Getting to Bocas del Toro, Panama
How do I get to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo or Cahuita via land?
The price of $28pp includes both shuttle service and water taxi service, and it will pick you up or drop you off at your hotel in Puerto Viejo! (including anywhere from Puerto Viejo down to Manzanillo!)
The immigration process at the border in Sixaola is expedited in that the immigration office is notified ahead of time of the passenger list and pertinent information. At the border, passengers simply walk across the bridge to the immigration office and are picked up again by the shuttle – your luggage remains secure. The shuttle then takes you to Almirante, when you are taken by water taxi for a scenic ride to Bocas del Toro. Your seat with the water taxi service is reserved and guaranteed.
Total duration of the trip is approximately 3hrs, 15mins.
This service the easiest and most comfortable way of getting to Bocas del Toro!
2:00pm – Puerto Viejo Departure
9:00am – Bocas del Toro Departure
(price does not include visa fees)
To make reservation CLICK HERE.
If you are looking for transportation from other parts of Panama to Puerto Viejo please contact us for a quote and more information.
A public bus leaves from Puerto Viejo and Cahuita to Sixaola daily (bus schedule), be sure to take a morning bus this will give you plenty of time to cross the border and arrive in the islands, otherwise you risk spending the night at the border. From the Sixaola bus stop take a short walk to the bridge.
After you have passed immigration, take a taxi to Finca 60, Changuinola. The taxis charge $20. We recommend grouping up with other tourists in order to keep the price down. They will generally take up to 5 people and charge $5 per person. Some taxi drivers will tell you that you have to leave from Almirante as it is nicer, safer, closer or cheaper. This often is not the case, it just means that they get a better taxi fare.
The boat leaves Finca 60 with Bocas Marine Tours seven times a day and costs $7 per person. The boat ride lasts just under an hour and you will have some great photo opportunities along the way.
Bocas Marine Tour Departure Times:
8:30am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm.
Remember, Panama is one hour ahead of Costa Rica, and they only accept US dollars. Make sure you have US dollars before you get to Sixaola, as you will not be able to exchange currency at the border. It also important to have a copy of your flight details in case you are traveling back into Costa Rica from Panama. Costarican immigration needs to see proof that you are leaving the country within the 90 day visa time period. If you do not have a copy of your flight details you will be forced to purchase a bus ticket from the pharmacy in Sixaola for $6. (Strange but true).
As you approach the Sixaola bridge from Costa Rica you will find the Costa Rican immigration station on the right hand side. Here you must present your passport in order to receive your exit stamp.
After you have been stamped out of Costa Rica, you then make your way across the old United Fruit railroad bridge, which connects Costa Rica with Panama. After you have crossed the bridge, you will find the Panamanian immigration station to your left. Again, you have to present your passport in order to receive your entry stamp. Some nationalities may have to pay for a $6 tourist visa fee.
You will find many locals trying to help you through the immigration process from the moment you step off the bus on either side of the border. They are just trying to make a couple of dollars and can be very helpful, but of course common sense should be used!
Interactive Google Map:
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