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There are 6 ways to get from Panama City to Costa Rica by subway, plane, bus or car

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

Recommended option

Line 1 subway, line 2 subway to Panama City, fly to San Jose  •  4h 30m

  1. Take the line 1 subway from Fernandez de Cordoba to San Miguelito
  2. Take the line 2 subway from San Miguelito to Cerro Viento
  3. Fly from Panama City (PTY) to San Jose (SJO) PTY - SJO

$161 - $515

Cheapest option

Bus via David  •  14h 51m

  1. Take the bus from Panama City to David Panama City / ...
  2. Take the bus from David to San José David

$21 - $45

4 alternative options

Fly Panama City Marcos A Gelabert to Changuinola, bus  •  5h 35m

  1. Fly from Panama City Marcos A Gelabert (PAC) to Changuinola (CHX) PAC - CHX
  2. Take the bus from Sixaola to Limón

$79 - $168

Bus  •  16h 45m

  1. Take the bus from Panama Terminal Tica Bus to San Jose Terminal Tica Bus Executive Panama / ...

$50 - $65

Bus #2  •  19h 12m

  1. Take the bus from Panama City to San José Panama-San Jose

$42

Drive  •  12h 26m

  1. Drive from Panama City to San José 786.9 km

$70 - $110

Panama City to Costa Rica by bus

The bus journey time between Panama City and Costa Rica is around 16h 55m and covers a distance of around 786 km. The fastest bus normally takes 16h 45m. Operated by Tica Bus, the Panama City to Costa Rica bus service departs from Panama Terminal Tica Bus and arrives in San Jose Terminal Tica Bus. Typically 16 buses run weekly, although weekend and holiday schedules can vary so check in advance.

Bus route overview

Average bus time:
16h 55m
Fastest bus time:
16h 45m
Buses per week:
16
Cheapest price:
$50
Carbon emissions:
98 kg CO2

First and last buses

First bus departs at:
11:00
Last bus departs at:
23:55

The schedules shown below are for the next available departures.

Panama City to Costa Rica bus schedules

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Costa Rica

There is widespread community transmission globally.
Some travel restrictions are being lifted in Costa Rica. For the latest travel status, please check the official page for Costa Rica.

For travel planning advice, please refer to our Rome2rio Coronavirus information page .
For the latest travel status, we recommend checking the official page for Costa Rica.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Advice

Some border closures are in place for Costa Rica due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Most travel to this country is restricted.

Official Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Costa Rica

Domestic travel is restricted within Costa Rica due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Official Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Costa Rica

International flights leaving Panama are suspended as part of the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Restrictions may also be in place for other modes of transport.

Official Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Panama

Last updated: June 20 | Data sourced from: ACAPS, OXFORD

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Panama City to Costa Rica is to bus via David which costs $21 - $50 and takes 14h 51m.

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The quickest way to get from Panama City to Costa Rica is to line 1 subway and line 2 subway and fly which costs $160 - $550 and takes 4h 30m.

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Yes, there is a direct bus departing from Panama Terminal Tica Bus and arriving at San Jose Terminal Tica Bus. Services depart twice daily, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 16h 45m.

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The distance between Panama City and Costa Rica is 519 km. The road distance is 786.9 km.

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The best way to get from Panama City to Costa Rica without a car is to bus via David which takes 14h 51m and costs $21 - $50.

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It takes approximately 4h 30m to get from Panama City to Costa Rica, including transfers.

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Panama City to Costa Rica bus services, operated by Tica Bus, depart from Panama Terminal Tica Bus station.

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The quickest flight from Panama City Airport to San Jose Airport is the direct flight which takes 1h 20m.

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Panama City to Costa Rica bus services, operated by Tica Bus, arrive at San Jose Terminal Tica Bus station.

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Costa Rica is 1h behind Panama City. It is currently 2:33 AM in Panama City and 1:33 AM in Costa Rica.

Map of how to get from Panama City to Costa Rica.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 519.1 km
  • Duration: 4h 30m

What companies run services between Panama City, Panama and Costa Rica?

You can take a bus from Panama City to San José via Albrook, Panama City, and David in around 14h 51m.

Airlines
Copa Airlines
Website
copaair.com
Flights from Panama City to San Jose
Ave. Duration
1h 23m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$180 - $1,000
Avianca - Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A.
Website
avianca.com
Flights from Panama City to San Jose
Ave. Duration
1h 25m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$220 - $1,500
Air Panama
Website
airpanama.com
Flights from Panama City Marcos A Gelabert to Changuinola
Ave. Duration
1h
When
Monday to Saturday
Estimated price
$75 - $180
Train operators
Metro De Panama
Phone
+507 504-7200
Email
atencionmetro@metrodepanama.com.pa
Website
elmetrodepanama.com
Subway from Fernandez de Cordoba to San Miguelito
Ave. Duration
7 min
Frequency
Every 5 minutes
Estimated price
$1
Schedules at
elmetrodepanama.com
Subway from San Miguelito to Cerro Viento
Ave. Duration
12 min
Frequency
Every 5 minutes
Estimated price
$1
Schedules at
elmetrodepanama.com
Bus operators
Autotransportes MEPE
Phone
2257-8129, 2758-1572
Website
mepecr.com
Bus from Sixaola to Limón
Ave. Duration
1h 40m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$3 - $6
Schedules at
mepecr.com
Panama Local Buses
Bus from Panama City to David
Ave. Duration
6h
Frequency
Every 30 minutes
Estimated price
$9
Schedules at
horariodebuses.com
Panachif
Padafront
Phone
+(507) 314-6228
Bus from Panama City to David
Ave. Duration
6h
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
$25
Schedules at
thebusschedule.com
Tracopa
Phone
+506 2775 0365, Whatsapp: +506 7298-3342
Email
info@tracopacr.com
Bus from David to San José
Ave. Duration
7h 30m
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
$12 - $20
Schedules at
tracopacr.com
Tica Bus
Website
ticabus.com
Bus from Panama Terminal Tica Bus to San Jose Terminal Tica Bus
Ave. Duration
16h 45m
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
$50 - $65
Schedules at
ticabus.com
Book at
ticabus.com

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More Questions & Answers

Yes, the driving distance between Panama City to Costa Rica is 787 km. It takes approximately 12h 26m to drive from Panama City to Costa Rica.

Get driving directions

Avianca - Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. and Copa Airlines offer flights from Panama City Airport to San Jose Airport.

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There are 25+ hotels available in Costa Rica. Prices start at $100 USD per night.

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The best way to get from Panama City to Panama City Marcos A Gelabert Airport is to line 1 subway which takes 12 min and costs $1.

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