Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Central America
Reload this Page >

Advice about return flight and transport CR/Panama

Advice about return flight and transport CR/Panama

Old Feb 13, 14, 2:21 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 4
Question Advice about return flight and transport CR/Panama

Hi!
I am new to the forum and realize how frustrating it is to get repeat questions, but I can not find an answer on these so my apologies if I (probably) just didnt search right!

In May I am flying to San Jose, CR. I will have some dental work done at nova dental and then spend June in a yoga farm retreat all the way in the south.
Now it will depend on what dental treatments I need how long I would stay in Central America so I can not buy a return flight yet.
I will in July travel to Panama as I need to go to my belgian embassy to apply for a new passport.
So my questions:
- best way to get around the return flight? Any experience with really reliable easy refundable fares? Maybe that I can cancel it online and get everything back automatically?
- do I also need a return flight when entering panama? Is this for all Central American countries? Would a flight out of say Managua also cover this?
- best way to get from south costa rica to panama city?


Thank you so much! This is really headache material and I've been googling and trying to find solutions on blogs for days now! Hopefully you guys can enlighten me for once and for all!


Thanks!!
Marie-Line
MarieLine is offline  
Old Feb 13, 14, 6:09 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,565
There is an honorary Belgian consulate in Costa Rica. Would they be able to handle the passport renewal?

Honorary Consulate San Josť

Residencial La Suiza casa 10, Bello Horizonte de Escazu
San Josť
Costa Rica

+2289-5058
[email protected]
Escazu is a suburb of San Jose.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Feb 13, 14, 6:45 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 4
thanks for your reply! I already contacted them and they said I have to go to Panama City for it. A pity, because the dental clinic is also in Escazu and I will be staying in that area! That would have been very convenient!
MarieLine is offline  
Old Feb 13, 14, 7:11 pm
  #4  
Moderator: Budget Travel forum & Credit Card Programs, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYJ/YVR/SEA
Programs: UA lifetime MM / *A Gold
Posts: 13,272
Flights in Central America tend to be expensive, and one ways tend to be even worse.

Many travel in long distance buses (coaches) like Ticabus, though not as fast as flying. There are several companies around, their names escape me at the moment.
EmailKid is offline  
Old Feb 13, 14, 7:16 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,565
Okay. It was a thought.

May is still 2.5 months away. Is that enough time to renew your passport before you leave home?
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Feb 13, 14, 8:15 pm
  #6  
Moderator: Budget Travel forum & Credit Card Programs, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYJ/YVR/SEA
Programs: UA lifetime MM / *A Gold
Posts: 13,272
Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
May is still 2.5 months away. Is that enough time to renew your passport before you leave home?
That was my thought as well

Or is OP already traveling?
EmailKid is offline  
Old Feb 13, 14, 9:11 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 4
yes I am already not in Belgium... in Canada now and I can not change my passport while here as my work permit is coupled to it.
I looked into ticabus, but it looks like it just goes from capital to capital which would make me miss a lot along the way!
Anybody experience with buying a more costly refundable fare and canceling it with no fuss at all? Thinking about doing that with Delta maybe... Then I could keep using that flight confirmation while hopping borders in panama and maybe up to nicaragua later on. Do they ever really check if the flight is still on or could I also use a cancelled flight confirmation probably? hmmm....

I'd probably fly out just a bit later (end of august so just over 3 months) with Spirit... heading to USA and then Asia.
MarieLine is offline  
Old Feb 13, 14, 9:57 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,565
Originally Posted by MarieLine View Post
in a yoga farm retreat all the way in the south
Where is "all the way in the south"? That would help answer the question about how to get to Panama.

When does your passport actually expire? Panama requires that you have at least three months' remaining validity on your passport in order for you to enter the country.

Costa Rican immigration is very strict at land borders about enforcing the onward- or return-ticket requirement when you enter. Obviously, they can't get into Delta's reservation system to see that the ticket was cancelled and refunded. Would they call the airline to verify? I doubt it, but who knows?
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Feb 13, 14, 10:53 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 4
I will be staying at the yoga farm in Punta Banco for the month of June, and after that want to travel to Panama City for my passport. It expires in March 2015 but I want to travel to Nepal later in the year and would want to stay there until the end of November... So then I would just fall short as it needs to be 6 months valid.
Anyways, I dont mind going to Panama, an extra country to discover! Just wondering what the best way would be!
MarieLine is offline  
Old Feb 14, 14, 5:12 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,565
I'm looking at the website for the yoga farm. They tell how to get there from Paso Canoas, the border town between Costa Rica and Panama. You would do the same thing in reverse. You would cross the border yourself and find a bus or taxi on the other side to take you to David, the first city of any size in Panama. From David, there are several buses each day to Panama City. Or you could fly from David to Panama City.

I'm sure the people at the yoga farm can give you suggestions once you get there.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Feb 16, 14, 6:31 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 200
Originally Posted by MarieLine View Post
Hi!
- do I also need a return flight when entering panama?
Actually, when entering Panama by land, European passport holders are requested to show $500 at the Immigacion.
There's a poster to that effect at the counter.
No questions about air ticket asked.
There's a logic in it - as you can travel without visa everywhere in the region so may choose to leave Panama by land also (to CR) thus why should you have an air ticket from Panama?
abeyro is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread