The village of Sixaola, on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, borders Panama. Rio Sixaola is the natural borderline between the two countries.
A big part of the population has a strong Panamanian influence and most here work on the banana plantations. Most of the trucks and tourists cross the border in Paso Canoas, there is not much border traffic in Sixaola.
Travelers with rental cars can leave their vehicle in one of the guarded parking lots in town. The car rental companies in Costa Rica don't allow their clients to take cars across borders.
The fee for parking is 3500 Colones for 24 hours. The parking area is in walking distance from the frontier post. Crossing the border in Sixaola is an easy procedure. At first one has to get the entry stamp in the passport on the Costa Rica site. Then one has to cross the bridge over the River Sixaola.
On the Panamanian side one has to clear customs and get the entry stamp. The cheapest way to continue is via shared taxi, the cost per person is $10. Usually there are some other travelers to share a taxi with. The curvy road to Almirante is paves all the way, the travel time is around 50 minutes. The taxi boats leave every 30 minutes from Almirante. The passage to Bocas del Toro (Isla Colon) takes, depending on the state of the sea, around 35 minutes. The cost for the boat ride is $4. Some of the agencies give a discount incase one purchases a round-trip ticket. The charge for surf boards is $1 or $2, depending on the transportation company.
To get to Sixaola, you can drive here from San Jose via the Guapiles Highway to Puerto Limon. From here take the lovely costal road south to Cahuita and turn inland before you get to Puerto Viejo.
For people that plan to visit Bocas del Toro in Panama it makes sense to cross the border in Sixaola. There is not much to do in Sixaola itself. The town has a few noteworthy services, facilities and the accommodations. Hotels here are basic and simple. Besides a few sodas (local restaurants), bars and restaurants, there is nothing much in town.