. I am a potential traveler from Arizona to Peru, and I have recently been shocked to discover that prices of flights from Panama to Columbia (or Costa Rica to Ecuador, my preference) are all comparable to just flying directly from Phoenix to Lima! This doesn’t make any sense.

  2. Keep an eye on Avianca, which is a Colombia airline that has various specials throughout the year. My wife is Colombian and we try to go to Colombia and Panama quite often. We have flown from Bogota to Panama return for under $200 each.

    I try to visit these site and look at prices first in espanol, they really no how to change pricing for the gringo.

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