EXIT / ENTER COSTA RICA ,Paso Canoas | Customs and Immigration

Costa Rica


2 months ago
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1. Park (A)
2. Walk across the street and pay exit fee $8 (B)
3. Return to immigration and exit stamp your passport at the windows (C)
4. Turn left and walk around the corner to the right and enter the double doors on your left to cancel your TIP (D)
Go to Panama


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Currently Covid vaccination or test required. Make sure you have some document showing your onwards travel (e.g. a flight ticket or booking confirmation of a boat trip to Colombia).

1. In the middle of passing the big Panama building you can park, and go to the little window where the doctor is, fill in a form and show vaccination or test results.
2. Go to Seguros office on the other side behind the taxi stands to get insurance for the car. Ours cost 25 Dollars, cash only. Check for mistakes! Ours had a mistake in the VIN No. 2 times, even after I let them correct it the 1st time the 2nd one had a new mistake!
3. Go get your passport stamped (can also do this before insurance) where you parked and hand in the stamped document you got from the doctor. They'll ask about your onwards travel.
4. Go to the Aduana counters, show them the usual documents and the insurance. AGAIN check everything! Otherwise you will have problems at the port. We had 3! mistakes in our plate and VIN numbers of the TIP.
5. Find a customs officer who will search your car and stamp the TIP. They didn't ask or search for food/alcohol or similar items that sometimes are not allowed.
6. Pay for fumigation (6 USD)
7. Drive through fumigation, everything done.

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We passed in 2h CR -> Panama.
in 5 five for the Costa Rica side, stamp in passport in the window salida and register the exit of the vehiculos, 2s the guy didn't want to check the van it was in the sun so sign and go to panama. Don't forget to pay online the 8$ tax easier and it's on the internet after that so immigration guy just check that

There it was fun, we begin with immigration but we wait for the doctor to check our vaccination. We wait, the immigration guy give us a formularie to complete and we wait, he said go to the insurance for the vehicle meanwhile. The insurance it's in the building across the street in the copies buildings. Made the insurance for 25$ for 1 month and copies.
go back to wait to the doctor.
He arrive, didn't really check, sign the paper and then immigration.
Normal question, even the where do you stay (in an hotel ) and when do you leave (with the shipping of our van) ? This question tooks longer because we have the reservation in a WhatsApp conversation but they accept it.
Last, go to the aduana for the paper, give your car registration and passport and seguro (with one copies of it) and wait as they enter all the data.
finally go paid the fumigation 6$ and give the paper to the guy controlling cars, he will check in 2s your car and with a nod, you can enter in Panama ! Enjoy but be careful to have all your documentation.

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Panama Entry Covid Form, submit in advance of entry: https://www.panamadigital.gob.pa/RegistroPacoViajero

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Costa Rica to Panama with a dog:

Attached pet requirements PDF as a picture. This was sent to me from Panama Agro/Animal officials.

Somehow, we ended up paying only $25 for our dog, but in total expect to pay $155. We were just lucky the official who was meant to collect the additional $130 happened to be out of receipt paper when we crossed!!

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Save yourself trouble and complete your exit fee (pp) online before arrival. Save the emailed completion document. www.bancobcr.com scroll towards the bottom there is an exit tax banner to click. I included photos of the instructions!

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An extra dollar commission has been added to the tax....cash only. ATM is 150 metres towards the Panama border at the bank.

