This route comes to you from an awesome intrepid traveller from Canada. Have a read through her advice:
“San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua to La Fortuna, Costa Rica route info (way easier than it sounds). We left San Juan del Sur at around 7:30am in a collective (50C) and asked him to drop us off at the crossroads. From there we grabbed a chicken bus to the border (20C). From the Peñas Blancas border, we had missed the direct bus to La Fortuna (leaves at 6:30am or 2pm), so we made our own route. (Editors note: another traveller has told us there is no direct bus at 2pm, but one that goes to San Carlos at 2:30pm and wont get you all the way to La Fortuna, the better option to do is to go from Peñas Blancas to Cañas and then on to Tilaran -> La Fortuna).
Here is another from a helpful gal named Vianney: (Feb 2018)
– From San Juan del sur I caught a bus at 8:45 a.m to Rivas, 40 cordobas if you have a bag. 45min
– Rivas bus 10 a.m to Penas Blancas, 30 cordobas if you have a bag. 1 hour.
– At the Nicaragua boarder I caught a Ticabus to Canas for 8$, he left at 12:00 from the Costa Rica immigration.
I arrived at 13:45 in Canas.
– Then i walked to the bus terminal, 15min, i caught a bus at 2 p.m for Tilaran. 600 colones, 45min.
– Tilaran to Fortuna, bus at 3:30 p.m (the last one !!) 2765 colones, i arrived at la Fortuna at 5:15 p.m
So be sure to catch the last bus !!
You have to leave before 2:30 p.m from Canas or you’ll miss the last bus in Tilaran.
Cheers. Vianney. 39 countries.
Another traveller wrote this about Cañas to La Fortuna:
“We took the first bus to Liberia leaving around 9am ($3), from Liberia straight on to the bus to Cañas ($3), from Cañas straight on the bus to Tilaran at 12pm (~$1.50), from Tilaran straight on the bus to La Fortuna at 12:30pm ($4) and arrive around 2pm. (We missed the direct connection in Tilaran because we were getting food, so we got the next one at 3:30 and arrived around 5).”
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