Heading from Costa Rica to Panama? Here's what you need to know.

Esa página está disponible también en español.

Citizens of all countries are required to have:

Valid passport (valid for at least 3 months beyond your entry).

Onward ticket out of Panama and valid documents or visas to enter the country you are leaving from. If you are returning to Costa Rica, sometimes it is enough to show your air ticket out of Costa Rica but they sometimes do ask to see a return bus or shuttle ticket out of Panama. If you are traveling on one of the Puerto Viejo to Bocas shuttle services it is recommended you buy a return ticket rather than a one-way.

Proof of financial solvency. In other words they could ask to see how much cash you have or if you have credit cards or ATM cards.

Tourist card or visa for citizens of some countries. See list below.

Countries whose citizens require a tourist card

Citizens of the following countries, including the USA, do not need a visa if they are entering as a tourist for up to 30 days (extendable to 90 days at discretion of immigration authorities). But they will be required to purchase a tourist card for $5 USD at their entry point (or if entering by air, your airline will typically sell this to you at your departure point).

Antigua and BarbudaGranada St. Kitts and Nevis
AustraliaGuyanaSt. Lucia
BahamasJamaica Thailand
BarbadosJapan Trinidad and Tobago
BelizeMexico United States of America
CanadaNew ZealandVenezuela
DominicaRep. Of China (Taiwan)

Citizens of these countries may also apply for a visa at the Panamanian consulate in their country if they prefer. This would be required if you were entering for business reasons or to study.

Countries whose citizens do not require a visa or tourist card

Citizens of the following countries do not need either a visa or tourist card if they are entering as a tourist. The normal entry is valid for 30 days but is extendable to 90 days at discretion of immigration authorities.

BoliviaHungaryRep. Of Korea (South Korea)
BrazilIcelandSan Marino
Costa RicaLatviaSlovenia
Czech RepublicLithuaniaSweden
El SalvadorMaltaUnited Kingdom

Countries whose citizens always require a visa

If you are a citizen of any other country not listed above, you are required to obtain a visa from the Panamanian consulate in your country prior to traveling to Panama. You will not be allowed entry at the border if you do not have this visa stamped in your passport.

Double check!

This information is believed to be correct at the time it was written. Double check with the Panamanian consulate in your country or on this page of the Panamanian government to verify.

Looking for information on how to travel from Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro in Panama?

The full details of transportation options, bus and shuttle schedules, border opening hours, etc are available on our transportation to Bocas del Toro page.