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EXIT Panama:
my case was a bit special as I needed to leave with my van due to overtime in storage. But seemed like the procedures were as normal

Drive about 100m until u get to the fumigation station on your right. just drive through it and get it done (no cost)

1) immigraction (a bit further from fumigation also on the right)
- show your passport and your QR code from the Health Declaration (salud.go.cr) - i uploaded the declaration the night before. never got feedback about if my international insurance was sufficient.
- get stamp in passport

2) Seguros (on the left of immigration)
- original title
- original passport
- $45 Cash only

3) make copies (go accross the street - $.20 per page or C100 per page)
- title (front and back)
- passport (photo oage & stamped page)
- seguro paper

4) Aduana, couple doors to the right if the seguros)
- fill inthe form they give you
- hand iver above copies and otiginals
- the come check the vehicle (hide ur lunch, thry took mine :((. )

pura vida off u go

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It was very easy, followed wikioverland.
1. as soon as you cross, veer right pass through the fumigation spray tent. they didn't give me a receipt but I was told it's required. then drive 40' and park near aduana where it says no estacionar, solo para inspection.
2. all occupants go through immigration, answer a few questions and possibly show then you have enough money to survive in CR.
3. turn left from immigration and buy seguro, $48 USD. need title and passport
4. go across street and the "impuesto" shops also make copies. make at least one copy of the passport page, the page with CR entry stamp, title front and back, and if you have a vehicle registration (with the plate number) one copy as well.
4. go back to aduana building, wait your turn, fill out the application and hand in all the copies you made. they may also check driving permit if they want to. Up to two drivers can be registered.
5. once papers are stamped, aduana will come inspect your vehicle. they hasled us about bringing food but in the end didn't care because we are only tourists with a small box for food.
6. aduana hands you the TIP and you can leave! total cost was just the insurance.

note: they take long lunches around 13:00 so things can be slow or all stop at that time.

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Pay exit fee first. They will charge you $5,300 colones or $9.00USD. The receipt we got said $8.00USD and I asked why we paid $9.00. She said additional dollar is an administrative fee. Anyway, after this, go get your exit stamp and cancel your TIP. All as described by others. It took us about half hour to complete it all.

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The Costa Rica side isn‘t as clear as Panama, but it is easy as well.
After migration you have to make a insurance for your car at Seguros Nacional. Minimum is 90days and costs 44USD.
With the insurance you go to the aduana, which is next to Seguros Nacional, to fill some forms. You will need some copies of your passports (all drivers) and car-documents, which you can make across the street. After that they check the car and that‘s it.

The entire boarder crossing took us 1.5h, we were lucky there weren’t many people around.

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Entering Costa Rica on foot was pretty easy once the right building was found. You actually have to walk what feels like a bit too far into the country before you see the building in the right. Then you need to go to the far side of the building even though you will see some windows as you approach.

The line did not take long and once I reached the counter I was asked three things.

The first was where I was going and I gave them the address of a hotel in San José.

The second was for proof of onward travel.

The third was for proof of funds. The officer said I needed at least 200 USD and he wanted to physically see this. I showed him a small wad through the window and this was enough and he gave me a 90 day entry stamp.

No fees for anything when crossing on foot.

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Exit fee paid at office by Cólones is 5000pp. Not 4000 any more.

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Just wanted to say you do not need to pay the Costa Rica exit fee of $8 in USD. They let me pay in colóns and it was 4000, which is 7.05 USD so it was cheaper. There is also a automated machine you can pay with ATM or credit card so there is no reason to change your money for USD at the boarder.

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DOG OWNERS- we paid the $136 here in May (no one later asked for proof of papers, even wayyyy later when preparing to fly to Colombia). Then we went back to Costa Rica for business. A few weeks later we returned to Panama and crossed at Sixaola. At that crossing we paid only $36 and they had a hearty laugh about the additional $100 fee!!!! If your route is flexible, the Sixaola border is easier, calmer and apparently cheaper with dogs!

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We stayed at the Parqueo y Soda
for the night, bought the insurance and made all required copies the evening before the border crossing. Checked out of Costa Rica at 8am and were the first (and only) cars in line (on a Sunday). We didn't have to go upstairs for the TIP. The form was directly completed by the lady at the Aduana window. Rest of the process as described in other posts.
Managed the whole process (CR & Panama) for 3 campers (6 people, no pets) in 1 hr. The fastest crossing we had. Maybe Sunday morning and already having all required docs did the trick.

