Bocas del Toro

Have a look at the comments below for helpful traveller advice. Add your comments and send us some photos to help improve this page!

 

Isla Colon (Bocas Town) to Puerto Viejo

One traveller named Melanie shares some really helpful info (March 2018). She wrote:

As we didn’t see a lot of information on traveling from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro and vice versa, and we met a lot of travellers who are doing this route, we wanted to share our trip with you. We went from Isla Colon (Bocas Town) to Puerto Viejo and it went as follows:
– 10am water taxi to Almirante. If you use the Valencia company, their dock is very close to the bus station in Almirante. Arrive 10.35am ($5).
– walk 1 min to bus station.
– take 10.45am bus to Changuinola. Arrive 11.40am ($1.45).
– Walk through market where you are dropped off to the real bus station (2min walk)
– Take bus to Guabito (just yell frontera and people help you) at 11.55am. Arrive 12.40pm ($0.95).
– Get exit stamp Panama and entry stamp Costa Rica. We didn’t had to show any onward travel when entering CR, not sure if that is the case for everyone.. We were done here at 1pm Panama time; 12pm Costa Rica time (remember to put your watch back 1h when entering CR)
– 12.30pm Costa Rica time bus to Puerto Viejo (buy ticket at counter). Arrive 1.50pm (Colones 1690 ($2.85)).
– done!!

A shuttle cost at minimum  $25 and as busses in Panama on this route go quite frequently (every 15min and every 30min), in Sixoala every hour, you are also almost as fast as a shuttle. So, be adventurous and take public transport!
Ps: in Panama (on this route) you just pay in the bus. Just take a seat and a guy will come up to you to pay.
Ps2: you can obviously do the same route the other way around too. Just note that as already mentioned by someone else in the Sixaola topic, you need to pay $7 or $8 to get out of CR. In and out of Panama is free.

 

Bocas del Toro to Panama-City by night bus

Thanks to traveller, Julian Van T Hof for this info:

“Apparently if you want to travel from Bocas del Toro (Isla Colón), you buy a ticket which not includes the powerboat ($6) from the island to Almirante for the trip with the nightbus to the city of Panama. The tickets ($27.80) are sold by Taxi 25 (see picture) left of the big police station in Bocas town. The green ticket office is located in the back close to the water and opens at 6:30 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 5:00. The bus stop for the bus to Panama-City is located just outside Almirante near the highway and you can take a taxi for $2 from the harbor to there. The bus leaves at 7:30 pm. If you want the ticket on the same day of your travel it’s highly recommended to go to the office at the time they open up”.

 

Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

Here is a route from a couple of travel bloggers you may find helpful: Border crossing from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro.

 

Help your fellow traveller

If you have taken any of the buses on this page, please drop us a comment below about how the trip went, what time you left, how long it took and what it cost. And, definitely let us know if we have anything wrong.

 

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We do not 100% guarantee that all schedules, times and prices are exact. The information in this website is based on personal experience. Information has been gathered from station schedules, station managers, bus drivers and driver helpers. We have done our best to get as much accurate up to date information as possible, but prices and times change. Also, remember that you are responsible for your own health and safety. Travel safe and travel smart - and have fun!

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Ticket booth in Bocas del Toro with schedule for the night bus to Panama-City. The green ticket office is located in the back close to the water (docks) and opens at 6:30 - 12:00 and 1:00 - 5:00.

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8 travel tips for Bocas del Toro - share your tips below!

  1. Amber

    Hi,

    Little update on the prices (december ’18):

    – Ferry is $6
    – Bus from Sixaola to Puerto Viejo is $3,50

    There are also mini vans when you arrive at Almirante by ferry, they take you straight to the border for $5 (negotiating necessary!). Saves you the hassle of looking for the right buses.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Amber!

