A friend and I are going to be travelling in Central America starting in January- flying into Mexico and making our way down to Panama- and I am wondering about the requirement to have an outbound ticket when you arrive- Could this be a bus ticket? Or how do we go about having an outbound ticket upon arrival?
If anyone has any advice that would be great!
I am not sure of the exact requirements for Mexico but if it is anything like Argebtina and Brazil then you will require proof that you will be leaving the country. You will need this when you land so will have to be bought in advance. I am not 100% sure if a bus ticket is suitable, I believe it is. I would call/email the Mexican embassey to find out the exact details.
Hope that helps.
Okay. I never had proof I was leaving ANY country that I have ever visited. This includes Argentina, Mexico, and every one of the seven Central American countries. Okay, once, in a small border crossing in the South Eastern part of Costa Rica, I did. But it was a set up where they played the rules. The guy tells you how to buy the fake bus ticket and show him. This money goes right into someone's pocket. But that's neither here nor there.
They technically have rules in many countries that you have to show onward travel. This is mostly to ensure they have some recourse if the border guards feel a guy showed up just to sponge off the system. If you are travelling, I don't care what you look like normally, when you go through the airport you wear clean clothes, hide as many of those tats as you can and take out the seventy five lip rings. You look respectable and they just wave you on.
In the days of the ETicket, you usually don't have a ton to show you are onward travelling anyway. If you are worried about it, go on line, print out a prospective itinerary for some date after you arrive and show them that. I all but guarantee you are gonna get waved on. I've flown into every country down there, crossed every border by land...I have NEVER been asked for onward travel (except for that time) and am convinced it's travel agents trying to get both sales.
In January get your one way ticket, enter Mexico on your FMT, free tourist card, good for 180 days. When you enter Guatemala you will get 90 days tourist stamp good for all the CA 4 countries, Guatemala, El Salavador, Honduras and Nicaragua, no proof of onward ticket required, you are able to take the' Tica Bus' Google it up, website in English and Spanish, from Guatemala to Panama one way ticket good for 90 days with stopovers, Costa Ricans will stamp you in for 90 days, no questions asked, only problem may be Panama, sometimes they request overland travellers proof of onward passage and sufficent funds for stay, check with travellers when you arrive Costa Rica and in meantime contact nearest Panamanian Consul or ask the Panamanian members of the very active Panama group on Couch Surfing, a Hospex portal, Google it up. Do your homework before you arrive Panama just in case, what happened to someone on the forum a month ago dont count, today is today. Things change down here every other day. Buen viaje y buena suerte. Panama has a nice new budget airline for flights over to SA now, ask Mr, google.
When was the last time you were in Panama, DBloom?
I was there in March of 2010. I flew in from Santiago, Chile. Got off the plane and fair danced through the immigration barrier. I didn't have an onward ticket. I didn't even have a hotel reservation. Hell, I didn't even really have an idea what I was going to do after leaving the terminal. The sufficient funds thing can usually be dispelled with the appearance of a credit card.
DBloom is correct. Have a contingency plan. You have a life, and limited time to do what you want. Be ready to do some fancy footwork...but you won't need to. Me, I'm jes' messin' around. If I get thrown in the jug, I get a story to tell. You probably have more things to worry about.
I agree with DBloom about doing your homework....But I also believe that those guys behind the bulletproof glass couldn't give a shit what you're doing next. You're a rich "Trust Fund Baby". They are aware of people's urge to trudge through their region and stay in dumpy joints in order to 'experience' CA.
Don't stress. It'll be all right.
[ Edit: Post slightly edited ]