Costa Rica (Republic of Costa Rica)

Languages: Spanish

Currencies: CRC · Costa Rican colón (₡)

Capitol: San José

Continents: North America

Borders: Nicaragua, Panama

More useful information

Area: 51,100km2

Population: 5,094,114

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +506

Timezones: UTC-06:00

Last updated on July 14, 2023

Crossing the land border from Costa Rica to Nicaragua is very easy and once you have all relevant info it will be a great adventure! In this post you’ll find all highly useful information on how to cross land boarder from Costa Rica to Nicaragua using cheap public bus.

The most important thing that you need to avoid is expensive private buses like Tica bus. You can easily use comfortable public transport for crossing the border, which is so cheap you would never believe!

Costa Rica to Nicaragua - cheap local bus

La Fortuna has one bus terminal. You need to take a bus at 6:30am so be there at least at 6:15am! After driving 7 km get out at the cross road (if you’re not sure ask a driver for Penas Blancas and he will stop to let you out). He will know that you want to reach a border. Anyway, there probably will be other people going same direction toward a border. 

On the cross road when you get off – you need to change the bus stop – so ask for a bus to Penas Blancas. From this point it takes 5 hours to reach a boarder, because the road is in a terrible condition 🙂 You should reach the border approximately at 12.00. Travel to Nicaragua by cheap local bus is fascinating.

Crossing the land boarder from Costa Rica to Nicaragua

On the boarder there are hundreds of local people giving you blank forms to fill in. It’s free so never pay for this! You need to fill in the form and go to the small border office. They will check you passport and completed form, and you have to pay 8$. Next you need to enter a main building and go through a control office. 

On the entrance you pay 1$ and in the customs window another 12$. When you leave the building the locals with displayed ID card will offer you a bus ticket to Nicaragua for 15$. They will tell you this is the only bus going to Nicaragua. This is a lie! Don’t trust them! 


The bus to Managua

We were very disappointed by this situation because durinf few weeks in Costa Rica we were never tricked by any local people. Go through the Nicaraguan border – there’s a small entrance with a guy checking your passport. Pass the border and walk another 100 meters – there’s a local bus station with plenty buses going to Managua, to Rivas and other cities. The bus to Managua leaves at 2 pm. and costs 3$ per ticket. It arrives to Managua at 5 pm. 

Keep in mind that the border is opened from Monday to Saturday from 6 am to 10 pm. and on Sunday it closes at 8 pm. I recommended to Nicaragua by cheap local bus.

People waiting for a local bus
Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!
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