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

  1. Glenn Tilley

    This is a great site. Awesome post. First time doing Liberia Costa Rica- San Juan del sur Nicaragua and now looking at return.

  2. Brendan

    Hello, partial update on border hours:

    I just crossed the border from Costa Rica into Nicaragua at Peñas Blancas at 10pm on a Sunday night. This border crossing is open until midnight on Sundays per the local police, and there were plenty of locals passing both ways and selling goods when I crossed. Hope this helps someone!

  3. Anthony Moschella

    Can you provide me with the section on the website that will allow me to purchase on line my onward ticket.
    I want to purchase a 1 way bus ticket from Liberia to Penas Blancas frontera de Nicaragua.
    I am currently in the USA getting ready to return home to Playa del Coco.
    Pura vida

  4. Alvin

    I took Liberia to Penas Blancas bus in early November. A bus departure schedule for this route is posted for both directions is posted at the Liberia bus station. Schedule is consistent throughout the week. Buses depart every 45 minutes from 5:00 am to 6:30 pm.

    Note though that there are no buses later in the day onward within Nicaragua. Eg I took 3:30 pm bus to the border. Bus took about 1 hour 40 minutes. By the time I cleared customs with no lineup, it was a bit past 5:30 pm. I went to the bus starting point and was offered a shared taxi costing $13 USD as no buses were running.

    • Alvin

      Incidentally, the board at Liberia shows that departure times from Penas Blancas to Liberia are exactly the same as those from Liberia to Penas Blancas.

    • Carolina

      Hello Alvin, do you recall how much was the bus ticket?

  5. Idrisse

    Hi There,
    Sorry I might feel like an idiot right now but I have many routes I would like to share/send to you but I dont how to do it.
    Please let me know this is feasible.
    I would like to share the following routes:
    Puerto Viejo to San Jose
    San Jose to La Fortuna
    La Fortuna to Santa Elena
    Santa Elena to Tamarindo
    Tamarindo to Granada
    Granada to Leon
    Leon to Managua
    Managua to San Juan Del Sur
    Managua to Bluefields
    Bluefields to Corn Islands
    Bluefields to Matagalpa


  6. Danny Quesnel

    Update for the price to Liberia: as of August 12th 2019 the price is 1790 colones.

  7. Ward


    We took the bus from Penas Blanca to San Jose today. Just letting you know that the price right now is 5070 colones.

    Happy travels!

  8. Batman

    Peñas Blancas => La Fortuna

    Did this yesterday. You buy the ticket from the green and white kiosk. It is on the right hand side when exiting the immigration building.

    Cost: 3,630 colones
    Duration: ±5 hours
    Times: 06:30, 14:30

    There were two departure listed in the ticket office, we took the one at 14:30. The bus stops in la Cruz to pick up more paseengers. There was a stop about 3 hrs in for bathroom. The ride was long and the condition of the road was poor.

    This bus drops you in El Tanque, a few kilometers from La Fortuna. From there buses buses San Carlos => La Fortuna pass frequently. We took a taxi because the bus was so delayed we arrived quite late and missed the bus. Perhaps in the dry season it is faster.

    If you pass through immigration earlier in the day it would probably be a better option to take the p.b => Liberia => cañas=> tilaran=> la fortuna. It is quite a number of connections, but I understand from others that the total travel time is similar.

    • Jorn

      Still accurate! I took this exact trip yesterday. Bus took 5 hrs to El Tangier’s. Easily made it from Ometepe, Nica to La Fortuna in one (long) day.

      • Eilish

        Hey Jorn!
        We’re planning on doing this route in a few days from Ometepe to La Fortuna. What time did you get the ferry from Ometepe?

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