My first time crossing a border! Paso Canoas, Panama to Costa Rica

Europe has open borders. A short trip to the Netherlands? No problem. You just drive over and whoops you’re in a different country. No passports, nothing. And that were all my border experiences.Even though I heard a few things I had no clue what I was getting myself into.Where do I need to go? What if they won’t let me in? What if they ask for the yellow fever vaccination I don’t have? Can I still pay with dollars? I was bloody unprepared and all on my own. All that popped up in my head when I stepped out of the minibus. But apparently it was surprisingly easy even though my spanish sucks.

I crossed the Paso Canoas border on the pacific side of Panama.

#1 I took a minibus from David to Paso Canoas – just ask for ‘la frontera’ and they’ll show you the right bus – 2$, 1h

#2 Go to a counter in the building on the left side, get a form, fill it out and you’ll get your exit stamp

#3 Walk a few hundred meters to the Costa Rican immigration, blue and white building on the right, get a form, fill it out and get your entry stamp

#4 change money or go to the ATM, walk a bit further and wait for the next bus (not a busstation, the bus just stops at the street)

#tip – get a ‘fake ticket’ to proof your onward travel, just google it. It might be requested and this way you can safe your money on a busticket you wouldn’t use!

Apparently I have been lucky and had no queues at all, no one asked for a proof of onward travel, nothing. So it took me less then an hour until I sat in the bus to Neily. Sidenote – you have to pay the bus when you enter not while the ride as in Panama. You should plan between 1-3h for the broder crossing because it can get quite crowded