Buses leaving Peñas Blancas at the Nicaragua border are plentiful. It’s very easy to get to Rivas, Managua and San Jorge from here.
If you’re looking to head to Costa Rica from here, check the Peñas Blancas page for Costa Rica.
Peñas Blancas to Rivas
Chicken buses leave towards Rivas about every 20 minutes and chances are you will not have to wait long. There will also be a line up of taxis waiting and hoping to catch your eye. If there are a few of you then it could be economical to grab one.
Peñas Blancas to San Juan del Sur
Grab one of the many buses heading to Rivas for 30C$ and ask to be let off in La Virgin – this is basically a fork in the road where one road goes to SJDS and the other to Rivas. From here you can get another bus for 20C$ to San Juan del Sur. Take a look at the San Juan del Sur page to see where you need to get off and how to change buses. If you don’t want to get off in La Virgin, you can go all the way to Rivas, and switch to the SJDS bus.
Peñas Blancas to Managua (via Rivas)
There are regular chicken buses to Managua that leave about every 20 mins and cost 67C$ (2017). The trip is about 3hr 20min.
There are also 4 Expreso buses a day from Peñas Blancas to Managua. They pass by the Rotonda in Rivas at on their way and leave the border at 12:30pm , 1:40pm, 2:20pm, 4:20pm. They cost 87C$(2017) and are slightly nicer than chicken buses. Travel time is about 2.5hrs.
All buses arrive at the Terminal Mercado Roberto Huembes.
Peñas Blancas to San Jorge
Two options. Go to Rivas and switch to the bus that goes to San Jorge. This bus passes on the street on the north side of the terminal. Or, get off at the Rotonda at the edge of Rivas and wait for the bus to pass heading to San Jorge. Just ask when you are there where you should stand. Saying “La parada por San Jorge” should be all you need to say.
If you are heading a long distance and want to travel on a more premium service you will get the opportunity to purchase tickets with one of the higher end bus companies (Tica Bus, Nica Bus, Central Line, Transnica, Nica Expreso) before you exit the border. Once you are on the other side you will only have immediate access to local busses and taxis.
Costa Rica Border
Here is what the border looks like on the Costa Rica side: Peñas Blancas – Costa Rica – buses come and go very regularly for Liberia and San José. Have a look at the page for Peñas Blancas in Costa Rica for bus times and schedules.
Read about the crossing!
Here is a fresh travel blog about the experience from Ollanto.com – Border Crossing from Nicaragua to Costa Rica
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!
Did Monteverde to San Juan del Sur a few weeks ago.
First: Monteverde to Liberia by shuttle for about 35 dollars, you can book it at the main info centre in Monteverde, they do need multiple people in the shuttle, but they combine Liberia with destinations in the Guanacaste province, so I guess you should be able to find a shuttle if you want to.
Liberia – Penas Blancas. At the bus station there will be a guy shouting ‘Frontera, frontera’ (border), and it will bring you all the way up to the Costa Rican border office.
At the border: you might need to go to the ‘green building’ to pay for your travel-out-of-costa-rica registration, the building is on the right when you get out of the bus, you have to go down a small stairs. Then you go into the CR office, get your stamp and walk to the Nicaraguan border. On the way some officers might ask to see you passport.
Then you walk a couple of minutes to the Nicaragua office. But first, outside the building there is a small doctors office, that is where they check your covid test and they give you a small paper if everything is all right. Then go into the Nicaraguan border office and get your stamp. (They did ask me where I was staying and what my phone number was) After you did all the border stuff you can walk to your bus.
Penas Blancas – SJDS
From the immigration office you have to walk a couple of minutes to the bus. Taxi and bus people will ask you and want to help you. But you can continue walking to the bus station. It’s on the left, a couple of hundred meters away. There find a bus that can bring you to La Virgen and follow the steps as others described. My first bus from the border was $3 (way to much, but you might be able to haggle it down, I was unfortunately not and I wanted to leave the border) for the second bus I payed with $1 and got some money back.
Hola, sabes sobre las tarifas actuales para entrar y salir de Costa Rica y Nicaragua?
Muchas gracias, tus tips me han sido de gran ayuda para planear mi viaje.😃
Hello to you have the schedulle of the buses from san josé to Peñas Blancas?
Hi Rui, check the Penas Blancas page for the Costa Rica side. https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/penas-blancas/
Ola, I have updated our article on what we did from Ometepe to reach Pena Blancas and then San Jose. This was done in April, right after easter day. http://www.ollanto.com/border-crossing-pena-blancas/
Thanks! I will post this above.
Cuanto kilometre hay De Rivas a Pena black y cuanto horas we hace.
Hola, es 36km y 1-1.5hr dependemente el hora de dia y cuantos pasajeros.
How long might one have to wait for the next bus from La Virgin to SJDS ?
Not long, there are several buses from Rivas to SJDS. You are waiting for one of them to pass. La Virgin is about 20min from Rivas. https://centrocoasting.com/nicaragua/san-juan-del-sur/
Porque tienen empleados Ladrones? Porque todo el tiempo quieren recibir “mordidas” para dejar ir a la gente trabajadora.
Ah, se me olvida que los narcos SI les dan el dinero que piden!
Tengo nombres de algunos agentes sería bueno publicarlo por este medio verdad?
Hola, Karla. Somos viajeros y no tenemos relaciones con las empresas de buses en Costa Rica. Es major a contactar el Gobierno de Costa Rica o la oficina de tourisimo si tienes problemas.
Hello! May I ask a question? I will arrive in Peñas Blancas not before 6pm. Are there some places to sleep in Peñas Blancas or night bus in Nicaragua?
Thanks for this complete site !
Hi Baptista! I am sorry I don’t have information about accommodation near Peñas Blancas. I would suggest staying in Rivas or San Juan del Sur and then making the trip in the morning. Both are very close to the border. Good luck and safe travels!