Costa RicaNicaragua

Crossing the border – From Nicaragua To Costa Rica

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When we decided to head to Costa Rica, we knew we would have to cross that border… Leaving or entering a country can be scary, but here’s everything you need to know when crossing the border from Nicaragua To Costa Rica.

You could easily do the border crossing by bus from San Juan Del Sur, but we decided to splurge and use some left over Cordobas to get a taxi to the border.

If taking a bus – head from San Juan Del Sur to Rivas, and then from Rivas to the border – Penas Blancas.

40min later in an air-conditioned taxi, we pulled up to the border crossing – Penas Blancas

Crossing the border From Nicaragua To Costa Rica

As soon as we stepped out of the taxi, we were swamped by people wanting to exchange cash and sell the forms (Traveler Declaration and Migration Card). These forms are needed for exiting the country. But there’s no need to buy those forms, you get them for free inside the actual office.

The Fees At The Border

It costs about $1/person to enter the border zone. Once we paid, we made our way into the office.

We filled out our forms, paid our $2/person exit fee, and 10 min later our passports were stamped and we were heading to Costa Rica.

It’s a good idea to bring along your own pen.

Proof Of Departure

Before you’re granted entry into Costa Rica, you’ll usually need proof of onward travel so we stopped at a small ticket station outside the Costa Rican border. Rather than head back into Nicaragua, we chose to buy an open return ticket for Panama.

In 90 days we would be required to leave the country, so we might as well explore more of Central America! Once we’re out of the country for 72hours, we’ll be able to return.

An open return ticket allows you to select your travel dates at a later date. The open return ticket is valid for one year.

That bus ticket set us back about $42/person…

After two police check points – by ‘check points’ I mean an official looks at your passport – we made it into the Costa Rican border office. Along with your passport, you will need to handover the proof of onward travel, so make sure you purchase your bus ticket before you enter the office. 5 min later we were on the other side.

We read stories about crossing the border From Nicaragua To Costa Rica taking up to 10 hours. Luckily, we were done within 30minutes, if not less!

Transport From The Border Playas Del Coco

Now, we needed to get from the border to our new accommodation in Playas Del Coco.

Hopping on a bus from the border we headed to Liberia. That bus ticket cost just over $3/person, and took about 2 hours (we did get stuck in some traffic from a cycle race, so it’s probably a lot shorter usually).

From the bus station in Liberia, we took a taxi to Playas Del Coco. A bus would definitely be cheaper, but I was worried because we didn’t know where we were heading, so I wouldn’t know when to get off the bus. Also, the thought of lugging our bags around while we tried to find the right street, didn’t sound fun. A taxi was the easiest option… It was also the most expensive!

After a broken Spanglish conversation, and $40 later we had arrived!

Grab a quick bite at the border... If you dare!
Grab a quick bite at the border… If you dare!

The Cost Of Crossing The Border From Nicaragua To Costa Rica

Taxi Ride from San Juan to Border = $25

Entry into border zone = $1/person

Nicaragua exit fee = $2/person

Open return bus ticket to Panama = $42/person

Bus ticket to Liberia = $3/person

Taxi from Liberia to Playa Del Coco = $40

TOTAL:  $161 (for both Tyrone and I) 

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