Rivas


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The Rivas station is a classic busy bus station in Nicaragua. There are a ton of buses coming and going and it seems impossible to fit them all in such a small spot. This is also one of the less fun stations to pass through since the taxi touts are frequent and many. 

We were here in May 2017 to ask the station manager about the schedules and prices.

 

Rivas to Granada

Every day of the week buses to Granada go at 6:10am, 8am, 10:15am, 11:15am, 12:10pm, 1:55pm, 3:10pm 4:20pm and 5:55pm. It takes about ~2hrs and costs 32C$

Granada to Rivas: (ordinary bus)  The bus goes 7 times per day at: 5:50am, 6:30am, 8:05am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 12:40pm, 1:10pm and 3:10pm (no 3:10 on Thursdays and Sundays). The bus takes about 2.5hrs and costs 34C$. I would arrive at least 15 mins early just to be sure you get the bus, I have asked the bus drivers at this station on two different days for the schedule and a couple of the times are different by about 20 mins. The earlier ones are listed above.

 

Rivas to San Juan del Sur

Every half hour. Takes about 45mins and costs 30C$. Last one 5:30pm.

San Juan del Sur to Rivas: 5am, 5:45am, 6:30am, 7am, 8am, 8:25am, 9am, 9:30am, 10am, 10:45am, 11:30am, 12:10pm, 1pm, 2:20pm, 3:20pm, 5pm, 30C$,  about 45minutes

 

Rivas to Managua

The regular chicken bus goes every 25 minutes until 5:40pm. Arriving at the Mercado Roberto Huembes. They cost 56C$ and take about 3hrs.

You can also get an Expreso bus (72C$) but it leaves from the in front of the Puma gas station at the rotunda about a 10 minute walk from the Rivas terminal. This bus is starting in San Jorge and passes every half hour or so. It takes about 2hrs and 20 min. The rotunda is a roundabout at the edge of the city.

There are also 4 Expreso buses/day from Peñas Blancas to Managua which also pass by the Rotonda in Rivas. They are a slightly more comfortable bus. They leave the border at 12:30pm, 1:40pm, 2:20pm, 4:20pm. They will pass Rivas about 20-30 minutes from these times. They cost 72C$ and take about 2hrs 20min to get to the Mercado Roberto Huembes 

 

Rivas to Peñas Blancas

Buses leave about every 20minutes. The cost is 20C$ and it takes about 40min.

The Expreso bus to Peñas Blancas also passes the Rotonda – read above. Though I am not sure it’s worth walking there to get it since its a short trip and there are so many leaving from the main terminal.

 

Rivas to Playa Gigante

There is only one bus per day to Gigante that goes all the way there, which leaves in the afternoon at 1:30pm from Rivas. Important to note: this bus does not run on Sundays. In the past it didn’t run on Saturdays either, however a traveller recently told us the bus now goes on Saturdays now too! The cost is about 40 C$ and takes about 1.5 to 2hrs.

 

If you miss the 1:30pm direct bus you can grab the bus to Las Salinas, which leave every hour, and get off at the junction for the road that heads to Gigante.  The beach is about 5km from here and your options are to hitch hike or walk.

 

Rivas to Tola

Every 40 minutes until 5:15pm

 

Rivas to Gigante via Tola

There is another option to consider if you miss the once per day bus all the way to Playa Gigante. You can get the bus to Tola and change to the school bus bus going to Gigante. You will have to time this one correctly since there is only one bus per day at 12:30pm from Tola to Playa Gigante from Monday to Friday but not on weekends.

 

Rivas to Las Salinas

Bus goes at 5:30am, 9:10am, 11am, 12:50pm, 2:30pm, 4:00pm, 4:50pm.

 

Rivas to Astillero

Two buses per day at 5:30am and 4:50pm.

Important: If you trying to get to Popoyo be aware that this bus will drop you to the entrance to Guasacate (Popoyo) but that’s it. You will have to walk the rest of the way, which is several kilometers.

If you are coming from Managua we are told you can also go to Nandaime first and then get the bus to Astillero from there. This bus goes at 9am and 2:30pm.

