Panama: Overland Panama and the Border Crossing from Costa Rica

Border Crossing from Costa Rica to Panama:

Time to complete the following - 3 1/2 hours

  1. 1.Park on the RHS of the road.

  2. 2.Go to SALIDA window in immigration Blue Building with corrugated roof LHS of road just as you entre the border area. Sometimes hidden by busses.

  3. 3.Fill out Immigration forms

  1. 4.ADUANA go to left hand side of building around corner and obtain a Temporary Vehicle Cancellation form.

  2. 5.Complete form. They keep original and you keep Proof of Export Form.

  3. 6.Banks are very slow to change money and can wait up to 2 hours after getting a number to be served.

  4. 7.Insurance: Go to big Cream Building SEGUROS for insurance. need copy of passport, Registration Papers, Drivers Licence, and original Passport.

  5. 8.Go to Migration. You will need a credit card that has to be sighted by the officer.

  6. 9.Complete a Customs Declaration and passport is stamped.

  7. 10.The Insurance document has to be stamped. Go upstairs above Migration to end room (straight ahead) for stamping.

  1. 11.Then to ADUANA. LHS before staircase for Temporary Import Documentation.

  2. 12.You will need  Passport and copy, Insurance Docs, Copy of Registration papers and copy.

  3. 13.Once signed an inspector will inspect the vehicle.

  1. 14.Then go to the RHS of immigration parallel to the road and pay US$6. He will stamp the Temporary Import Docs and give you a receipt.

  2. 15.It is valid for 30 days.

See also for lots of information:

Travel in Panama:

Panama is a barrel of monkeys.

Panama is both the narrowest and the southernmost country in Central America. The long S shaped isthmus bordering Costa Rica in the west and Colombia in the east.

Its northern Caribbean coastline measures 1160 km compared to a 1690km Pacific coastline in the south.

The currency here is the Balboa and is basically the same as the US $ and is interchangeable.

Panama Driving:

Should you need Vehicle repairs or service this company was very helpful.

Superservice 4x4 specialist.  Richard De Garcia.

Via Porras y General Fábrega Apdo.0834-01160 Panama.

Ph (507) 264-5344 E-mail :

There is a good vehicle steam cleaning place also just around the corner from them.


Panama has many open stretches of coconut lined beaches some with a few very rustic cabins.  Camping varies but on the beaches we paid $5/ vehicle

In Panama City we stayed outside the Balboa Cruising Yacht Club, Free showers and toilets and WiFi. We have recently learnt they have been no allowing overlanders to use the toilets/showers.

Check out our diary for GPS  coordinates of some great places

As for a small Hotel we can recommend : Aqua Miel at US$50/night including breakfast

Calle 4aB Norte,el Cangrejo  cabeza de Einstein. Panama City.  and e-mail





Storage of Vehicle in Panama:

In November 2012 we needed to store our vehicles in Panama for initially 2 months however it was over 6 months before we returned.

The storage and future shipping to Colombia was organised by Tea Kalalback contactable on:

Tea lives in Argentina and it is her daughter Amy Durham ( who will look after us in Panama.

They can also be contacted at

This is her information:

  1. Storage in a Bond: Kinte

  2. a)this is an official storage place with an custom office. You need it due your vehicles are in transit in Panama and not with a Panamanian plate. So we have to store it in a Bond.

  3. We work with Kinte due its in the city and near from the custom offices and with the lowest prices. Its an old place; not modern but doesn’t matter.

  4. Once you are in Panama you neet at least one day due some formalities due we have to arrange some authorisation with the custom offices and they need to stamp each passport so each one could

  5. left Panama. When you come from Costa Rica in Panama they stamp your pass for the entry for the car. You need then an authorisation to left Panama advising that you ship the car out from Panama or its in

  6. a Bond. This is to avoid that you sale it.

  7. We advance with this documents (we ask you further all information from each driver and vehicle) so when you arrive Panama we go immediately to the custom and Bond. its possible to do all in one day if we arrange with the Bond advising we arrive with 3 cars, and also with the documents only going to the offices from custom

  8. c) the paying at Kinte = Bond its once you enter at BOND their handling and then when you pick it up on february. This is cash. You will have the rates from them and I try to obtain a discount but the answer was NO. The most of the time they give an discount but this is face to face with the manager when the traveler enter the car.

Storage charges were US$7.50/day plus incoming handling fee of US$50 plus 7% ITBM Tax.

There are our 3 trucks in an open Government Bond Storage yard.

For our actual Travel Diary through Panama see: 2012 GoannaTracks Across Panama

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