Costa Rica News – Most of us knew that this day was coming as the rumors about the $7 border crossing fee had been circulating for months. We even had the typical Costa Rica “try to implement and fail” a couple of months back when they did not have the ability to accept payments at the border.
Now it seems that the border crossing fee is in place and like most things in Costa Rica when implemented is causing confusion and delays. What better time to implement this than during the weeks right before Semana Santa? I guess the almighty dollar on in this case colon will always rank above common sense in ticolandia.
The Penas Blancas border is a disaster these days. Long lines are leading to hassles for all travelers with the new $7 fee for those seeking to leave Costa Rica at the border post. . With Holy Week about to start, this will only get worse because of the amount of people crossing to be with family.
The fee started to be collected on April 1st. It’s a $5 departure tax and a $2 payment for protection services at the border, which are provided by Costa Rica. The law went into effect in July 2013 but was not enforced until this month.
Many people were not aware that it is now being enforced. In addition to the confusion, there were technological issues. Some of the Bancredito payment kiosks were out of service. The lines for the working ones were 200 meters long.
These machines only accept credit cards. Anyone without a credit card has to make their way back to La Cruz to pay in cash or pay someone off to give them a fake receipt to show immigration.
One traveler said, “This seems to me a scam. The charge is ok, but make it quick and not so much from everyone.” With 80,000 people about to cross the border next week alone, they sure will make a lot of money. I suggest paying your tax when you buy your ticket at the bus station to avoid waiting for hours at the border.