Caribe Shuttles: The Best Way To Travel From Costa Rica to Panama
If you have done your research, you probably know by now the most convenient and most economical way to travel between Costa Rica and Panama is using the ground shuttle service with Caribe Shuttle. You would think a cheap flight would be easier, but if you ask me, I prefer to spend the time exploring the country rather than waiting at the airports, dealing with checking luggage and security checks. Based on the explosive growth of the Panama to Costa Rica shuttle services, I think many travelers agree.
How the Panama to Costa Rica Shuttles & Vice Versa Work
- Meet at the Bocas Marine Tours dock right in the center of Bocas Town, Isla Colon.
- Take a 30 minute scenic boat ride through the archipelago and mangroves to Almirante.
- Board the comfortable air-conditioned van waiting for you and drive 1 hour to the border.
- Our friendly staff will assist you with the border crossing immigration and customs to ensure you reach the other side hassle free.
- A van will be waiting for you on the other side to take you to your hotel in Costa Rica.
It is that simple! From Panama to Costa Rica in just 4 hours. No hassles, no researching bus schedules, securing a water taxi or navigating the confusing and ever changing border crossings on your own. And this is also our number one recommendation for those traveling alone, or women traveling together to feel safe while traveling.
If departing from Costa Rica, it is exactly the same, just in reverse. There are also services from San Jose, Costa Rica all the way to Bocas del Toro in one day with a break in Puerto Viejo for a tasty lunch and a stretch break.
How To Prepare For Your Trip
Puerto Viejo to Bocas Del Toro shuttles are not a new service by any means, but it has taken several years and a company dedicated to professionalism and building cross-border relations to perfect. Trust me, I tried crossing with 2 other companies over the past 10 years and both times led to a bit of a disastrous experience. I speak Spanish, work in the travel industry, I always try to have a back up plan and I still was a bit stressed out by the time I reached my destination. Not cool. I certainly would not want to put my clients through the same frustration, so we held off on offering the service until we could find a provider we could trust.
Caribe Shuttle has done an amazing job building up their resources and perfecting the service to make it as smooth as possible. Not an easy task considering the logistics of coordinating vehicles on both sides of the border, a water taxi and ensuring all the passengers have the proper documentation for crossing the border. The rest of the trip is a piece of cake, but ensuring you have proper documentation to cross the border is up to you. Although we have posted several other blogs in the past of how to be prepared to cross the border, I figure it is best to bring up again, and again, and again.
Minimum Requirements to enter Panama from Costa Rica & Vice Versa
- A passport valid for at least 6 months
- $8 tax to exit Costa Rica
- Entrance & departure tax of $4 crossing Panama border
- When entering COSTA RICA and PANAMA, travelers are required to show a flight itinerary from anywhere in Central America back to your home country. If you do not have proof when you arrive at the Costa Rican or Panamanian immigration office, you will most likely be required to buy an international flight ticket in order to enter that country.
- Panama is asking for proof of solvency for people from certain countries. (Proof would be either $500 in cash or a credit/debit card).
The crew at Caribe Shuttle are professional and helpful in every way. They will assist you with the entire border crossing as the process can sometimes be a bit confusing, even if you speak Spanish. They even helped me with my luggage once which was appreciated as I was lugging two computers plus my luggage. (Tropical weather and electronics do not mix well, and this is not the first trip I had to purchase a backup laptop along the way). Keep in mind however that you are limited to one piece of luggage and one small carry on per person. You have to load it on a water taxi and walk it across a pedestrian bridge after all.
Needless to say, as a solo traveler the Caribe Shuttle was most definitely the best solution for me, but I shared my van with some young back-packers as well as a family of 4 from Holland. Obviously the word is out that this is a great option for everyone. Just make sure you are prepared at the border and exploring Latin America has never been easier.
Happy vacation planning!