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Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

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Miami, Florida
2 posts
1 review
Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

We're thinking about staying in Puerto Viejo for a few days and heading on to Bocas del Toro. Can anyone recommend a ferry service? And how is the border crossing handled?


Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,312 posts
4 reviews
11. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

Solo when is the last time you made this trip, if ever?? You don't need to get to the border before one. Why? It takes an hour to get to the water taxi and the last one leaves at 6:30. In fact if someone actually took your advice and got to the border at noon, they will be standing around for a loooong time because the immigration officials close for lunch.

When I do this trip (every six months) I time the trip to get there as much AFTER one as possible.

Don't worry Hobo, LP will open again soon.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
634 posts
135 reviews
12. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

If you get there at 3pm, then its a hour later in Panama, now its 4pm, then you get to water taxi, its now getting dark at 530 when you arrive, no fun figuring it out in the dark. Just be on safe side.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,312 posts
4 reviews
13. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

It does not get dark at 5:30. It starts getting dark around 6:30 which is why it's the last water taxi. There is not rush hour trafic between guabito and almirante. It takes around 40 minutes to an hour. When did you do this trip and how often?

?? Please don't give advice for something you know nothing about. That may fly at LP but people here expect first person experience, not clipping and pasting.

Edited: 11:25 pm, December 28, 2012
Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
9 reviews
14. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

Hi we did this last week all by public transport and it was really easy!

Bus from Puerto Viejo to the border runs every hour and takes 1 hour 20 minutes. Once at the border get your passport stamped at the Costa Rica immigration (before the bridge), walk across the bridge and pay the arrival charge in the office on the left ($3), the panama immigration is down the stairs on the left. You need to get your passport stamped here and also have proof of onward travel out of Panama.

Walk under the bridge and get Public chicken bus to changuinola ($1) and change there for the mini bus to almirante ( they go all the time and leave when full) and cost $1.50. It will drop you at the end of the road for all the water taxis. Just walk down (1minute) and get any of the 3 water taxis that leave every 30 minutes ($4) to Boca's del toro!

The entire trip took us 4 hours and cost $10.50 (plus the arrival tax at the border), much more fun and loads cheaper than any shuttle service!

Lake Havasu City...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Level Contributor
6,811 posts
6 reviews
15. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

Thanks emoparty for the detailed explanation

Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
289 posts
103 reviews
16. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

The bottom line about Bocas is you can you can travel touristically in English, safely with no hassle, for very reasonable prices in shuttles from Costa Rica.

Or you can do what I did and take a public bus from Puerto Viejo to Sixaola and walk across the rickety wooden bridge with your stuff and forget your return air ticket home at the bottom of your backpack and have to empty all of your stuff out in front of 10 Panamanian men who then followed you to a bunch of busses....

Well, you get the picture.

If you have excellent Spanish and nothing phases you... it will cost you $11 to get from Puerto Viejo to the boat shuttle to Bocas. Plus a load of stops and hassle.

Otherwise, I kind of recommend paying another $15 or so to just have it all happen flawlessly for you. It's your vacation... you decide.

17. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

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