The Soná of ‘Prison Break’ Fame 👮‍♂️

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The Soná of 'Prison Break' Fame

The Soná of ‘Prison Break’ Fame 👮‍♂️

When it comes to iconic TV series, few have captured our attention like ‘Prison Break.’ Fans of the mini-series will undoubtedly remember Soná, the infamous fictional prison that played a central role in Season 3. Although the prison itself might not exist, the allure of Soná continues to draw curious travelers.

Join us as we embark on a journey to discover the inspiration behind the Penitenciaría Federal de Soná and explore the charming Panamanian town that serves as a gateway to coastal beauty.



Unveiling Soná’s Charms

The good news is that if you’re planning to travel by bus from Panama City (or from Boquete) to Santa Catalina, you will get to visit Soná in person. The bad news is that there is (no longer) any prison in Soná.

Still, this shouldn’t disappoint you too much. You can still claim you’ve visited the central Panamanian town that inspired the Penitenciaría Federal de Soná featured in this classic TV series.

Soná proved to be a hidden gem worth exploring. As we set foot in this quaint settlement, we couldn’t help but appreciate its authenticity and unique appeal.

Sona of Prison Break Fame

A local supermarket in Panama’s ‘real’  Soná

A Brush with TV History

While the absence of an actual prison in Soná might come as a disappointment, the allure of the town remains strong. It’s interesting to note that the Soná episodes of ‘Prison Break‘ were filmed across three distinct locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of the USA.

Yet, this revelation doesn’t diminish the excitement of tracing the footsteps of the series’ characters through the charming streets of Soná.

Get to Soná from Panama City

Soná: A Transit Haven

Soná serves a pivotal role for travelers journeying to the coastal haven of Santa Catalina. Despite its small size (blink and you’ll miss it) this town has become a convenient transit point for adventurers seeking to bask in the beauty of Santa Catalina’s shores.

Just a few hours from Panama City, you can find yourself in Soná, your gateway to a coastal paradise.

Sona of Prison Break Fame

The Soná of ‘Prison Break’ Fame

Our Soná Experience

On our voyage to and from Santa Catalina, we had the pleasure of transiting through Soná twice. Our first encounter was as we boarded a bus in Panama City, a moment when the numerous ‘No Guns’ signs caught our attention at the bus station.

Evidently, this town values safety and security. And while ‘No Smoking’ is a norm, the emphasis on gun control was a clear message.

A Pause in Soná

During our ongoing journey from Santa Catalina to David, and subsequently to Boquete and Bocas del Toro, we once again found ourselves in Soná. This time, we decided to satiate our appetites with a stop at Rosti Pollo Chombin eatery.

Our $3 chicken and potato lunch not only filled our stomachs but also introduced us to the local flavors of Soná. While it might not rival the culinary intrigue of Los Pollos Hermanos from ‘Breaking Bad,’ it certainly satisfied our cravings.

Sona of Prison Break Fame

Lunch at the Rosti Pollo Chombin eatery on Soná’s high street

Soná’s After-Hours Ambiance

As the sun began to set, we couldn’t help but feel that Soná was a town best explored during daylight hours. The cozy streets and warm atmosphere might not be the ideal backdrop for nighttime wanderings.

Sadly then, we didn’t bump into Fish and Sucre (or see a prison for that matter, let alone a ‘break’). Nevertheless, our daytime adventures provided us with a glimpse of this town’s character,

Embracing the Unexpected

Perhaps in a twist befitting of a TV show, Soná revealed a side we hadn’t anticipated. Two ninja-style policemen on motorbikes, armed with serious-looking automatic weapons, patrolled the streets. This unexpected encounter sparked a reflection on the town’s TV portrayal and its connection to reality.

Could Soná’s reputation from the series hold more truth than we initially thought?

Sona of Prison Break Fame

Soná of ‘Prison Break’ Fame – Police with Uzi machine gun & full body-armour

A Unique Stop on your Panamanian Journey

Our journey to Soná exceeded our expectations in ways we hadn’t imagined. While the fictional prison might have been a product of TV magic, the charm of this Panamanian town remains an undeniable reality.

From its role as a transit point to its quaint streets and unexpected encounters, Soná left an indelible mark on our adventure. So, whether you’re a ‘Prison Break’ aficionado or simply seeking a unique stop on your Panamanian journey, make sure to pay a visit to Soná – a town that holds a touch of TV history and a world of unexpected allure.

All Hotel Options near Soná

If you liked the Soná of ‘Prison Break’ fame, check out our Panama Roundtrip. You may also like:


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