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4 Best Ways to get from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro, Panama

You can get from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro by bus + ferry, shared shuttle, rental car, or taxi.

The cheapest option to travel from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro is by bus + ferry, which costs USD 20. The journey takes about 3 hours.

The most popular option is the shared shuttle, offering convenience at a very affordable price.

The fastest way to travel to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo is by taxi or rental car, which takes about 3.5 hours.

Costa Rica has been my playground for quite a few adventures, and I’ve gathered all sorts of tips on navigating through its breathtaking landscapes.

In this guide, I’m laying out all the essential travel know-how you’ll need, straight and simple, ensuring your transition from Costa Rica to Panama is as smooth and spectacular as the countries themselves!

Transportation Options from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

The following table outlines all transportation options from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro:

MethodTimePrice
Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro Bus + Ferry~3 hrs$20
Shuttle from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro~3 hrs$48
Taxi from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro3.5 hrs
Rental Car3.5 hrs

How far is Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo?

The distance from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro in Panama is about 112 kilometers or 70 miles.

Getting to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

1. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro by bus and ferry

Journey Duration: ~3 hours

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 06.30 AM and costs less than USD 3. Once you arrive at the bus stop in Sixaola, you must 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 you arrive in Almirante, you can take a water taxi for around USD 6 to Bocas town. Please note: The last water taxi to Bocas Town Panama leaves at 6 PM, so make sure to leave Puerto Viejo no later than midday.

The total cost of the trip is around USD 20.

bocas del toro
©Universal Traveller by Tim Kroeger

2. Shared Van Shuttle (Recommended)

Journey Duration: ~3 hours

Amongst the available options, the shared shuttle service stands out as a common and practical choice for travelers seeking a blend of comfort, affordability, and convenience. 

You can opt for this if you wish to avoid navigating public transport and get organized transportation from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro instead!

This shuttle service provided by Caribe Shuttles includes pickup from your hotel in Puerto Viejo, and direct transportation across borders, to Valencia dock in Bocas del Toro. 

For budget-conscious adventurers, shared shuttles present a financially savvy option without compromising on comfort, with tickets priced only USD 48!

The journey duration is about 3 hours, depending on border crossing times. Additionally, shared shuttles often have experienced drivers who adeptly navigate through the border crossing process, allowing you to focus on the excitement of exploring a new destination.

I highly recommend choosing a shared shuttle for this trip! So, book a departure time and secure your seats online in advance!

Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro Caribe Shared Shuttle Schedule

The table below displays the Caribe shared shuttle timetable for trips from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro, detailing departure times, journey lengths, and fares.

DEPETADURPX
08:00am12:00pm4h$48
12:00pm04:00pm4h$48

3. Driving with Rental Car

Journey Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes

If you don’t want to depend on bus or shuttle schedules, you can also rent a car and drive yourself from Puerto Viejo to the water taxi gate in Almirante!

One of the most captivating aspects of opting for a rental car is the liberty it affords in customizing your itinerary.

Want to stop for a scenic view or a lunch break? Or perhaps linger a little longer in a charming coastal village? A rental car gives you the keys to designing your trip, unfettered by pre-set schedules or routes.

However, make sure you have all the paperwork, as this is an international route. Ensure you’re thoroughly prepared with the essential documentation for both vehicle and passengers and stay abreast of the latest travel advisories.

The, once you’re set, you can head on this 3 hour long road trip with ease! Once you get into Panama, you can park your car in Almirante and get on the next ferry to Bocas Town.

I recommend browsing through the options and reserving your vehicle in advance!

4. Uber or taxi

Journey Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes

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.

Best day tours in Bocas del Toro, Costa Rica

Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to. It’s usually the first website I check when I plan a trip to a new place.

Here you can find some of the best tours in Bocas del Toro, Costa Rica.

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