 

Rivas to Popoyo

If you are heading to Popoyo from Rivas be aware that if you are staying in Guasacate then your bus will not get you to the front door – or even very close. You have two options:

You can take the bus to Las Salinas. The bus will get you to about 7km from the strip of hotels in Guasacate and so you will need to walk or taxi the rest of the way.

 

You can take the Astillero bus but it will only drop you at the entrance to Guasacate (Popoyo) and it is still a few kms  until you will reach the majority of the popular hostels. You’ll have to walk or hitch a ride if you’re lucky.

 

Rivas to San Jorge (then to Ometepe)

If you are headed to Ometepe then you will go through San Jorge. There is a bus that runs every hour and costs 7C$. The bus doesn’t pull into the station but passes by on the street on the north side. Here is the San Jorge Ferry Schedule . You can also get a taxi from Rivas to San Jorge for 20C$.

 

Rivas to Jinotepe

5:50am, 7:05am 8:20am, 10am, 10:50am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:35pm, 5:10pm

 

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!

 

Notice:

We have been getting more and more reports of microbuses and chicken buses charging tourists extra for their baggage. This started about a year ago. It seem that drivers/attendants have turned onto the idea that they can make more money by charging tourists for their bags. Sometimes they want more than the cost of your seat! This used to just be a problem in Costa Rica, but it’s moved north. Most travellers say they have negotiated the extra fee down to a lower amount, which you can try too! You could also just refuse and see what happens. I give no formal advice here and you can decide your course of action in the moment. I am not sure the best way to address this – perhaps it’s complaints to the Nicaraguan Tourist board. Unlikely anyone will do anything or care, but if enough tourists complain it could help.

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FINE PRINT

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!

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22 travel tips for Rivas - share your tips below!

  1. Max

    Whats up everyone! I’m leaving in a week to Nica and i’m making my itinerary from the airport to popoyo. I’ll travel with taxis and buses all the way to popoyo and I was wondering if the bus from rivas to las salinas is leaving from these hours every day or it’s only special days in the week??? cause I bought the nicaragua book from lonely planet and they’re saying it leaves 6-8 daily. Thanks a lot, yieeewwwww!

    • Jonny

      Hey Max, I tried to catch a bus from Managua to Rivas today but because of the protests very few are running. Had to catch an overpriced collective which took an extra 3 hours. We encountered multiple road blocks even driving down the back streets. Everything from Jinotepe to Masaya and Granada was blocked. The situation could calm down by then and once you get past that it’s smooth sailing.

      • lya

        Would it be safe to go or it’s to dangerous because of the protests? (I’m going south on the west coast)

  2. Gini

    The buses from Rivas leaves at the Mercado again.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Gini!

  3. Peggy and Denise

    There was a direct (expreso) bus today (Saturday April 7) which was waiting directly at the ferry dock in San Jorge. This was the 9am ferry from Ometepe. We were told by a local that a bus also meets the 7:30am ferry arrival as well. The ride lasted approx 2hr 20min to Managua – Mercado Roberto and cost 75 cordobas. There were a few quick stops along the way in Rivas and Granada, Masaya etc. We took the buses a few times during our week and weren’t charged extra for luggage.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks! I will post this on the Ometepe page as well as it will be more helpful there.

  4. Daniel

    Great forum, thank you all.
    We bought tickets with Transnica from Rivas to San Jose CR through the phone. The problem is, now we are in Rivas and we can’t find the bus stop. Some local told us the Transnica stops right in front of the supermarket (Pali, 700 meters from the two gas stations at Rivas’ Main Street ), but after reading the post I am not sure if we should go to the terminal or the bus stop :(. Also the ticket says it leaves Managua at 7 so we suppose it will arrive here at 9. Not sure, the lady on the phone was not clear.

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Daniel! I hope you figure this out OK. It’s not uncommon for the pickup spots to be just on the side of the road at some distance from a landmark! Where did it pick you up? Would be great if you could add this information for other travellers, thanks!

