Run for the Border

Arriving in Panama this time on November 1st, 2014 and planning to stay until June or July, we thought that while we were up by the border in Bocas Town, it would be a good idea to reset our passports and make a border run to Costa Rica and back. We contacted a company called Caribe Shuttle in Bocas Town and told them we we wanted to go to Costa Rica and back. Since you can’t, as far as we know, just go across the border, get your stamp and come back in the same day, the girl at the desk suggested we stay at Banana Azul just outside a town called  Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. We paid our 30 dollars each for the shuttle and made reservations at the Banana Azul.

2 days later, we took the water taxi to Almirante

Water taxi to Almerante...
Water taxi to Almirante…

and boarded the waiting shuttle to Changuinola,

Suzi on the Caribe Shuttle...
Suzi on the Caribe Shuttle…

a small town right on the border of Panama and Costa Rica. We were directed by our shuttle driver to the immigration office and we received our exit stamp that shows we left Panama. We then paid the exit tax, yes you need to pay to leave, and we walked across the river on the train bridge

On the bridge, over the river...
On the bridge, over the river…

into Costa Rica. We stopped at the immigration office and got our entry stamp, and were directed to another Caribe Shuttle van for the ride to Banana Azul. We spent the night at Banana Azul,

Hotel Banana Azul...
Hotel Banana Azul…

had a wonderful meal

Another little traveler...
Another little traveler…

and even saw our very first wild sloth

Our first wild sloth...
Our first wild sloth…

before the Caribe Shuttle picked us up for the ride back to the border. Once we got to the town of Sixaola,

Sixaola, Costa Rica...
Sixaola, Costa Rica…

we reversed the process. We paid our exit tax to Costa Rica, took the receipt

Exit receipt from Costa Rica...
Exit receipt from Costa Rica…

and got our exit stamp, walked back across the train bridge

On the bridge...
On the bridge…

to Changuinola, paid our entry fee, got our entry stamp resetting our passports and got back on our Caribe Shuttle BACK to Almirante and the water taxi back to Bocas Town.

Just a few notes. The drivers of Caribe Shuttle in Panama and Costa Rica were wonderful. They made sure we knew where to go, which office we should go to and they were on time and waiting for us at each location. As to the “taxes” we paid to leave and enter both Costa Rica and Panama, it’s just part of the process at this border crossing. If we had to pay a few bucks extra to leave and enter the two countries overnight, I’m not going to worry about it. It’s really no different than paying more money to get a FBI Background check overnight instead of 12 weeks later (story to follow at some point).

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7 thoughts on “Run for the Border”

  1. Great to read, we’re doing exactly the same as you guys with Caribe Shuttle and staying at Banana Azul in June, so good to know it’s a smooth crossover. Safe onwards trip to you

    1. Don’t mind the rain and don’t understand how come it feels so much more humid there than here in Gorgona. But it was a good time there and I’m glad we went!!!!

    1. Banana Azul is where we saw our first In The Wild sloth. It was a very nice place to stay and we would recommend it to anyone who is headed that way.

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