The most recommended way to travel from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro, Panama is by Shuttle and water taxi. The cheapest option is to take a local bus and then the water taxi.
I recommend you to book a shuttle from Puerto Viejo to Bocas Town Panama. It is not much more expensive then taking a public bus and makes the whole trip much easier.
If you still want to save some bucks you can hop on the hourly bus to the border in Sixoala.
Read also: MY TRIP TO BOCAS DEL TORO
How far is Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo?
The distance from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro in Panama is about 66 kilometres or 41 miles.
Getting to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo
1. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro by bus and ferry
The cheapest way to travel to Bocas del Toro is by catching a local bus in Avenida 73 & Calle 213 in Puerto Viejo to Sixoala at the border.
The bus leaves every hour from 06.30AM and costs less then three USD. Once arrived at the bus stop in Sixaola you need to go to the immigration office to get your exit stamp in Costa Rica.
From there you have to walk over a bridge to get to the immigration office in Panama. Once you have your arrival stamp in Panama you can take a shuttle or taxi to the water taxi in Almirante.
Once arrived in Almirante you can take a water taxi for around six USD to Bocas town. Please note: The last water taxi to Bocas Town Panama leaves at 6PM so make sure to leave Puerto Viejo not later than midday.
The total cost of the trip are around 20 USD.
2. Shared Van Shuttle (Recommended)
There is a daily shuttle operated by “Caribe Shuttle” from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Bocas Del Toro.
The trip takes around four hours and costs 30 Euros.
3. Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro Flight
You could theoretically drive back to San José and take a flight from there to Bocas del Toro.
This might be a solution if you don’t want to travel by boat; however, I really don’t recommend it as it is way more expensive and takes much longer then all other options.
Read also: Costa Rica Domestic Flights
4. Driving with Rental Car
If you don’t want to be dependent on bus or shuttle schedules you can also drive yourself from Puerto Viejo to the water taxi gate in Almirante.
You can park your car in Almirante and get on the next ferry to Bocas Town Panama.
5. Uber or taxi
It is also possible to take a taxi or Uber from Puerto Viejo to the Costa Rican border in Sixaola.
Once you have crossed the border you can take another taxi or shuttle to the water taxi gate in Almirante and buy your ticket for the boat trip to Bocas del Toro.
Are you keeping up with my Costa Rica Series
I have lived and worked in Costa Rica for one year. While working for a local tour company in the capital city San José I travelled to all the BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN COSTA RICA.