The main roads in Panama are generally in good shape, and they’ve been much improved in recent years. The nation’s major artery is the Interamerican Highway, or Interamericana, which in Panama stretches from the Costa Rican border along the Pacific slope of the isthmus all the way to the town of Yaviza in the Darién , where all roads stop.
The Interamericana is a divided highway in mostly good shape from just west of Panama City  to around Santiago, halfway across the isthmus. From there to the city of David  there are poorly maintained, two-lane sections with monster potholes, detours, and washouts. However, work is proceeding on extending the divided highway all the way to David.
The easternmost section of the highway to the Darién is not paved all the way. It is drivable all the way to Yaviza only in the dry season, and then only with great effort and a good four-wheel drive or bus. At other times it’s almost impossible to get much beyond Metetí .
Buses offer the cheapest way to explore most parts of Panama and are the best option for many travelers. Rental cars  are a viable option for those who can afford it, are in a hurry, plan to travel extensively beyond the cities, and are up for the many hazards of driving in Panama.
Panama’s domestic airlines offer the fastest way to get from point A to point B in many parts of Panama, and for some remote spots they’re the only reasonable option.