Panamá/Costa Rica Border
Here are a few tips that might make the crossing a little smoother:
- Be breezy, people will point you in the right direction generally since signage is scarce.
- You’ll be doing the actual border crossing on foot (even if you are continuing by the same bus you arrived on) so heavy backpacks or luggage will be a pain and might get searched.
- You cannot take a rental car across the border, but it is possible to arrange a car-switch with some rental companies.
- There is a nominal exit fee ($3-5) and you’ll need to fill out two sets of forms each way. Though, when flying out of Costa Rica the exit tax is $29USD.
- There may or may not be a comical role-call, in a room of mysterious purpose.
- Definitely have a ticket out of the region booked and ready to show (a flight home, or cheap bus onward will do).
- Save your last ATM receipt because the officer may ask to see your account balance or $500 cash—I managed to talk my way out of this one.
- In general officers will range from stink-eye stern to jovial and may even tease you about paying an exorbitant fee before high-fiveing you for figuring out the joke.
- Smile! (Your picture will be taken by the customs officer)