Sixaola Bridge isn't really a destination or "event" - more of like an interesting experience that is sometimes unavoidable.
So If you want to cross the Border between Panama and Costa Rica on the Caribbean coast, this is the only place to legally do it. There is a decent amount of travel on this crossing, as many people will go from Puerto Viejo, CR to visit the islands of Bocas Del Toro in Panama (and vice versa). Our itinerary had us crossing the thing twice.
You can get to the border via public buses, a chartered vehicle, or even a taxi. You won't be driven across though - you will have to walk it (with all your luggage). This bridge used to be for trains, and then at some point for vehicles and pedestrians; and now it is only for people. They have build a newer bridge right next to this one, but it is for tractor trailers and other cars only.
I don't think the bridge is going to collapse under the strain of weight. Actually, our first crossing was made on Dec. 27, when all the local families were out receiving gifts for their kids from the CR government. Wood trucks for the boys and Dolls in plastic bags for the girls. The line for the gifts was long, and there were hundreds of people on the bridge itself.
The issue with this bridge for some people is the fact that some of the wood slats have... disappeared. There was never a spot where I felt like I could slip all the way through, but a young child (or a dropped small backpack) could. I wasn't scared or even nervous - it was more interesting than anything else. But stepping on the edge of a plank of wood and seeing the other end pop up is never a great feeling..
To cross from Panama, you must first go to the Immigration office BEFORE you get up to the bridge and get your passport stamped. Then you walk up to the bridge and stop in another government office right before you cross from pavement to wood. Here, they reserve the right to look through your bags (which they never did), and they charge you $3 to enter or to leave. Once paid, you get a sticker and you are on your way. Cross the bridge at your leisure and don't forget to stop at the government offices on the CR side. Slightly more official looking, this office seems to be both customs and immigration combined. Again, not one question asked and no one seemed to care that I could have had a small child in my duffel bag.
There isn't much of a town on either side of the border. Places to buy some local nik-naks, a soda, and ladies in Panama selling lottery tickets; that's about it.
Upon our return, the process was the same in reverse. Don't try paying in Colones (CR currency) at the Panamanian offices. They will take them, but give you a lousy exchange rate.
All in all, I think most people would enjoy crossing this Bridge. It is definitely a unique experience, and as they say: "When in Panama (or Costa Rica)...."
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.