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As you might know, the costs of bringing your dog in Panama are high ($135,- minimum fee). We were afraid that we had to show the papers for our dog when we would leave with her to Colombia (by plane). So we went through the legal process and paid a lot of dollars.
As we have experienced, they do NOT ask for the papers when leaving the country. No one has ever asked for our dogs papers since we started our trip.

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Update when entering Panama: Park the vehicle at the Panama sheltered building and get the insurance BEFORE immigration. We cued for immigration first and they sent us to get the insurance first.

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1. Park (A)
2. Walk across the street and pay exit fee $8 (B)
3. Return to immigration and exit stamp your passport at the windows (C)
4. Turn left and walk around the corner to the right and enter the double doors on your left to cancel your TIP (D)
Go to Panama

Copies required

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1. Park (A)
2. Walk across the street and pay exit fee $8 (B)
3. Return to immigration and exit stamp your passport at the windows (C)
4. Turn left and walk around the corner to the right and enter the double doors on your left to cancel your TIP (D)
Go to Panama

Copies required

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entering Panama.
1)drive through the chaos into the large shelter labelled Panama.
2) at the far end is immigration to get passports stamped.
3) outside the building and walk 1 min to the left to find insurance sales office ($15 for us)
4) back up to the aduana to give them all the usual papers
5) wait a looooooong time for them to process it. check the new form for mistakes.
6) give new form to man inspecting cars. he asked for $5 for a coffee to sign the paper otherwise we had to take it all into the customs office to be checked. signed it for free once we started unloading the car!
6) take same bit of paper into the office by the fumigation place. for 1usd he takes a copy and gives a receipt.
7) drive through the fumigation and you're freeeeeeee!

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leaving Costa Rica
1) stop/ park when the big blue building is on the left.
2) pay your exit fee ($8) at one of the little tiendas on the right side of the road. you will get a receipt.
3) go across to the blue building and get your passport exit stamp.
4) the aduana office is at the back of the building near the toilets. usual paperwork.

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All accurate. Vehicle inspector only checked plates, never looked in vehicle or saw dogs. Heed the warning about moving your vehicle forward throughout the process, getting boxed in for an extended period of time post-paperwork is a real possibility.

1. Departmento de Salud is just behind Migración & Cuarentena offices (in same building). There, pay $130 per dog (USD cash only, ATM on site—ouch!), and provide copies of proof of current vaccinations/certificate of good health. Official said they request veterinary check from Costa Rica, but okay that we don’t have it (current vaccinations & money were most important.) He stamped USDA form upon request.

2. Then make copies of new paperwork from Dept de Salud (form & receipt). We did this at the Seguro/car insurance stand.

3. Then to Quarentena office, next to Migración, to hand in paperwork. They sent a representative to accompany us to the next office.

4. For Dept. Agropecuario, walk approximately 200m down the street (across from large hotel) and turn left up a paved street, to office on left. Pay $6 more for a license (total, not per dog.) They requested copies of everything—which I didn’t have, because prior office said I didn’t need it. Originals were back in the truck, and it was raining, so I think the official felt bad. He completed paperwork/process without the documentation.

5. Return to Quarentena office, next to Migración (we were accompanied by same representative). Pay $10 per dog for inspection (of paperwork, not the dogs). That is if you haven’t already abandoned your dog(s), because they’re too darn expensive. The official in this office gave me a form that he claim is needed in the airport, in order to leave the country.

6. We made a few copies of all dog paperwork, in case it’s needed at theairport. Plus after 8 countries, my binder was feeling a bit empty...

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The latestbdescription is still valid:
The bank for exit tax is now in a yellow container across the street from the micration. IMPUERTO with big letters.

Start with seguro. Migracion asks for it. Today it was open across the street.

We did not show any flighttickets or other information.

We arrived at 10 and left at 11.45. With the description it was easy to do everything alone.