  5. James

    Will the bus schedule be different from Rivas to granada this Friday the 30 th…Good Friday?

    • centrocoasting

      Hi James, you’ll have to ask your hostel or the bus stop directly about any changes on holidays. It’s often not the same each year so I can’t say for sure.

  6. chana

    great information! San Juan del Sur to Rivas is actually 18c, but 30c with the imposed “tourist tax” you mention, which they say is the extra luggage on top, but obviously just backpacks.
    Rivas to Granada is 32 as you say, 50c with the “backpacker tax.” I was told the the 4:20pm bus was 4:10, so I wa slucky I got there early for a seat.
    thanks for this website!

  7. Cairo Pineda-Pavon

    Hi guys,

    We continue our travels in Nicaragua and went from San Jorge to Granada via the Rivas bus stop today. The collectivo taxis are still charging between $20 and $30 cordobas for the ride from San Jorge to the Rivas bus terminal. The bus terminal however is not in the market anymore. Apparently the cement paving tiles are being torn out at the terminal and being replaced with asphalt. The weight of the buses is turning the tiles up and making it very uneven to drive, so the bus terminal is now on the highway to Tola about 500 meters past the turn off to the old terminal. They just started the work so I’m not sure how long the terminal will stay at the new location. It may be until the work is finished or it may be permanent. The schedule is still bang on as we took the 3:10 pm bus and it left Rivas at 3:09.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Cairo! Super helpful info. I have made a note about this above.

  8. Johanna

    I took the bus from rivas to playa gigante at 1:30 pm on Saturday so yes, this bus goes out on saturdays as well but not on Sundays. The bus station was a little overwhelming. I am just a begginer into this. I am making a solo trip across nicaragua beaches and this information is super helpful for me. Thanks!

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Johanna! I will update the info above. Each year, more on more days!

  9. Will

    Did the trip from San Jorge to Granada today. Everything went smoothly as above. Bus from San Jorge to Rivas C$7 (a taxi driver told us it should be C$5, but the locals were all paying 7…)

    Got the 1.55pm bus from Rivas to Granada. Fare was displayed at the front (C$32) so that made things easy! I’d heard about people being charged extra for luggage but we weren’t.

    Thanks, great blog. Wish I’d found it before our Penas Blancas to Rivas journey!

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Will! This will help others plan their trip for sure. Keep us posted on other trips you do if you can.

  10. Mike

    My partner and I have now been through Rivas more times than we’d have liked to in the last few weeks. If you’re new to this part of the world, then I’m not going to lie, this bus station can seem nuts. The best thing to do is keep calm, get your bearings and ignore all of the taxi hawkers that will approach you.

    The first time we were there, this charming guy helped my partner off the back of the bus and helped with her bag. He asked where we were going. He ended up trying to convince us that buses are very infrequent to Granada (a lie) and that his $30 taxi would be best. We said thanks but no thanks and wandered around ourselves. Almost every bus will have its destination painted on it and we found our bus almost straight away.

    Rivas is daunting but fine. I do get the impression that the bus drivers tell the taxi drivers if they have tourists on board but politely dismiss them and find your own way around.

    Like the previous poster said, the San Jorge (for Ometepe) bus does not leave from the bus station and they seem a little less frequent. Instead we walked around the back of the bus station and got in a collectivo (shared) taxi for between 20-30 Cors depending on your haggling skills.

    We’ve been to a fair few of the bus terminals now and it’s definitely the craziest. Just stay calm and do your own thing it’ll be fine.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks for sharing your experience with everyone, Mike! Rivas is definitely overwhelming for new travellers. Lots of scams going on. You are totally right to just ignore everyone, look for your bus, and make your own decisions. And usually if someone is being extra nice, they want something! Hope the rest of your trip goes well.

  11. Theo G

    I just took the bus to San Jorge from Rivas bus station. The bus picked us up from the petrol station over the road from the bus terminal. It runs every 30 mins and costs C$7.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks for sharing your info, Theo. I am sure this will be useful for other travellers doing the same trip! Keep the travel info coming if you have more. Safe travels!

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