Border crossing from Costa Rica to Panama and Nicaragua
Update November 2020: Please note we do not recommend to visit Panama or Nicaragua from Costa Rica because of the different Covid 19 requirements every country has at the moment. Coming back from either country may be impossible or very difficult if governments implement new policies or restrictions.
Departure tax Costa Rica
Currently it is mandatory to pay the exit tax if you are going to travel by land from Costa Rica to Panama or Nicaragua. The amount of the tax is equivalent to US $7 per person and must be canceled at the border. This tax only applies when you are going to leave Costa Rica by land. The tax is personal and the payment must be delivered along with the passport.
The departure tax can be paid directly at the border of Peñas Blancas, Paso Canas, Sixaola or Sabalito in the offices of the border post. The cost of the service is $ 1.00 and ithout the tax document you can not cross the border.
When you leave Costa Rica by an international flight, the information above does not apply for you! You need to pay a departure tax of US $29, – per person at the airport.
Important information crossing the border to Panama
The government of Panama has tightened the rules relating crossing the border. When travelling overland from Costa Rica to Panama there is a chance that the immigration authorities at the border ask you for some specific documents.
Important: Therefore, it is really important that EACH PERSON carries with him the following documents:
Passport, which upon departure of Costa Rica is valid for at least 6 months.
A tax document paid directly at the border office worth US $7 per person (see information above)
A copy of your passport (minimum 2 copies)
Flight ticket or e-ticket (to prove that you leave the country again)
US $500.00 cash or a valid credit card with corresponding transcription in your name indicating that the credit card has an amount of spend of at least US $500.00 or more.
Costa Rica to Panama or Nicaragua