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we arrived very early Sunday morning. 6:30ish. very easy to get through. we did have to pay $136 for our dog....oh well.
we stayed at a gods hotel. white w lots of plants. ac good. 40$ good wifi.

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Rondjewereld's description below is very helpful and accurate- just one thing to add: you can save $1 commission per person by paying your Costa Rican exit tax at the machine right next to the aduana door (credit card only).

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Costa Rica to Panama
This bordercrossing keeps you fit; running around like crazy! We made it into Panama within 2,5 hours.

Exit Costa Rica
* Pay attention, otherwise you miss the migracion building. The trucks lined up are a hint that you are there. We parked to the right.
* Migracion is a blue building to the left. Pro: there is a dual language poster that states what you need to leave the county (receipt of paid exit fee, completed form, passport). Con: no indication where to get the first 2. We asked an official, he just vagualy waved at the Salida window. We asked another tourist, and now we know the right order:
1) Pay the exit fee. There should be a bank (could not find it). We paid across the street at the Impuesto window of Restaurante Anjor's with the green awning. US$ 7 impuesto + US$ 1 tramite (= processing fee). Keep the receipts (they are in your name).
2) Go back to the Salida window of Migracion. Get an exit form to fill out. We asked at the Entrada window (shorter line) and got one each. Why they don't put a display outside with forms beats us.
3) Hand over impuesto receipt + form + passport for a nice stamp. With your stamped passport you get the receipt back.
* Aduana is to the left when facing the Migracion windows, through a short hall way, next to the bathrooms. Wait in line and try to get a form (again we suggest a display with forms at the entrance), basically by asking nicely, while the officer is still processing the person in front of you. They stamp the form you just completed and keep the TIP.
While driving to Panama we did not encounter a boom or officer, so we have have not shown anyone that we actually drove out of Costa Rica with our van.

Entry Panama
Drive up straight ahead to the whitish big buidling with an awning. There are 3 lines underneath the awning, the left one is for personal cars. Park behind the last and keep an eye on the line between the various steps, to see if you have to move it forward (otherwise potentially slower cars get ahead of you).
* Migracion is to the left of where you parked, behind the crumpled staircase (on the Panama side). We were not approached by anyone with a sticker (which we read on earlier reviews), did not need them. At the window hand over your passport. They need to see proove of you leaving the country (we have plane tickets). A digital photo is taking (if you wear glasses, remove them). You get a free stamp.
* First buy vehicle car insurance. The stall across the street was closed. A guy told us to go behind the aduana building (next street). There is the Seguro window. You need a copy of passport (not drivers license) and title (it seems that they made copies for other people, but we had them). You get an original + copy of insurance papers, cost US$ 15 for 1 month. You don't need to have them notarized anymore (used to be upstairs).
* Go to the Aduana, from where your car is parked, the window to the left of the stairs (at Costa Rica side). Go to the Capture and Manifesto window (closest to the line), not actual Aduana window. Hand in the following copies: passport, drivers license, title and the copy of the insurance you got. Plus they need your passport. The lady checked all information and asked additional questions (color, number of doors). Stand to the side for 10 minutes and wait until you are waved. You get a tip with a stamp. You need another stamp after the car is checked.
* The guys with clipboards walk between the lines. He checked inside, just 2 cupboards, got another stamp/signature.
* Then walk towards the fumigation station. There is an office with Oirsa logo to the right, just before the actual stations. We had to pay US$8, car type "terrestre". The lady walked with us to the window across the road, handed our receipt to another guy with a clipboard. Then we got the receipt and were ready to go.
Had to wait a bit until the car in front of us was ready to move.
* At the actual border, there is a military checkpoint. They asked for the TIP. He tried to explain something in Spanish, which we didn't get. Then an older police officer with addorable grade school English explained that when we are checked in Panama, show the TIP and passport only. At least we think that is what he said. When we drove of the younger soldiers high fived the older guy for speaking such good English. He he.

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This is where you can park and process your exit or entry for Costa Rica.

