Panama has three land routes from Costa Rica: the main border crossing along the Interamericana is at Paso Canoas, while a less-frequented border outpost is at Guabito, on the Caribbean coast, which allows for access to the Bocas archipelago. There’s a rarely used border post in the Chiriquí Highlands at Río Sereno (8am–5pm; reached by bus from Volcán).

Though you can take local transport and switch buses at the border, the slightly costlier fares on international services run by Tica Bus (wticabus.com) give you a better shot at an efficient and hassle-free passage (though border waits can be long). In addition to official documents, travellers at the border crossing will often be asked to show an onward or return ticket. If you’re travelling on a one-way ticket, migración is likely to require advance purchase of your bus fare back to San José.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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Panama features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

16 pictures that show the colours of Panama

16 pictures that show the colours of Panama

After a recent trip to Central America, travel photographer Nori Jemil shares some of her best pictures of Panama.  The geographically strategic isthmus of …

30 Dec 2015 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
10 things you didn't know you could do in Panama

10 things you didn't know you could do in Panama

There’s a whole lot more to Panama than its famous canal. Hiking, rafting, surfing and diving are just a few of the excellent adventure activities on offer, a…

08 Sep 2015 • Megan Eileen McDonough insert_drive_file Article
A little piece of paradise: visiting Panama’s San Blas Islands

A little piece of paradise: visiting Panama’s San Blas Islands

Let’s clear one thing up straight away: getting to the San Blas islands is not easy, whichever way you’re coming from. And that’s quite deliberate. The…

23 Oct 2014 • James Rice insert_drive_file Article
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