crossing from south america to central america - south america tours

Okay, if you are looking for the adventure of your life, this is the opportunity you were looking for! Why to go to Europe to backpack when you can do it in South America. All along the journey you can see breath-taking landscapes and views, taste delicious food and get to know the greatest people you could ever come across in a trip. Do you think you can do it? Well there are lots of people who head for the adventure of crossing from South America to Central America not to run away of their country, but to run after a great adventure and chase the adrenaline of doing something new and exciting for the first time.

Budget Options to Cross From South America to Central America

There are two cheap ways to cross from South America to Central America, on a speedboat or on a sailboat, both very cheap and full of new and exciting experiences to share and remember:

Crossing From South America to Central America on a “lancha”

Lancha is the Spanish word for speedboat. The trip starts very early in the morning because you have to hit Monteria, a small town in Colombia, before 3:00 pm, when the last bus going to Turbo leaves. Otherwise, you will need to pay for a room and wait until next day. The bus fare is 30 thousand pesos or about 15 dollars.

Budget is a very important point in this journey. We are not going to splash out the money we don’t have so we need to cut down any unnecessary expenses. The goal is to reach Capurgana where the lanchas set sails into the sea.

crossing from south america to central america - south america tours
The little town of Puerto Obaldía, in Panama, is the final destination of the South America tours to Central America, if you choose the cheapest option: speedboats or “lanchas”.

After spending the night in Turbo, at a very cosy inn called Villa Marcela, we boarded a boat at 7 in the morning. People here call it deadly boats or Lanchas de la muerte, but don’t worry: the name is scarier than what they really are, it’s just they go too fast!

There you can buy a ticket to board the lanchas and a bag for your luggage because it can get wet. Once on our way we could feel the waves beating the lanchas and the air in our faces. After two hours we got to Capurgana, a little town with beautiful beaches, warm people and delicious food. Again, very early in the morning in Capurgana dock, there is another boat waiting to take you to Puerto Obaldia, the closest and the first contact with Panama City. Now you are in Panamanian land and Central America.

Mission fulfilled with a low budget of no more than 100 dollars and many more experiences of all kind and counting. Bottomline, the speedboat alternative is the cheapest, most venturesome way of crossing from South America to Central America.

Crossing From South America to Central America On a sailboat

Normally all the sailboats going towards Panama make a route five days, of which two are sailing in the open sea and three touring some of the wonderful islands of San Blas to end up in El Porvenir. From there, you have to take a standard boat to reach the Panamanian coast and then a bus heading to Panama City. The cost of the boat and bus to Panama City is about 50 $ you have to add the path of the sailboat that now, in high season, between 500 and 550 $.

crossing from south america to central america - south america tours
Crossing from South America to Central America by sailboat or catamaran is also an amazing opportunity to visit San Blas islands, one of the most beautiful places in the whole Caribbean. Photo: San Blas Sailing.

This sailboat makes a route every each eight days, with a first stop in Zapsurro, on the border with Panama, and ends others in Portobelo, where you spend a few days for some of the islands of San Blas extending along Panama’s Kuna Yala.
The difference is that from Portobelo you can catch a bus to Colón ($ 1.20) and then another heading to Panama City ($ 3.15) without spending much money as from El Porvenir. The total distance from Portobelo to Panama City is about three hours.
Finally, you end up spending on the sailboat for $ 550, including all allowances and expenses.
As you can see, there are so many and different ways to live the adventure of walking from South America to Central America on South America tours.