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Border Crossing: Costa Rica / Panama on August 7th, 2013 | Posted at  http://www.vangabonds.com/border-crossing-costa-rica-panama/

We cross borders by land in a CR-V with US passports and our two dogs. We do not carry drugs or weapons or disallowed fruit (usually). 

When, Where, and Which Direction: August 3, 2013 – Costa Rica > Panama at Paso Canoas

What We Needed:
Passports (and 2 copies of driver’s passport),Costa Rican Auto Import Permit,Vehicle Title (and 2 copies),A credit card or $200 cash, andVarious dog papers (see below for details).The Process: The Pan American highway runs directly through the Paso Canoas crossing, which is also home to a couple of malls, a plethora of small shops, and an abundance of Costa Rican residents who flock to the border for Panamanian prices, which are markedly lower than those in their own country. For processing on the Costa Rican side of the border, stop at the blue building on the left side of the road just upon entering the madness. The parking spaces are slanted towards Panamanian traffic,  but we were able to park there with a u-turn. From the parking spaces, migración is around the left side of the building at a series of windows. Visitors exiting Costa Rica must complete an exit form and hand it over with their passport which will be stamped and returned. The customs office can be found by continuing around the left side of the migración windows, or from the parking spots by going behind the migración windows on the right side; it is directly next to the bathrooms (clean and $.40 USD per use!) and clearly labeled “Aduana”. Inside, hand the attendant at the computer the Costa Rican temporary auto import permit and the driver’s passport. She may ask if you are coming back to the country in the next 90 days before quickly processing the cancellation. No fees should be paid to exit Costa Rica.

Next, drive a short distance to the Panamanian side of the border. Once inside the melee, it’s easy for confusion to arise as to which of the many diverging roads are the right one. We found  Life Remotely’s photos [LINK: ]  to be very helpful in recognizing where we needed to go. Essentially keep going straight, even when the road looks like it might be curving to the right (you will be able to see the “dirty white covered building” ahead at this point). Drive along the right side of this building and park under the awning. To the left of the road is a center console-type structure with staircase wrapped around it, and offices on either side of it like book ends with space for travelers to walk between. The migración office is in the book end closest to Panama. To enter Panama, visitors need to purchase a sticker from the municipality to be placed in the passport for $1 from a person standing near the line and then show their stickered passport to the person at the window along with “financial solvency”. For this, the agent at the window asked to see $200 cash, but accepted a quick look at our credit card in its place. He then took an up close photo of our faces and stamped us in.

Purchasing insurance is the first step towards importing a vehicle. There is more than one place at the border at which to do this, but the easiest is across the street from the migración office, to the right of your vehicle (see Life Remotely’s photos; we went to a much less convenient place). Hand over a copy of the driver’s passport, a copy of the vehicle title, and $15 USD in exchange for insurance. You should get one original and one copy. Take that copy back across the street and go up the stairs to the office above the migración windows for a notary-esque stamp on the insurance. Then go back downstairs to the offices on the opposite side (the book end closest to Costa Rica) where the stamped insurance copy, a copy of the driver’s passport, and a copy of the vehicle title should be handed over to a person at a window marked both “Aduana” and “Captura y Manifesto”. After much typing, you will receive a temporary auto import permit with a stamp that needs initialing. Look for a gentleman with a clipboard walking through the vehicles. He will peruse the car, possibly asking you to open a bag or show something that’s covered, sign off on your permit, and then send you on your merry way.

We aren’t sure about the appropriate way to import dogs into Panama. See below for our less than official experience. Once you’re set though, drive ahead through the fumigation station (possibly showing paperwork and paying a fee) and onto the open road where you will be stopped just one more time by a police checkpoint for document review.

Costs: There are no fees to exit Costa Rica. To enter Panama costs $1 USD per person and $15 USD per vehicle, which is entirely for insurance as there is no fee for the import permit itself. Fees for dogs are questionable, see below. We also paid $1 USD for fumigation on our way out, but did so through a man who handled our dog scam so we’re not sure about the details there. US dollars are used in Panama under prices listed as balboas. Do not be confused – they are just US dollars.

