Costa Rica To Panama

Crossing The Border From Costa Rica To Panama (Everything You Should Know)

I took a road trip from Costa Rica to explore Bocas del Toro, an archipelago located on the West Caribbean side of Panama.

I booked a pick-up and drop-off with Caribe Shuttle. We departed my hotel in La Fortuna, Costa Rica at 6:15 am and arrived at my hotel in Bocas del Toro at 4:25 pm.

Here is a breakdown of the trip to Bocas del Toro:

1. La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo – 5-hours. It included 20 minute stop on the way.
2. I made a stop at Puerto Viejo (1:30hr)
3. Puerto Viejo to the border – 45 mins.
4. Time spent at both borders – 1 hour (including the walk across the bridge which separates both countries)

Note: It would have been less if I wasn’t delayed. My German buddies got through in less than 5 minutes, but as a Nigerian passport holder, I was delayed at the Panama border for about 15-20 minutes until the officer was satisfied that I met the entry requirements.

What are the entry requirements? Nigerian passport holders can visit Panama visa-free if they have any of these visas; US, UK, Schengen, Canada.

5. Panama border to the jetty – 1 hour
6. Boat transfer to Bocas del Toro – 30 minutes.

Questions asked at the Border:

1. Where I was going?
2. Where I was staying.
3. How long do I intend to stay in Panama?

Money we paid at both borders;

1. $10 exit fee at the Costa Rican border
2. $4 entry fee at the Panama Border.
I recorded this experience. You can watch it here.


For the return trip, watch it here.

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