This is the border crossing @Sixaola, on the Atlantic side, from Costa Rica to Panama, as experienced by myself, on 16.06.2016, crossing on my motorcycle. Total crossing time: 2h20min
Leaving Costa Rica – Sixaola border crossing
– fee for exiting the country: 7USD if paid by card, 8USD paid cash at the pharmacy before the customs (they take 1USD fee)
– customs declaration (given to you to fill out)
– receipt that you’ve paid the exit fee
– customs declaration for your vehicle
– vehicle import paper
This was the fastest country exit of all so far. There is only one building, two desks, and migration desk (passport stamp) is right by the customs desk (vehicle permit cancellation). Right behind both desks there is a screen where you can pay the exit fee by credit card. With filling up the declarations and paying the fee, it only took about 15minutes. There is a policeman supposed to check your paperwork right before the bridge to Panama, but they didn’t bother to stop me.
Entering Panama by motorcycle – Sixaola
– 25USD insurance/1month
– original passport
– insurance policy for the bike
– 1 copy of passport (picture page)
– 1 copy of the registration card or vehicle title
– 1 copy of the insurance (they give you the copy when you buy it)
This was another easy one, but it took too long because there was no internet. At the end of the bridge on Panama side, you get all the information needed to proceed. Very clearly, and no fees asked for it. Ignore the fumigation part – not needed for the bikes. Park on the left side, in the decent-sized parking lot. First go to migration, which is on the street to the left, and get a stamp in your passport. Then return to the parking lot and deal with the insurance. It’s the first shipping container from the right – you can’t miss the big sign. In my case, there was no internet connection and I had to walk to the Costa Rican side to purchase it there. There is no other insurance desk at the border. You can walk back and forth the bridge all you want, nobody asks questions, but don’t take the bike with you. Insurance can be bought in Costa Rica on the left side of the road as you go North, at the Pharmacy – crossing the blue pedestrian bridge. Once purchased (3 copies made, 2 given to you), proceed to the second container on the Panama side. That’s where you get the import document done. Because it’s done online and the internet is always a problem, the truck drivers bring their phones with internet connection and lets the clerk use it to fill the forms. After filling up a few papers over the phone and my turn came, I was lucky enough that the internet connection returned. It all took about 2minutes.
Total time: 2h (including the walk to Costa Rica and back)
Difficulty: easy. You get all the information needed and no “fixers”.