Panama – Costa Rica Border-Crossing Paso Canoas

The journey started with a 23:55 night bus from Panama Albrook Terminal. At the Ticabus check-in counter we were required to present the yellow fever vaccination certificate and were given a custom declaration form for Costa Rica. We ended up with very little leg space at the first row, and thus a not very nice ride and almost no sleep. There was a group of Panamanian teenagers who played music on speaker at 4am, after the driver stopped over for a breakfast or whatever break at 3:30……

We arrived at the border at around 7:15 and needed to grab all our bags for further control. All of us went into a room and put down the bags in a straight line, then stood behind some tables. The staff lady has a name list and we had to say PRESENTE if we are, presente. Then a police with a dog came in and let the hound smell the luggage. After that the lady checked our bags again, before we headed to the immigration counter to get the exit stamp from Panama. Fingerprints and photo were once again taken.

Then we walked some distance to the other side…… there is no bridge or big sign and things are unclear. Anyways keep walking and you will find the immigration building from Costa Rica. Present your return ticket, answer a few questions, and you are off to go. Ideally. We had to wait for that same group of teenagers who had a thousand documents to present probably due to underage.

Our driver unloaded all the bags and we brought them to a “cage”, waiting for further inspection by the Costa Rican staff, who only showed up more than half an hour later.

A good 2-hours had passed, for processing such a small group of people. The bus continued to its next stop at Palmar Norte, which was not at a terminal nor at the centre, but several hundred metres away from the centre.

Don’t forget to switch the clock to the new time…… we totally weren’t aware of that and did everything wrong the entire day……

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