Taxis in Panama City are all independently owned, tend to be smaller cars, and don't have meters. The city is divided into zones, the flat fare for one person being $1.50, to which they add 50¢ each time you cross into another zone, plus 50¢ for each additional person. Fares also increase about 20% after 10 pm and on Sunday. But don't expect any of these guidelines to be followed consistently if you're a foreigner; fares are commonly inflated even if you speak Spanish, so be sure to agree on a fare before boarding the taxi. A short trip should cost about $4 for two people, whereas a trip to the domestic airport in Albrook or the Calzada de Amador can run about $60. Tips are not expected. You will be charged double, or several times the standard rate, by the taxi drivers who wait outside hotels, but they drive vans or SUVs, and are likely to speak some English. Flagging a cab in the street is widely considered to be safe. If you're alone, you may be expected to share a taxi, a common practice in Panama, as is sitting in the passenger seat next to the driver.
Panamataxi Turismo provides personal transportation and various cultural tours for individuals and small groups.
Panamataxi Turismo. Panama City, 507/263–8311; 507/6663–0192; www.panamataxi.com.