Paso Canoas, Costa Rica to Quebrada Grande, Panama | Customs and Immigration DUPLICATE OF EXIT / ENTER COSTA RICA ,Paso Canoas

Costa Rica


5 months ago
89.0 masl
Song of the Road


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We crossed in Nov 2014, here is a link to our detailed write up GPS coordinates, map, photos etc


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Smooth border crossing into panama. The online form was not necessary to fill out because they are not able to scan the qr code at the border. We had to fill out the form on paper there again and bring a copy of the vaccination. Only two shoots of vaccine (moderna) required, not three how it is stated on the official website of panama. Rest as describes below. Took us one hour.

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Process was slightly different from the description.

The place to buy insurance is directly opposite the location noted in the image. Park, cross the immigration area to the other side of the complex, then walk towards the Panama side. You can buy insurance under the awning just to the right of the line of taxis (I assume they usually park there). I've uploaded a picture I took from just under the awning.

We had to get a slip from the ministry of health before getting our passports stamped, you just have to fill out a health affidavit (it didn't matter that we had a QR code from the one we did ahead of time, we still had to fill it out there and he wouldn't take the QR code). We had our proof of vaccination, which was all we needed.

We then both got our passports stamped, then got our TIP. We didn't have to stamp the driver, then get the TIP, then stamp the passenger for some reason.

We had to purchase fumigation for $3US at a white building just beyond and to the right of the parking area before driving to fumigation.

All in all it wasn't too bad. Good luck!

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Take note! Leaving Costa Rica:
The places to pay the exit tax were all closed today (Sunday). After being sent across the road by an immigration agent she acknowledged they were closed when I returned. She did this to everyone.
About 10:30 I was directed by a civilian to a white building (red roof) just past the CR immigration building. I could pay my exit tax there.

On entering Panama my pdf copy of a Costa Rican Covid test was rejected because it was not on paper.
I got a paper copy and this was rejected because it should have a stamp and a signature.
The man did this to several people, many of whom went and got another test.
Tests are available on the Panamanian side - contrary to what I was told last week.

After waiting for three hours my test was suddenly acceptable and I could proceed through immigration.

They seemed especially fussy today on demanding proof of exit of the country requiring one couple with a rental car from CR to buy two bus tickets.

Worst border crossing of all Central America and it was not that busy!!

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COVID antigen test is available at the Panama border when crossing from Costa Rica. 49usd. Takes ten minutes, right next to immigration, under the main roof.

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Easiest crossing yet. Antigen or pcr test accepted. Quiet. Took us 2 hours for the whole process! No need for tramidor as everything is straight forward and people were helpful.

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Dog owners: It is true, they want you to pay $150 ( or maybe a little less), at this border. We got health certificates for all of our 3 dogs in Costa Rica and this was already very pricey to do! When we arrived at the border, they said that our certificates did not matter and we had to pay for the Panama ones. After discussing for over an hour maybe 2, they let us go and did not charge the almost $500 that we were suppose to pay.

Suggestion: cross the other border.

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Dog owners: If you travel with a dog you have to pay a fee 24/7. A Panam guy told me, that you have to cross the border area by feet and a dog on a leash to avoid these high dog taxes!!
We don't, but it is really possible. No one checked our pickup or looked inside the camper. But we had to pay 16$ taxes and 8$ for the car by Aduana and 130$ for a permit for the dog!
The real and final controll is far far away.

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leaving was easy.
1. present TIP to aduana to leave.
2. vehicle inspector looks over and signs
3. immigration stamps you out.
4. give the TIP back to aduana and leave.

total took 15 minutes, speaking Spanish greatly helps

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1) you have to do a check with a guy from Aduanas who’s sitting outside between Aduana and Migracion. He signs your TIP an has a really quick overlook inside
2) you have to go to migracion
3) you get your passport stamped by Aduanas and leave the TIP

Costa Rica
1) drive until your already going out of this souk and go to migracion
2) seguros just next to migracion 48$ or in colones it’s like 3$ cheaper
3) Aduana with copies of: property title for the vehicle, passport + entry stamp and proof of payment for the insurance

You can do copies just on the other side of the road for 50colones per copy

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Everything as described by others. Get insurance first ($25USD) + the cost of copies they'll make. Then get driver's passport stamped. Go to Aduana for the TIP. Then get second (and additional) passenger passport stamped. FYI, we were able to add a second name to TIP so that we can both drive. After, pay $3USD for the fumigation. All of these steps were very close to each other and plenty of staff willing to help us. Took about 45 minutes to complete Panama side; not too busy on Monday around 11:00am.

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We crossed late to avoid paying for our dog as others suggested, but we didn’t realise the hour time difference so we were don’t by 22h Costa Rica time which is 23h Panama time, and they close at 23h so they were rushing to get things done. In the rush they didn’t care about our dog, we asked multiple times but they wanted us to proceed without anything official for the dog.

If we would have been any later we would have been stuck between border until the morning. Note insurance closes even earlier, Migracion told me they had all closed but with help of the Aduana I found one.

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Attention aux propriétaires de chiens ! si vous passez le dimanche il n’y a pas de vétérinaire . La procédure pour la quarantaine ne vous coûtera que 16$.
Attention, le facilitateur et les gars du service quarantaine sont corrompus, ils demandaient 100$ sans reçu et en espèces. Avec un peu de patience, nous avons pu passer avec nos papiers de la quarantaine pour 16$ avec un reçu comme il se doit.

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Note: helpers will try to flag you down. They are note needed.

Also: the driver gets their passport stamped first, then get TIP, then passengers return with TIP and get their passport stamped.

$3 fumigation for Transit van...

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Really easy border crossing. All very clear and close together. Your will be searched when leaving Panama.
We did it at 15:00h and took us with the Costa Rica side 1.5h.

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They didn't allow us into Panama unless paying 8 USD for fumigation. After arguing for one your and calling in the police, they forced us to pay 8USD instead of 1 for being a RV (casa rodante)

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Leaving Panama on foot was extremely easy and quick. Less than 5 minutes and I had my exit stamp. No fees.

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Add on:
1. Insurance has changed price to $25 since July 1st 2018.
2. Fumigation charges $1

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Heads up for people traveling with dogs. If you don’t want to pay the $130USD pet fee try crossing from 7pm-11pm. The veterinarians that are watching for the dogs leave at 7pm, in that way you only need to pay $16USD to quarantine which are the ones in charge of providing the TIP for the dog. You will not be violating any law as the official document doesn’t have to do anything with the veterinarian there. All this information was corroborated by quarantine department in the border, they also don’t understand why a vet was assigned in the border if they are not the ones who will finally authorize the dogs entrance to Panama. Give it a try and save some money.

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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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Fast crossing. Arrived at Costa Rica offices a little before 2. Vehicle permit, passport, insurance, everything took 20 minutes on each side of border. At around 3:30 we were driving into Panama. Amazing.

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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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1. Park (A)
2. Walk across the street and buy insurance $15 (B)
3. Return to immigration get stamp for your passport at the windows (C)
4. Go to customs for TIP (D)
5. Go to fumigation and inspection (E)
(Final inspection is .5km down the road)

Copied Needed
1. Title
1. passports
1. title
1. passport

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here you need to pay departure tax when exiting Costa Rica. there is a machine at the border that is sometimes working or a bus with girls, laptop and a card reader- they might be legit but when i asked if they can show ID that they work with this bank they started arguing with me and closed the window in my face.. so safer and for the sake of your sanity do this before driving to the boarder with Panama :)

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