San Juan del Sur

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The main bus stop is in front of the Market (see map and photos) and leaves basically every hour. There are several different buses that do the loop to Rivas and back and some are nicer than others.


Rivas to San Juan del Sur

5am, 5:45am, 6:30am, 7am, 8am, 8:25am, 9am, 9:30am, 10am, 10:45, 11:30am, 12:10pm, 1pm, 2:20pm, 3:20pm, 5pm, 30C$,  about 45minutes

Rivas to San Juan del Sur: Every half hour. Takes about 45mins and costs 30C$. Last one 5:30pm.


Peñas Blancas to San Juan del Sur

From Peñas Blancas, grab one of the many buses heading to Rivas and ask to be let off in La Virgin, this used to cost 30$C  (Dec 2018). From here you can get another bus for 20C$ to San Juan del Sur. This is a very common spot for both travellers and locals to get off. You then need to cross the street and walk about 50meters down the road that branches off of the highway. You will come across a nice covered bus stop. Wait there for your bus to San Juan del Sur. (see photos) 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.


San Juan del Sur to Peñas Blancas

If you are heading to Peñas Blancas you can get off at the highway junction mentioned above and then wait for the bus heading to the border. The only drawback to waiting on the highway, as opposed to heading all the way to Rivas and taking the bus from there, is that by the time in reaches you on the highway you may not get a seat. But, fear not, the trip is only about 25minutes from this spot.



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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.

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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 main stop in the center of town in front of the Market

If you are coming from the border you dont have to go all the way into Rivas to get the bus to San Juan del Surf. Tell the driver you want off at La Virgin.

In this photo: one road is going to Rivas and one is heading towards San Juan Del sur. Get off at this spot (see map) and then walk to the stop (50meters) for the bus heading to San Juan del Sur.

This is what the stop looks like from the other side of the street

If you get off at La Virgin - the walk towards the San Juan del Sur pick up spot is easy and looks like this

Here is the bus stop outside La Virgin where you can wait for the bus to San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur has some pretty amazing sunsets.

39 travel tips for San Juan del Sur - share your tips below!

  1. ross

    Below for people going to Monteverde from SJDS.

    Got a taxi to the border for $20 ( can get 2 buses, 1 to la virgen & another to border)
    Nicaraguan side was very easy, $4 exit fee, bags scanned and your through.
    10 minute walk or so to the costa rican side. Asked for proof of onward travel.
    After we got through we went to the “Transporte Deldu” office beside the immigration & purchased a ticket to La Irma for $6. The bus we got left at 11am (also leaves at 8.30am, 10am, 11.30am, 1.30,3.30 & 5.30pm)
    We got to La Irma around 1pm, Make sure you warn the bus driver you want to get off at La Irma as he nearly drove past it for us. We waited in the cafe across the road from the bus stop and the bus came at 4.15pm. We got to Monteverde around 6pm, bus to MV cost 2650 Colon (around $5)
    Total cost per person incl taxi for the day was $21

  2. Ciarán Ireland

    Times and prices as of Jan 2024 for San Jose to border and onward to La Fortuna:

    -Bus SJDS-Virgen 6.40am-7.10am, $50C per person (pp) with large backpack
    -Bus Virgen-border 7.10am-7.40am, $30C pp with large backpack
    -Nica immigration border 7.40am-7.50am, $4US pp
    -CR immigration border 8am-9am, no fee, long wait, proof of onward travel required
    -Bus border-Canas 10.20am-12.40pm (bus scheduled for 10am but delayed leaving and further delayed by a police stop en route), $2470Col pp
    -Taxi Canas bus stop-Canas station 12.40pm-12.45pm, $2US total
    -Bus Cañas-Tilaran, 1pm-1.45pm, $815Col pp
    -Lunch in Tilaran (no bus scheduled for La Fortuna until 3.30pm)
    -Bus Tilaran-La Fortuna, 3.50pm-8ish I think can’t recall exactly! (bus scheduled for 3.30pm but delayed leaving), $3245Col pp

    Total: approx €14pp for two people or same route would be €15 if solo due to taxi cost.

  3. Vanessa

    Made it today from Liberia to SJDS

    Updated prices as follows (locals paid exactly the same):

    Liberia to border peñas Blancas 2000 colones (took 1,5 hours)
    Peñas Blancas to Rivas (wherever you get off) 50 Cordobas (took 0,5 h to La Virgen, make sure you’re not in the Express bus, which is more expensive)
    La Virgen to SJDS 30 Cordobas (took 0,5h)

  4. shoej

    traveled SJDS to the border today, then on to liberia.

    SJDS > la virgen: 20 cordobas
    la virgen > penas blancas: 20 cordobas
    penas blancas > liberia: 2000 colones

    very easy

    only had to wait about five minutes in la virgen for the bus, how lucky!

  5. Jeremy

    For futur travelers : We traveled from San Juan del Sur to Peñas Blancas yesterday. We had to take the bus to La Virgen, it costed us 25 cordobas per person and from La virgen we took the bus to Peñas Blancas, which costed us 30 cordobas each. Pretty easy travel and we probably could have paid less for the first bus but didn’t feel the need to argue with them as we were leaving the country anyway.

    • Laura

      Thank you! Doing the trip tomorrow and was hoping for some very current updates on this!

  6. William Lawrence

    Not sure what is happening, if due to covid or traveling on a Sunday but took the bus from the border to la virgin and they tried to charge me 100 when getting off. The frequency was not nearly every 20 mins either Waited at least 35 mins. This bus was going to Managuas so they might have tried to charge me the whole fare? Then at the virgin, which is closer to a 100m walk, no buses passed by going to San Juan Del sur in 90 mins time so I ended up hailing a taxi. It was 2pm on a Saturday. I saw at least 5 buses going towards Rivas. Just FYI….

    • William Lawrence

      It was 2pm on a Sunday, not Saturday. Sorry

  7. Agustin

    Always have Cordobas! Change a little at least at the border! Today I saw some germans paying 10 u$d ( ten dollars) each one for the route ‘la virgen-San juan del sur’. I just paid 30 cordobas (less than 1 u$d) for the same bus. Outside the driver, the rest of the people is really friendly. The

    • Jennifer

      Do you know if they have ATMs at the border?

  8. Fiona Eccleston

    I just got the bus from SJDS to Rivas and they charged my c50 because I had a rucksack. That’s even though it went in the overhead luggage racks.

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