Dedicated to providing you with credible information about living overseas
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroad

Expat Stories

Search by Writer

Stories Menu

A Quick Trip Across The Panama - Costa Rica Border

Bus to Golfito, Costa Rica – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingSince my arrival in Panama I have made many business connections, some of whom are in Costa Rica.  It was finally time to make a trip across the border to meet some folks and tackle the dreaded border crossing that many expats experience frequently for different reasons.  Having researched the immigration requirements and talked to many who have made the crossing, I expected things to be somewhat different, and not in a good way.  To my surprise, the trip was uneventful and might I even say... pleasant.  No surprises.  No delays.  No hassles.  Here’s an overview of our trip.

We took a local bus out of David to Paso Canoas (otherwise known as the “Frontera”), which took about 45 minutes.  That cost was $2.00.  At the Frontera, members in our group were able to shop around, grab some lunch and make plans to pick up items on their way back.  The shopping area is vast but the Panama immigration building sits right in the middle and you cannot miss it.  First, you get your passport stamped to EXIT Panama.  (No charge for this.) You then walk less than 5 minutes to the Costa Rica immigration building, complete the short visa form and get stamped to ENTER Costa Rica.  (No charge for this.)  At this time we walked across to the Transgolfo bus station and caught a bus to our destination.  This time we were headed to Golfito.

 Once in Costa Rica we were completely thrown by the money exchange.  My last time in Costa Rica was several years ago and I had completely forgotten about the use of colones.  On my next trip I will remember to take a money exchange cheat sheet.  The bus ride to Golfito was 1.5 hours and cost approximately US $2.25.  The buses are much larger than our coasters in Panama and the large windows allow for great viewing opportunities.  Overall, it was a very pleasant trip.

Building on the Costa Rica - Panama border – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingReturning home was even easier.  The buses run very frequently to Paso Canoas so we were able to have a morning of leisure and enjoy some lunch before heading back.  We pulled into the same bus station in Paso Canoas and walked across to the Costa Rica immigration building.  We completed the same immigration form and went to the bank that is right across from the immigration counter and paid our Costa Rica exit tax of $7.00 per person.  (Note: this bank is closed daily from 12:00-1:00.  Reportedly, there is a machine that accepts credit cards where you can pay your exit tax.)  This receipt was presented to immigration in the EXIT line and we received our passport stamp.  We then retraced our steps back to the Panama immigration building for our passport stamp to ENTER Panama.

Those who are in Panama on a tourist visa were asked to show their travel information (plane ticket) back to their home country.  Those who are permanent Panama residents do not have this requirement.  No one was asked to show “proof of economic solvency” which at this time is $500 per person, but we understand that the agents sometimes request this.  Upon completion, the immigration officer smiled and offered a “Bienvenidos a Panamá (Welcome to Panama)” and we were happily on our way.  For some, there was more shopping to be had while others enjoyed local snacks before our ride home.  All in all, it was a great experience.  Golfito was also wonderful, but we’ll save that for another post.
Posted in  My Travels in Panama
  1. More Stories from this writer
  2. More Stories About My Travels in Panama
The Road
next
prev
Contribute Your Story

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Our Pledge To You

Best Places will present information from the Community in a transparent way, unedited, except to conform with our Conditions of Use.

You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.

Get Known To The Community

Those who contribute to the Best Places Community are our heroes! And being a Best Places hero is fast, fun, and easy. Just go to Questions & Answers, find your first question to answer, click on it, and then click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button. If you’d rather enter a Story, go to Expat Stories and click the Contribute Your Story Button".

Contact/Support

Please contact us. We would love to hear from you! Customer Service
Technical Support
Business Development
Suggestions
Press
Phone: (US) 520-940-0481