Border Crossing

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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.


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Thanks to bus traveller Brian Driscoll for the 2017 update at the La Fortuna station.

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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!





9 travel tips for Border Crossing - share your tips below!

  1. Daisy Cheng

    From Puerto Viejo to Sixola by MEPE bus, the immigration office just 2 mins walk. Prepaid the USD $8 Exit Tax online that really save lots of time to another queues of exit tax, because the immigration officer had your payment record.

    Here’s the link:

    After online payment, they will send you the receipt, so if any officer asked, you can show the cap screen photo, or the receipt to them.

    Then cross the border bridge to Panama. At the end of the bridge , go your left side to the Panama immigration to get your stamp. No entrance tax asked to pay. And the officer didn’t ask me any question, but I know other western tourists did.

    Left the immigration, wait for yellow collectivo taxi or local bus to Changuinola, bus was USD 1. Then walk to the Bus station Terminal Urraca to buy the ticket to David or overnight bus to Panama City. I took the bus at 6 p.m.. That’s the earliest bus to leave Changuinola you can get after crosses the borders, or you can choose more changes from Changuinola to David then to Panama City.

    Price of overnight bus is 29USD

    Total transportation fee:
    Puerto Viejo to Sixoala 2325colones
    Panama border to Changuinola USD $1 by bus
    Changuinola to Panama City overnight bus USD $29

  2. Batman

    Panama side => Changuinola

    Bus arrives every 45 minutes or so. It is en route Las Tablas => Changuinola, do it may be pretty full.

    Cost: $1
    Duration:±20 minutes
    Times: every 45 min, morning until evening

    When you come over the bridge there will be a tunnel on your right hand side. Go through and you will see some benches set up along a wall, most probably some people will be waiting there. This is the bus stop.

    The bus arrives in changuinola across the street from the main bus terminal.

    Don’t listen to the shuttle drivers. They will tell you that there is no bus, or you won’t make it in time for the boat, or any number of other tactics to get you to pay the $10 straight to almirante. It’s not worth it!! The bus is super cheap, $2.45 all the way to almirante. It is quick too.

  3. Ana Bastos


    My husband and I have done Bocas to Cahuita last week.

    1. 09:30 Taxi 25 boat until Almirante – $6

    2. We were ready to walk to the station, but a guy from the pier offered us to go on a shuttle that would take us directly to the border and would charge $5/person and would take 1h. At the beginning we were a bit hesitant, but as it was only $1 more compared to the public but we decided to take it.
    It took was about 1h to arrive as they said, but it took us more than 1h to leave! They were trying to get more people to join so we were driving around the port which it was very annoying as they’re not telling us anything and in the beginning they mentioned that we’ll leave in few minutes. 2 people that were with us ended up leaving.
    We left Almirante around 11:00 and arrived to the border around 12:00.

    3. Once at the border we went directly to the immigration. There were no queues as no other buses were arriving at that time.
    No one asked us to pay anything and before the driver also told us there won’t be an exit fee.
    We got the stamp and walked to Costa Rica.

    4. At Costa Rica immigration office they asked us for passport, what is our job, destination and how long were we staying. We didn’t have to show any flight reservations. It was also pretty quick.

    5. When we went down the bridge from the right side, we turned right and then left to the bus terminal to take the bus to Cahuita. The bus cost $4 and it departed around 11:30 CR timezone ( sorry I can’t remember exactly the time. Forgot to take picture). The bus goes to Limon.

    6. We arrived at Cahuita at 13:30. The bus stopped everywhere, including a longer stop at Bribri.

    The total cost for this trip was $18 person, as we started from Isla Bastimentos and paid $3 to go to Bocas town.

    If you are staying in Bastimentos Old Bank, the water taxi from/to Bocas town is $3 from 8-19 and $5 outside those hours.

  4. Wilma Millette

    Puerto Jimenez to David…Border Crossing at Paso Canoas. We left Puerto Jimenez in Costa Rica at 6:00 am by taxi boat for 3000 colones per person . Arrived in Golfito at 6:30 am. Took at collectivo Taxi to the border at Paso Canoas. Cost was 8000 colones per person for 1 hr ride. Arrived by 7:30 am. Border can be confusing Google Maps was very helpful in locating various offices, bank machine, restaurant for coffee and bathrooms and bus area .
    Paid exit tax at Luceros office where taxi dropped us off. Crossed two lanes of traffic to get stamped out of Costa Rica at the Immigration office. Walked Up the Road to the Panama Office were directed to Immigration. Handed over passport and two copies of passport, copy of return airline ticket to home country, copy of shuttle ticket from Panama to Costa Rica, Copy of recent bank statement. Sailed through. Asked around for Custom form was given a spanish one, there are some in English Up by the window. An agent checks that you have filled it out correctly while you are in line. Breezed through baggage check. Whole thing took about one hour from start to finish. Once out of Customs continue walking forward you will see white collectivo buses. They are going to David. They will help you with luggage. Cost is 2 balboas per person. There is a police check of passports once you clear the border area. They come on board the bus. The bus makes frequent stops. Stay on until the end and you will arrive at the Terminal in David it takes about 1h30 min. Total trip was 4 hrs traveling time including border crossing. Remember Panama is one hour ahead of Costa Rica.

  5. Vina Mistry

    Quepos to David
    I just crossed the border into Panama via a bus from Quepos. You buy your ticket at the main bus station (need to show your passport) and you wait at the stop across the hospital – I took a taxi to get there. The bus arrives at 10am and 2pm. It is coming from San Jose, so might not be on time. I paid 11,970 colones for the ticket and it was a 6-hr ride to David.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks! Good info!

    • centrocoasting

      Great! I added you to this page and the Bocas page. Thanks!

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