Dogs:  Once again [LINK: ] , a friendly local man (a “helper”) at the border hoping to make some money saw our dogs as his ticket to cash. Though we told him repeatedly that we didn’t need help, he walked with us through our entire process insisting that he would help us with our dogs afterwards. Admittedly, we didn’t know what we were supposed to do should an official tell us we needed a permit for them, but that was highly unlikely and in retrospect, no one, except those with something to gain, could care less that we were transporting pets. After all was said and done with our passport stamps and import permit above, our “helper” told me to bring our dogs’ papers with me and follow him. As usual, I had a health certificate, health certificate in Spanish, and vaccination certificate for each pup. We walked about 6 feet from the CR-Van to a uniformed official who read his lines to me dramatically, and in Spanish. It went something like… The office to import pets is only open Monday through Friday and there is nothing we can do to let you pass today. Really, I would get in trouble with my boss if I let you pass. I would need to talk to my coworkers to see if we can get your paperwork stamped. Honestly, you just needed to have crossed the border between Monday and Friday. My hands are tied and there is nothing I can do here. You could possibly go see a vet and complete a separate process, but that would cost you at least $130 dollars. I am shaking my head and thinking how crazy it is that you are trying to cross a border with pets on a Saturday. Gee, I just can’t even begin to think of what we might do here. *Stray dog runs by*

Due to character limits, the rest of this section is available at  http://www.vangabonds.com/border-crossing-costa-rica-panama/
Photos at  http://www.vangabonds.com/border-crossing-costa-rica-panama/

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This post is from Logan and Brianna of  PanAm Notes http://www.panamnotes.com/. To read their full experience and see photos, see the detailed article at:  http://panamnotes.com/how-to/costa-rica-panama-border-crossing/

Paso Canoas Border Crossing
Open: 6AM – 10PM

Remember: No necisita ayuda. Por favor, dejame in paz, no voy a pagar. Vaya!

$US accepted at all points and is the official currency in Panama
Exit Costa Rica:The blue immigration building is on the left side entering town. Their are parking spots out front. Go to the “Salida” window for your exit stamp.Costa Rica Immigration & Customs
You will need to fill out a tourist exit form and then the agent will stamp you out of the country.Aduana is to the left of the “Salida” window. Fill out another form explaining whether or not you intend to return to Costa Rica with your vehicle.The aduana agent will process your exit form and give you a canceled vehicle import permit which you keep (we were not asked to give it up upon exit).Panama Border Crossing
Open: 6AM – 11PM

$US accepted at all points and is the official currency in Panama
Enter Panama:Drive about a half km straight down the road to the white circular top Panama immigration building. There is a large “Bienvendos a Panama” sign to help you out.Stand in the “Entre Panama” line at the far end of the complex to obtain your entry stamp.Panama Immigration
While waiting in line you will be approached by an official selling the tourist sticker ($1US per person) which goes in your passport, this is mandatory.The immigration agent will ask where you came from, where you are going, and your occupation and then stamp your passport. You must also provide proof of economic solvency ($500US) and this can be done with a valid credit card.There is a Panama Tourism office where you used to have to purchase a $5US per person tourist card, when we asked about it they said it no longer exists.Purchase vehicle insurance ($15US) across the street (near the movie star sales kiosk). You should receive two copies of the insurance paperwork.Panama Insurance Agency

Head back to the white building, opposite end of immigration and to the left of the tourism window, hand over one copy of your passport, vehicle title, and insurance to receive stamped paperwork for your vehicle import permit.Go to the office in the middle (circular) area of the complex to receive another stamp on the vehicle import permit and a form to fill out regarding your vehicle and what you’re bringing into the country.Next is the vehicle inspection, find an agent with a clipboard (they will probably find you). This agent gives the final signature on your permit and takes the form you just filled out.Last stop is fumigation. Pay the $3US fee at the office to the immediate right of the immigration window. You will receive a receipt which another agent with a clipboard will verify and then wave you through the automatic sprayers.Make sure you have your paperwork (passport, import permit, insurance) in order as you enter the country, there is a police stop about 1km down the road.

