Tica bus to Panama city.

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Panama City, Panama

Tica bus to Panama city. Reviews

spursbackpacker spursbac…
53 reviews
Feb 05, 2007
Tica bus is one of the best things about travelling within Central America and Mexico, the chance to travel between countrys at such a cheap price.  And the buses are comfortable too.

San Jose - Panama city

the trip will cost you $25 or in colones with tax that is 13,000c one way ticket, double that for a return ticket.  The Tica bus office in San jose is easy to find, its by the Sanfransico church.  Getting your ticket is easy, remember to bring your passport. depending on when you want to leave, you should try get it a few days in advance, for instance, when travelling to Granada in Nicaragua, we got our ticket two weeks in advance, that was just before new years tho.  Coming back to San Jose we got it three days in advance, and coming to Panama city, we got it five days in advance, plus we was the last two seats.  The bus leaves Tica bus at 10pm.  Get there 45mins before hand, check in, get your immigration forms, and place bags into the bus.  It gets to Costa ricas exit at 4.30am, tho the office opens at 6am, you have to wait outside the window until it opens, get your exit stamp, walk down the road to the Panama entrance, and buy a panama postage type stamp, its $1 you do need this, remember to bring a dollar!!! next get your stamp for entry, now i will warn you, the ppl who run this entry post are bloody rude, and if your slow gettin to the window, they will treat you like a stupid idiot.  They will ask you how long your staying and where, then finally you get your stamp.

If your like me, born in UK and Europe, then cheer, we dont need those panama tourist cards, which cost $8.  but if your a American, sorry $8 please...

You then grab your bag, take it to be search, which means, open it up a little, let the old bloke look at your knickers and then leave, get back on Tica bus, all finished by 8.45am... Panama immigration was by far the worse boarder crossing, Nicaragua was fine, and so is Costa rica.  Its very long winded and boring, and by the time your being barked at by the Neo nazi behind the entry booth, you wish you went by air. 

You arrive in Panama city at about 4pm, at the main bus station, a taxi to the city cost us only $2 which is what the books do say.  All in all, Tica bus is a very well run bus service, they give you all the needed documents, and tell you what to expect. 

best advice i can give, is dont forget to bring american dollars with you thru all boarders, because all boarders are different, some cost money to enter, and some cost to exit, Nicaragua, cost $8 each way thru, Costa rica doesnt cost anything, and Panama costs $1 for that postage stamp thing, and if your american it also costs you extra $8. 
inside tica bus
tica bus to panama city
ericaday says:
Just want to add an update to this, it may be new since 2007: Beware of the Tica Bus scam when entering Panama. Panama border control may require proof of an onward ticket. This seems to depend on who is working that day and what mood they're in. They may not ask at all, they may require proof of exit from Panama specifically (meaning a flight out of another Central American city will not be accepted), etc.
Tica Bus do not tell you this, despite the fact they inspect your passport and give you immigration forms in San Jose. The reason they don't tell you this is that when you are stopped at the border, they are on hand to sell you a return bus ticket you don't want onward for $35. They claim it is refundable if you take a different ticket to their office in Panama City, but we tried this and they will not accept passage on a boat to Columbia as an 'onward ticket'. They claim it is not a legal way of leaving the country (it is).
Tica Bus must make a fortune out of this scam, so please be prepared with some official looking onward ticket before you get to the Panama border, DON'T LET TICA BUS MAKE ANY MORE MONEY THEY DON'T DESERVE!
Posted on: Jun 23, 2011
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