IF you are flying from the United States to South America on Copa Airways then there is a chance you can do a long layover in Panama City, Panama by paying only the taxes!

I literally stumbled upon this deal after Altavia Airways cancelled my ticket for no reason after I had already paid with credit card and I decided to find another airline to fly through.

In total, my plane ticket from San Francisco to Lima Peru cost $750.00 and with a three-day layover in Panama on the way back, the total came to $800. That is a really great deal! The domestic flight between Lima, Peru and Cusco, Peru cost $68 round trip, and I Copa Airways is part of the star alliance, so I was just racking up the miles on my United Plus Mileage program. Bonus!

Last few minutes in Peru, saying goodbye after the trip!My last day in Peru.

Now, in order to add the layover in Panama with only the airline tax cost, you must not have an already purchased ticket.

Copa Airways and Altavia Airways allow you to reserve your ticket for a full 48-hours without putting a credit card down. It holds the ticket as if it is already paid for and you have all that time to call in and pay, use your credit card online, or call to add the Visit Panama Layover deal!

There are a few rules that apply:

  • This promotion is applicable only to the price of the ticket fare to be purchased.  The applicable baggage allowance is subject to the passenger’s itinerary and according to each segment.
  • The itinerary must be operated by Copa Airlines and/or Copa Airlines Colombia.
  • Visit Panama only applies prior the purchase of the ticket. Once purchased the ticket or started the trip, the promotion does not apply.
  • Promotional rates do not apply.

I know that you can add on up to 96-hours in Panama, but I am not sure of exactly how many days extra they will let you add in total.

I had about 30 minutes for my flight to Panama when I booked the hotel. I was just going to go stay at a hostel but I found a really good deal on booking.com for a last minute sale and decided to stay in my own hotel room for the last 2 days of my trip. Best idea I came up with.

IMG_4275This hotel was a bit older but had beautiful views of the cityscape from the outside seating area.

Hotel in Panama City, PanamaThis was the hotel I stayed in from the outside.

IMG_4269I stayed in Panama for 2 days with Copa Airways stopover service and hired a driver to drive me around for about 5 hours, which cost $40 and was easily booked through my hotel.

When I did a similar layover service with Qatar Airways in Qatar, I also hired a drive for the day and it’d be cheaper than you think. I definitely recommend looking into it as a way to see a city in a small group and on your own terms.

IMG_4273Hanging out by the swimming pool for a lazy afternoon after all of the hiking and early morning wake-ups. I finally slept in for a day… well kind of. I wanted to get over to the Panama Canal kind of early because I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get into the museum.

Panama City, PanamaReally cool spiral building in downtown Panama.

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.

Disclaimer: I was not working in affiliation with Copa Airways to write this article. I enjoyed this service and wanted to share it because a similar post about Qatar Airways layover service, is one of the most visited articles on my blog and has been beneficial to readers.