Closed borders and waiting for buses
Favorite thing: If you are crossing into or out of Costa Rica from/to Panama, be advised that the border CAN and will shut down around lunch time for up to 45 minutes. The Costa Rican border agent shut down in the middle of a big line and sat there while we all waited.
The last direct bus leaves Sixaola for San Jose (via Bribri, Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Limon) at 3 pm. Buses stopping at the same places and ending in Limon leave hourly.
The bus "station" is a basic soda with slightly scary bathrooms (must pay but also bring your own toilet paper), a few video games and beside a fruit stand. Try the green mango with chile and salt.
Favorite thing: Starfish beach is a beautiful, tranquil white sand beach where many starfish hang out! Although you can see them just walking on the beach, for the best effect, bring a pair of goggles. Also, because of where this beach is, the sun "sets" behind the trees quite early, so I would not go unless it was quite early in the day. From Isla Colon, near the police station it will cost you about $50 to get there by boat, and $30 by land taxi, very expensive! I was able to get the taxi reduced to $25 for a round trip ride. Go with more people to make it cheaper! I guess the one bonus of it being so expensive to get to was that I was the only person on the beach :)
Bring bug spray - It is beautiful, but the sand flies love to bite there.
Walk with sandals! Especially on dry sand. The sand here id so fine that the bits of shells in it get lodged in your feet like splinters, and often break off and get stuck there, OW. Getting them out is a real pain...
Fondest memory: Although Bocas Del Toro was definitely not a place I would ever go back to for numerous reasons, (check my other Bcas Del Toro posts) Starfish Beach was probably my favorite thing there.
- Budget Travel
Crossing to the border
Favorite thing: We came from Costa Rica arrive in "Sixaola" station with the bus and we step out and the people said we have to walk cross to the bridge to get to the immigration office of Panama
This bridge is very old, if you come from the neighboring country like Costa Rica and wants to continue traveling to Panama, the bus trip stops at the border and the rest of your journey has to walk for a few hundred meters
Is just the Sixaola River split between the two country, is silly to understand, even the bus may not through to this bridge
If you have luggage with wheels maybe is annoying to get through, walking with your trolley to this worn bridge is not easy
Suddenly we heard like engine sounds I turn around it's a big truck coming through the bridge
Oh my god! a big truck on this worn bridge
At the Panamese immigration office, if it's not your lucky day ! some of the office workers are not very friendly, we give our passport for a visa stamps and it took awhile before we got it back
They were chatting each other instead of processed the paper work
There were more and more people arrived, local and tourist, mostly tourist, everyone now has to stand in rows
It seems everyone has fun crossing to that worn bridge
Fondest memory: I would miss the crossing to the bridge.
But we have to come to Costa Rica again, for our return flight home
I have no the idea that the bridge still used for big truck
Favorite thing: I loved walking along a path and seeing pineapples growing - little pineapples in the center of plants! I had no idea they grew like this. But I love them!
- Hiking and Walking
- Jungle and Rain Forest