Credit to: My Overland Adventure

The Costa Rica to Panama (Paso Canoas, Quebrada Grande) border crossing was quite time consuming for us; on the Panama side there were a lot of trucks also trying to enter the country at the same time while only one person was dealing with the TIP.



Costa Rica Exit 

  1. Park in one of the spaces here 8.535162, -82.840672
  2. Exit Tax – Firstly go to the bank and pay the $7 per person exit tax, the cashier will provide you with a receipt. The bank is straight in front of you with immigration windows to your right.
  3. Immigration – You will need to complete an exit declaration, jump the queue and ask for the declaration card. Re-join the queue and fill out the card whilst waiting
  4. Cancellation of Temporary Import Permit (TIP) There is an ally to the right of the bank, go down here and on your left you will see the customs office. Provide them with a copy of your original TIP. They will provide you with a customs declaration to complete. Once they have entered your details into the computer they will give you the stamped declaration (this proves your TIP has been cancelled). They will keep your original TIP. Customs may want to inspect your vehicle before leaving.

Bank & Insurance



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Entering Panama

  1. Park around here 8.534000, -82.838611
  2. Insurance – Firstly get your insurance, you will need to show this to immigration & customs. Insurance costs $15 and the office is to your right, (it is opposite the movistar phone shop). You will need to give them a copy of your passport and registration. They will provide you two copies of the insurance, one for customs and one for you.
  3. Insurance StampThe insurance requires an additional stamp.  Go to the main building and go upstairs, you will see a small window, give the lady both copies.
  4. Passport StickerThere will be a couple of people hanging around immigration providing passport stickers for $1 (some people have reported of paying $3 on the Caribbean border, and some have not paid at all)
  5. Immigration – Hand your passport & insurance certificate to immigration, they will take a photo and then you are done.
  6. Temporary Import Permit (TIP) – Go to the window at the northern end of the building.  Give them one of your copys of your Registration, insurance and passport. You will also be given a customs declaration to complete. It may take 15 – 20 mins for them to process your paper work. While you are waiting, go and pay your $1 fumigation fee.  (Before leaving check you have your TIP and one copy of your insurance!)
  7. Vehicle inspection Once you have been given your TIP, find one of the customs officers in blue. They will carry out an inspection of your vehicle and stamp the customs declaration.
  8. Drive through fumigation
  9. 1 km down the road there is a check point, they will want to see your TIP & passports. Keep hold of all the documentation you have been given as you need to show this when exiting.

*Note if shipping out of Panama, you will need your TIP and Insurance do not leave the border with out making sure you have the originals and that all the information stated is correct i.e Make, Model, vin, numbe rplate and Name etc



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 Insurance Stamp office

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  • Carnet is not required to enter Panama with a foreign vehicle
  • Insurance is required
  • Fuel is much cheaper in Panama
  • Make sure to tell customs which port you plan to ship the vehicle from


This post is part of our Overland Border Crossings writeups


Last updated byOverlanding Association on August 11, 2019
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