On the bridge of Panama, we are crossing
we are crossing On the bridge of Panama, we are crossing
in a straight line. Bienvenidos à Panama! We still have to work on our Spanish. It’s not great! Happy birthday MJ!
– Thank you! You’re so nice. Yep, it’s her birthday! She’s 22… Initially, MJ didn’t want to go to Costa Rica. She wanted to go to Panama. I really, really wanted to go to Panama and well, guess what? We’re in Panama! We’re in a brewery in Boquete a nice little town, people are nice, and
it’s surrounded by mountains. It’s really nice! We know you’re probably wondering what we’re doing in Panama when we’re suppose to be in Costa Rica. Simply put we were in Puerto Viejo, which was our first destination, and we wanted to get to our second destination which is Drake Bay which is located on the opposite side on the South side of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. To get there we had 3 options: Option 1 was to take a bus to San José and then another bus to Drake Bay. That would’ve taken 13, 14 or 15 hours and we would’ve seen the same landscapes twice. Option 2 was to take a flight to San José and then another one to the South part of the country. That wasn’t really an option though because it would’ve been too expensive. Option 3 was to get there by going through Panama! So we thought, hey that’s interesting! We’re only here for about 36 hours and it’s only for transit purposes. We only have 1 day to chill and explore because after that, we’re going back to Costa Rica. No worries! We know a lot of people who backpack through central America start off in Nicaragua then cross to Costa Rica and finally to Panama so we thought we’d explain and show you how it is to cross the border between Costa Rica and Panama when you’re backpacking and traveling by bus. If you’re in Puerto Viejo and want to get to Panama first step is to take a public bus. There’s a bus leaving town every hour starting from 6:30am during weekdays and every two hours on weekends. It cost about 1500 Colons which equals to
about 4$ Canadian. It takes about 1 hour to get to your destination, Sixaola, which is a small town on the border of CR and Panama. We made it to our first destination, Sixaola. Now we have to figure out where to pay the exit tax. When we got there, a lady wearing a yellow
vest came to see us. She was really hard to miss. She came running at us with little forms. The customs forms. She also brought us inside a little shop where we had to pay an exit tax. Often times when you exit a country,
you need to pay an exit tax. It was 4800 Colons, if i’m not mistaken,
which equals to $7 USD. It’s important to know that in Costa Rica and Panama, American money is accepted. So if you have USD currency with you, you can use it. Afterwards, when you exit the little shop, you head towards the right to another desk. There’s one person working there, and you can only go inside one person at a time. That’s where you hand in your filled-out exit form and show your passport so they can give you a receipt as well
as your exit stamp. After that it’s the exciting part! This is when you cross the bridge between CR and Panama! We didn’t cross on the actual bridge because it’s too old and not trustworthy. Instead, you go on the newer bridge
they built which is a lot more solid. Once you’ve crossed you have to go towards the right. There’s a lot of other tourists so find a colorful one and follow it and you’ll be just fine. There’s also always a police officer or someone in the army that can guide you to where you need to go. Then you’ll go to another desk and pay
the entry tax to Panama which was 3500 Colons, which equals to
about 8$ CAD per person. You then fill-in the usual entry form to declare whatever needs to be declared. After paying the entry fee and handing in your form you need to cross the street.
So you need to go down some stairs and go to the immigration desk of Panama. You wait in line, give your passport, scan your fingers and boom, you get your Panama stamp. I think that, from the moment we left in Puerto Viejo and got our Panama Stamp, it took 2 hours. It also depends on how busy it is at the border. For us it wasn’t too busy because we got there early enough. We recommend that you leave early in the morning because after crossing, you’re not done yet. You still need to get to your destination. That being said, I’ve read in a couple of blogs that the waiting time can be very long because there’s not a lot of people who work at the border so it can take a lot longer if there’s a lot of people. After you crossed the border, after getting your stamp, where do you go? Well it depends on your destination. For us it was David, which is a big city located South of the country. If you’re going to Bocas Del Toro, you need to go through the same process to cross the border. You then have 2 options to get to your destination: You can either take a public bus from the border to a small town called Changuinola which cost $1 USD per person
and takes 30 minutes to get there. Or you can take a private shuttle with other tourists to small town called Almirante. It costs $10 USD to take that shuttle
instead of $1 for the bus. We argued. The cheap little girl inside of me didn’t want to pay that fee for the shuttle because I knew the bus only costed $1. I don’t know, I would take the bus.
– Really? Yes. Do you just want to hop in here MJ? Or you want to take the bus? I don’t know. Let’s just get in here. It’ll be less sketchy. No? Yes but it’s full now. We decided to take the shuttle because it was going to bring us 30 minutes closer to our final destination. Do you want to be in our video?
– Maybe not. The driver dropped us off at the bus station where we could grab our bus to David. The driver had called one of his friends who spoke perfect English and who guided us. Everything went smoothly!
The bus arrived and we hoped in. In Panama you pay the bus driver once you arrive at your final destination. It was 8.50$ CAD per person. It was a 4.5 hour bus ride. So it cost us, from Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica to
David, Panama 95$ for the both of us. Now we’re here, chilling by the mountains
and i’m happy! It makes for a nice little celebration! See you guys next time, ciao! I think the tolerance level of Alex is currently at -1. He doesn’t like walking and not finding the place we’re trying to go to. I don’t know why. He’s inpatient. Oh, we found it! You walked by here earlier.
– Me? You came down here.
– No. You walked down the street a bit.
– Yes but I didn’t make it all the way here.