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 From my early 2010 border crossing - blog at A Few More Miles http://afewmoremiles.com/2010/01/27/costa-rica-panama
We tried to convince the Panamanian officials that our US insurance cards were valid in Panama. They weren’t having it and required us to purchase the $14 insurance.

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This post is from  Life Remotely. To read their full experience and see photos, see the detailed article at  http://liferemotely.com/trip-shenanigans/panama/211-costa-rica-to-panama-border-crossing
Border Name: Paso Canoas
Closest Major Cities: Ciudad Neily, Costa Rica and David, Panama
Cost for Visas: $1 per person for Panama entry
Cost for Vehicle: $15 for insurance, $1.60 for copies
Total Time: 1.25 hours
Date Crossed: Monday May 28, 2012

Park next to the Costa Rican immigration office (it’s on the left side of the road when driving towards Panama).Go to the Salida window, fill out your exit card and hand over the exit form with your passport. The official will stamp and return your passport.Go around the back of the immigration building to the Aduana office.Explain that you want to cancel your temporary permit and you will be given a simple form to fill out.Fill out the form and hand it with the original permit papers and the driver’s passport to the official. He or she will want to go to your car to verify the VIN number.Back at the office, the official will cancel the permit, keep the original, and return to you the form you filled out with a stamp on it. This is your proof of cancellation.Get back in your car and drive to the Panama side. Note: If you need to change money, do it at the BCR bank in no-mans-land before you get to Panama. No other banks around will change colones.Drive under the right side of the dirty white covered building. You can park next to the curb on the left.Go to the furthest end of the building and you will see the windows for immigration entrada. If the line is short, go here first.Someone will approach you and ask for you passports, he or she will put a small sticker on a page in your passport. Cost is $1 per sticker. You can pay in colones but the exchange rate is not good.Give the official behind the window your passports. She/he will type in some stuff, take your photo, stamp and return your passport.Next, walk across the street to the insurance office. Hand over the vehicle title and drivers passport, a copy of both and $15. You’ll be issued two identical pieces of paper. One will be kept by aduana, the other is for you.Go back across the street and up the stairs to the Transito office. Hand over your insurance paperwork and the drivers passport. They will stamp the insurance papers and return them.Go back down stairs to the aduana window. The sign on the window actually reads “Captura y Manifesto”. You should see a piece of paper taped to the window that says “Turismo”, that’s the right line.The official will need your title, driver’s passport, a copy of both, and the two insurance papers. The official will enter a bunch of stuff in the computer and will return originals and one copy of the insurance. Also they will give you a vehicle import permit.

NOTE: If you plan to ship your car to Columbia, triple check that EVERYTHING on your permit is correct. Especially that your VIN number is listed for both your chassis and engine number, and that your vehicle type is correct.
Take your new permit to the random official guy with a clipboard who loiters outside the aduana window. (Don’t worry, he’ll probably find you.) He’ll inspect your car and verify the VIN number. He will also stamp your permit.Head out of the border area, make sure to drive through the fumigation area.In about 1 km you will be stopped at a military post and will have to show your permit, insurance and passports for everyone in the car.That’s all. Enjoy the four-lane highway and cheap beer.

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This is our experience/record of crossing the Costa Rica-Panama border on Wednesday, 1 April 2015. Our traveling party consisted of two people and two motorcycles.

We arrived at the Costa Rica border at noon and left the Panama border at 2:45pm. We spent one hour on the Costa Rica side and almost two on the Panama side. It rained and the power went out for a short period.

