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