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Helicopter tour of Panama City, Panama – cost, timings, restrictions

Panama City is the capital of Panama and is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, making for breathtaking views from the air. 

A helicopter tour of Panama City, Panama, is the best way to experience the city’s lavish scale, stunning skyline, and nature from the air.

When you go up over Panama City, you witness one of the world’s most exciting places in the world, where the best of technology is layered against the best of pristine jungle, islands, and beaches.

This article shares everything you must know before booking your helicopter tour of Panama City in Panama. 

Canal of Panama by Helicopter

This skyward adventure takes you over the spectacular Panama City on an exciting helicopter tour.

From the modern marvels to the historic gems, the coastal panoramas to the sunset splendor, and towering skyscrapers to the glistening waters of the Pacific Ocean, every moment spent soaring above Panama City is bound to be etched in your memory forever.

Fly past the distinctive Biomuseo, the Bridge of the Americas, and the world-famous Panama Canal as you munch on delicious snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.

Departure and end points: Hotel pickup and drop-off

Duration:

  • Panama Canal and City tour: 30 minutes
  • Ocean to Ocean tour: 1 hour

Timings: 8 am to 4 pm

Inclusions:

  • Snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Soda/Pop
  • Private tour
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Bilingual guide and photographer
  • 30 or 60 minutes depending on the tour you choose

Cost of the tour:

  • Panama Canal and City tour: US$1,655 per group (up to 3)
  • Ocean to Ocean tour: US$895 per group (up to 3)

If you want a private tour crafted just for you and your party, check out the Charter Flights over Panama City to have a VIP-esque experience.

Private Panama Canal and Panama City Helicopter Tour

On this one-hour private flight, you see some of Panama’s most famous sights from above. 

Take in spectacular views of the Panama Canal, Panama City’s sparkling cityscape, and Taboga Island.

You will also witness Pacific-side locks to landmarks including the Culebra Cut and Chagres River.

As a souvenir, you get a free Panama air adventures hat!

Choose from two different tour options.

Departure and end points: Albrook Gelabert Airport, Marcos a Gelabert, Panamá. Get directions.

Note: Just write “Panama Air Adventures” on Uber, Waze or Google Maps and follow the instructions which will take you to the General Aviation Gate (G1) of the tour operator’s heliport. Your Pilot/Guide or one of our team members will pick you up at the gate, to then drive you to their hangar.

Timings

Heli City Tour over Panama: 6.30 am to 5 pm
Panama canal and lake: 6.30 am to 5.30 pm

Inclusions:

  • Soda/pop
  • Private tour
  • Bilingual guide

Cost of the tour:

Heli City Tour over Panama: US$755 per group (up to 3 people)
Panama canal and lake: US$825 per group (up to 3 people)

Witness the beauty of Panama city at the break of dawn. Check out the early morning and day tours the Panoramic Guided Helicopter Tour over Panama and take off for an unforgettable ride.


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Airplane Tour to Contadora Island

Coast of Contadora Island
Sunny coast of Contadora Island. Image: Olena Bolotova / Getty Images

On this 5-hour aircraft excursion to Contadora Island, take to the skies to view Panama City from above.

A 30-minute trip aboard a Cessna 182 plane provides views of Panama City, the Panama Canal, and Taboga Island.

Then, in the Gulf of Panama, land on Contadora Island for a day at the beach.

This short trip to Contadora Island is a fantastic opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for the day.

Lunch is included in the ticket price, but passengers must pay separately for all other meals and drinks.

If you are staying in Panama City, you get pick-up and drop services as well.

Passengers must be 68 Kgs and less, and a maximum of two can take the flight together. 

Departure and end points: Albrook Gelabert Airport, Marcos a Gelabert, Panamá. Get directions.

Timings: 8 am

Inclusions:

  • Lunch
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Bilingual guide

Cost of the tour: US$1,200 per group (up to 2 people)

If you prefer to start early, check out this 5-hour day trip to San Blas on Airplane.


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What to expect on a helicopter tour of Panama City 

For viewing the City, the Panama Canal, and all of its majestic natural surroundings, nothing can get you closer and more intimate with the scenery than a helicopter, which affords optimum visibility and up-close detail. 

Besides the skyline and nature, during the aerial experience over Panama City, travelers also see landmarks such as Americas Bridge, Centennial Bridge, Amador Causeway, Bio museum, etc. 

Departure point

Depending on the tour you choose, Panama heli tours can offer hotel pickup or require you to reach the meeting point.

Address: Albrook Gelabert Airport, Marcos a Gelabert, Panamá. Get directions.

Note: Just write “Panama Air Adventures” on Uber, Waze or Google Maps and follow the instructions which will take you to the General Aviation Gate (G1) of the tour operator’s heliport. Your Pilot/Guide or one of their team members will pick you up at the gate, to then drive you to their hangar.

The heliport is near public transportation.

The tours end back at the meeting point.

Restrictions strictly followed

Weight limits apply for safe and comfortable helicopter rides over Panama City. No passenger must exceed 300 lbs/ 136 kgs.

A minimum of two and a maximum of three passengers are required on the heli tours, failing which, they will be canceled.

Infants and children are allowed onboard, but infants must sit on the caregiver’s lap throughout the flight.

The tours are not recommended for guests with heart problems or other serious medical conditions.

A valid photo ID is required.

Helicopter tours in Panama are not wheelchair accessible.

No pets are allowed onboard except service animals.

Gratuities are not included in the ticket price.

Flight times are approximate based on winds, weights, and conditions.

Seating arrangements may often be in the hands of the tour organizers for a safe and stable flight.

Cancellation policy

Even though the helicopters and pilots are available for taking off throughout the day, the experience requires good weather. 

If your air trip above Panama’s capital, Panama City, gets canceled due to bad weather, you will be given the option of rescheduling or receiving a full refund.

You can cancel your heli tour at least 24 hours before the adventure begins to receive a full refund.

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