  2. Theo

    Bocas Del Toro to Playa Venao

    First note: this trip takes 2 days

    – Boat from Isla Colon to Almirante ($6, 3mins)
    – Walk 1km to the bus station at the gas station (free, 15mins)
    – Bus Almirante to David they come to the terminal every 30 minutes (3.5 hours, $7)
    – Bus David to Santiago, direct bus is located across the road from the main entrance to bus station, locals will know it, not sure of regularity of this bus seemed frequent (3 hours, $9)
    – Bus Santiago to Chitre, amazing station at Santiago so just look for the bus that says Chitre (1.5 hours, $3)
    – Bus Chitre to Las Tablas, they leave every 15 minutes, last bus 7pm (1 hour, $1.50)
    – Las tables bus to Playa Venao leaves at 1.30pm, leaves from a stop near the church however stops at the main Praga stop directly after it leaves the initial stop. Please note, this bus says Cañas on the window as this is the final stop, you will have to ask the driver to stop when passing Playa Venoa.
    – ALTERNATIVELY to last step, catch a regular bus to Pedasi that leave every half an hour from Praga supermarket and there are buses to Cañas (playa venao) I believe at 8am,12pm or 2.30pm though these times read differently on different blogs hence why we caught the 1.30pm one from las tablas as it was confirmed from a local driver.

    This trip definitely takes two days due to the awkward times of the last buses to Cañas. Enjoy.

    • centrocoasting

      Theo! thank you for this. Awesome post and very helpful. I will add it to the routes section 🙂

  3. Julian

    Bocas del Toro to Panama-City

    The green ticket office is located in the back close to the water (docks) and opens at 6:30 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 5:00.

    Apparently if you want to travel from Bocas del Toro (Isla Colón), you buy a ticket which not includes the powerboat ($6) from the island to Almirante for the trip with the nightbus to the city of Panama. The tickets ($27.80) are sold by Taxi 25 (see picture) left of the big police station in Bocas town. The green ticket office is located in the back close to the water and opens at 6:30 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 5:00. The bus stop for the bus to Panama-City is located just outside Almirante near the highway and you can take a taxi for $2 from the harbor to there. The bus leaves at 7:30 pm. If you want the ticket on the same day of your travel it’s highly recommended to go to the office at the time they open up.

    Pro-tip: dress up for the arctic because these buses are freezing cold.

  4. Melanie

    As we didn’t see a lot of information on traveling from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro and vice versa, and we met a lot of travellers who are doing this route, we wanted to share our trip with you. We went from Isla Colon (Bocas Town) to Puerto Viejo and it went as follows:
    – 10am water taxi to Almirante. If you use the Valencia company, their dock is very close to the bus station in Almirante. Arrive 10.35am ($5).
    – walk 1 min to bus station.
    – take 10.45am bus to Changuinola. Arrive 11.40am ($1.45).
    – Walk through market where you are dropped off to the real bus station (2min walk)
    – Take bus to Guabito (just yell frontera and people help you) at 11.55am. Arrive 12.40pm ($0.95).
    – Get exit stamp Panama and entry stamp Costa Rica. We didn’t had to show any onward travel when entering CR, not sure if that is the case for everyone.. We were done here at 1pm Panama time; 12pm Costa Rica time (remember to put your watch back 1h when entering CR)
    – 12.30pm Costa Rica time bus to Puerto Viejo (buy ticket at counter). Arrive 1.50pm (Colones 1690 ($2.85)).
    – done!!

    A shuttle cost at minimum $25 and as busses in Panama on this route go quite frequently (every 15min and every 30min), in Sixoala every hour, you are also almost as fast as a shuttle. So, be adventurous and take public transport!
    Ps: in Panama (on this route) you just pay in the bus. Just take a seat and a guy will come up to you to pay.
    Ps2: you can obviously do the same route the other way around too. Just note that as already mentioned by someone else in the Sixaola topic, you need to pay $7 or $8 to get out of CR. In and out of Panama is free.

  5. Julia

    Bocas del Toro to David

    Take the public boat from Isla Colon this takes ~30mins and costs $5-6. From the dock take a taxi (~$2) or walk to the Almirante bus station. Here you can catch a bus to David for ~$6. This is a long day at least 6hrs so I’d recommend getting to Almirante by 10am at the latest.
    If you are staying at The Lost and Found Hostel just tell the driver in Almirante and he will let you off there the bus should cost $2.25 and the whole trip should take about 4hrs.

  6. Jenn

    You need to get to Almirante where the water taxis leave to Bocas. Make sure you check the schedule so you don’t miss the last boat over. You can also go form San Jose to Sixaola and catch a shared taxi waiting on the other side.

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