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!
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.