Border Name: Paso Canoas
Closest major cities: Ciudad Neily, Costa Rica and David, Panama
Costs: 50 USD for two people and two motorcycles
Costa Rica exit fee: 16 USD (8 USD per person. It is supposed to be 7 USD but as we arrived during the lunch hour so we had to use a “special” service to pay the fee rather than the bank)Panama sticker for passport: 2 USD (1 USD per person)Panama insurance: 30 USD (15 USD per motorcycle)Panama fumigation: 2 USD (1 USD per motorcycle)
Paperwork required: Passport plus two photocopiesMotorcycle title plus two photocopiesNote: we keep all originals in individual plastic sleeves. We labeled these sleeves clearly to avoid confusion as to what was what, to keep original documents clean, and to differentiate what was original and what is a copy. All border-crossing officials have respected the sleeve.

Exit Costa Rica

Step 1: Park next to Costa Rica immigration building which will be on your left hand side as you drive south toward Panama and is poorly marked from the road. We drove past it on accident and ended up turning around when we saw the building with the welcome to Panama sign. It is a very busy border area with people, cars, shops, etc.
Step 2: Costa Rica Immigration:
Pay departure tax 7 USD. The official place to pay is the bank window to the left of the salida window. If they are closed (during lunch) you go into no-man’s land to an office behind a buffet lunch counter where they provide the departure payment service for an additional 1 USD per person.The official location to pay departure tax.
Go to the salida window (north end of building), fill out exit card and give it to the official along with your passport and departure tax receipt. They will stamp you out and return passport.Step 3: Costa Rica Customs: Go around to the left from salida/customs window to the Aduana office. They will give you a form to fill out. Return the completed form along with passport, title, and vehicle import permit.
Official will verify VIN by going to your vehicleReturn to office where they will cancel and keep permit and give to you the form with a stamp on it.If you have any Costa Rican money the only place to change it is in the no-man’s land area by the Panamanian customs building.

Enter Panama

Drive to Panama. You will drive right under a large dirty white building. Park next to the curb on the left. You will continually move your vehicle forward along this curb in incremental two meter steps throughout the process.
The line up against curb where you keep moving forward inch by inch during the border processes. We were lucky to be here with Ticket to Ride so we could watch each others bikes, etc.
Step 1: Panama Immigration: Furthest, south end of building is the window for immigration. When you are in line someone will approach you and ask for your passport. They will put a sticker in it and ask for 1 USD. Some people did not get the sticker and it won’t stop you from leaving the country. Give the official your passport and they will take your photo, stamp, and return your passport.
Step 2: Panama Insurance: Walk across the street from the immigration/customs building curb where you are parked to where you see signs for phones and other shopping – (this will be more to the north of the building). Here you will find the insurance office (Seguro). Provide the title and passport plus one copy of each. Cost was 15 USD per motorcycle. They will provide you with TWO proof of insurance documents.
Step 3: Panama Transito Office: Return across the street (immigration) and go up the stairs above immigration (south end of building) and provide your insurance papers and passport. Official will stamp the insurance papers.
Step 4: Panama Customs / Aduana: Go back downstairs to the north end of building (not outside but inside to the north of the stairs) and sign says “capture and manifesto” and sign next to the window (paper sign) says “turismo”. Now, no one lines up for this so push your way to the front and hand over passport, title and one copy of each plus the two insurance certificate documents. They will return the originals to you along with the vehicle import permit.
DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING especially if you will be going from Panama to Colombia because we have heard of people having problems if there are mistakes or missing information. If you don’t have an engine number make sure they just put your VIN number in that box. No box should be empty.
Step 5: Panama Final stamp: Your vehicle is now likely towards the front of the line (we kept moving ours) and you will need to find an official with a clipboard and they will review paperwork, check VIN, and stamp the permit.
Step 6: Panama Fumigation. Go to the window directly across the street from immigration where you show your title and pay for fumigation (1 USD). You will actually have to show this receipt during step 5 but they will spray your wheels just before you drive away.

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