Peñas Blancas

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If you are crossing from Costa Rica to Nicaragua it is unlikely that you will see any more of Peñas Blancas than the border entrance. Buses headed to the border will drop you right there.


Peñas Blancas to Liberia

Buses come and go very regularly back and forth from Liberia. You will arrive at the Municipal Terminal in Liberia.  The trip takes about 2hrs and as ofFebruary 2018 the price is 1650₡.

Monday to Friday: 5am, 5:45am, 6am, 6:35am, 7:15am, 8am, 8:45am 9:30am – then every 30 mins until 5pm, 5:45pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm 8:35pm.

Saturday and Sunday:  every 45min from 5am until 8:45pm


Peñas Blancas to San José

Buses to San José are serviced by Transportes Deldu. You will arrive at the Gran Terminal del Caribe. The schedule as of May 2017 is: 3am, 4am, 6am, 8:30am, 10am, 12pm, 330pm, 5:30pm. Price is ¢4680 (Jan 2018)


San José to Peñas Blancas: 3am, 5am, 6am, 8:30am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4:45pm, 7pm

A recent photo (May 2017) of the schedule is in the photos below.


Peñas Blancas to La Fortuna

One helpful traveller named Theo has shared this info:

“We got to the border at Peñas Blancas and found a direct bus to La Fortuna. It was from the second bus store in the line of booths. We caught it at 2.30pm and it dropped us off at Tanque which is 7km from La Fortuna. There is a connecting bus at this point or can easily get a cheap taxi. Cost of the bus was 3000 Colone. Trip took 4.5 hours, hence its easier, faster and cheaper than taking the 3 buses that it would take going via Liberia. I got the impression this bus only left once a day so I believe we were very lucky.”

Another traveller recently reported that there is a bus from from Peñas Blancas to Tanque at 6:30am as well (May 2018).

International Buses

One option is to travel in style with a/c and a bit of help across the border with Ticabus: website and station; TransNica: website, station; Nica Expreso: website; or Central Line: station, schedule photo below. These services are more expensive and with some you will likely have to pay full fare to Managua even if you are only going to Rivas. Have a look at the websites to see hours and prices.


Nicaragua Border

Here is what the border looks like on the Nicaragua side: Peñas Blancas – Nicaragua side – buses come and go very regularly for Rivas and they will pass the intersection La Virgin,  where you can switch buses if you are heading to San Juan del Sur. Check the San Juan del Sur page for photos and directions.


Border hours

Monday to Saturday from 6 a.m to 10 p.m and closes a bit early on Sunday at 8pm.


Border Process

There is a full write up of the border crossing coming soon…. maybe. Since this is generally a favourite topic for travel bloggers, and googling it will find you a ton of stories we may just leave the details about the crossing to the experts.

If you have written (or read) a guide to this border crossing, please post a link below! 

Here is a great blog post from the Costa Rica travel legends at Mytanfeet: Crossing the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua 


Help your fellow traveller

If you have taken any of the buses on this page, please drop us a comment below about how the trip went, what time you left, how long it took and what it cost. And, definitely let us know if we have anything wrong.


Lets help each other in our travels!


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We do not 100% guarantee that all schedules, times and prices are exact. The information in this website is based on personal experience and by information submitted by other travellers. Information has been gathered from station schedules, station managers, bus drivers and driver helpers. We have done our best to get as much accurate up to date information as possible, but prices and times change. Also, remember that you are responsible for your own health and safety. Travel safe and travel smart - and have fun!




The Border entrance on the Costa Rica side

First official office you see heading into Nicaragua.
Get stamped out of Costa Rica here

Get stamped out of Costa Rica here.

Posted in the San José Terminal MEPE

Service with Central Line

Posted at the Gran Terminal del Caribe in San José
Photo taken May 2017

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39 travel tips for Peñas Blancas - share your tips below!

  1. Sunburned Johnny

    Did this yesterday from Ometepe Island in Nicaragua trying to get to Monteverde in CR and everything was fine until CR- it was a nightmare.

    At the Las Blancas Costa Rica side 500 PEOPLE plus waiting in a snaking line with NO SHADE plus another line for SAN JOSE direct buses – ZERO INFORMATION or signs – one polo wearing bus company guy told me to join the San Jose line which I stood in for two hours before reaching the bus and being told it’s the other line for Liberia.

    Joined the second line in the wilting 34 DEGREE HEAT another two hours before getting a bus to Liberia. You should see my SUN BURN!

    Zero information, conflicting information and a warning: Don’t do any sort of travelling days either side of Holy Week Semana Santa. I ended up arriving at my destination in Monteverde (Santa Elena) at 10pm – after 16 HOURS having paid C 30,000 for a taxi at the crossroads – luckily the San Jose bus from Liberia dropped me off at Cruce de Sardinal.

    Other than this incredibly useful website STRUGGLED TO LOAD using non WiFi internet. SCREENSHOT INFORMATION in advance.

    Also recommend organising international bus if you can as they drop you off at points in COsta Rica- I couldn’t because the tica bus website wouldn’t accept my booking despite different cards and browsers so I went the local bus route.

  2. Emily Silgard

    I did a border crossing from Costa Rica to Nicaragua and back Dec 12-14 2023 (via local buses). Just a note I hope others find helpful: while there are lots of vendors hanging out around the Nicaraguan side of the border, Peña’s Blancas is a bit of a dead zone, so if you’re gonna be waiting for a bus and need water/food, get it on the Nicaraguan side before you cross!

  3. Madeleine Slingo

    Caught the bus from the Peñas Blancas border-point to El Tanque. Bus cost 4400 colones, left on time at 2.30pm (one per day) and took approximately 5.5 hours to El Tanque, where you can get another bus to La Fortuna (there’s one at 8pm) or a cheap taxi. Bus was comfy!

    • adamandrachel

      Thanks for this info! We tried this today (01/12/23) and worked out perfectly

      Bought our tickets at the green and white building next to Costa Rican entrance migration, cost 4400 colones

      Bus left at 14:30 and we arrived in El Tanque a bit after 8. Very easy to then share an Uber from there which cost 3500 colones

    • Rebecca

      Thanks so much for this information, it was so useful!
      We got in to La Fortuna yesterday and we can confirm that this is all still the case.
      We purchased our ticket to El Tanque from the Green and white building as directed, and all went smoothly.
      The bus left at 2:30pm. Unfortunately ours broke down and three bus changes later, we got there. It was fine though, that’s travel!
      We still got into El Tanque at 8pm.

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