GUIDE IN CROSSING THE COSTA RICA - NICARAGUA BORDER AT PEÑAS BLANCAS [JUNE 2015] with Changes
by: Robelyn Martinez Yambao
Third Trip June 2015 - Bus from San Jose to Peñas Blancas
Here I am again sharing my third visit to Nicaragua. For recap, I went to Nica alone during my first trip and I got my stamp successfully, I stayed over night in Rivas before heading back to CR. In my second trip, I was with a friend. Same procedures in getting stamp but we took the San Jose route and stayed at the border for few hours only and got bribed by officer at check point. This time, the building of the Nicaragua Immigration office transferred to the left side. The new building was in blue color and much bigger than the old building located on the right.
We did the same travel plan from Jaco to San Jose that we thought same terminal as what we experienced before but, we were wrong!
When we went to the terminal of deldu at 2:00 am, no passengers were waiting at the area, so strange. So we thought that we just arrived too early but, the gate was locked. Then, we went to the next terminal nearby to sit on the waiting area across the road. While waiting there, the guard of the said terminal asked us what were we doing there? and we told him about our trip with deldu. He said the terminal was transferred already a lil bit farther from there. He suggested to get a taxi since it was still dawn and not safe for us to walk. Luckily, we found one and the driver took us to the general terminal.
I asked the guard on duty about the departure time of the bus going to Peñas Blancas and where to buy our tickets. He showed us the way going to the booth where we can get our tickets. The terminal was so big compared to the old ones. When I got our tickets, it was same price with the previous trips I had.
I was expecting to see the same Deldu bus before but I was amazed when a double deck bus arrived on the station. That was my first time to ride a double deck bus ever. Our seat numbers were located at the upper deck and it was a great experience!
On the way, we had a stop over on the same restaurant I stated on my second trip. As usual, we ate the food I brought with us.When we headed to Nicaragua, we did not experience check point on the way unlike before where police comes inside the bus to check the passport of each passenger. It was a smooth trip and I slept all the way.
When we arrived at the border, I observed again that the booth in paying tax was transferred on the left side of the old booth. I paid the tax and they collected $8 dollars this time even it was stated in the receipt $7 only. I asked the man why they collected $8 instead of $7? He said $1 for service charge. So we left the place puzzled.
So, same process before. We exit Costa Rica and enter Nicaragua smoothly and no hassles. What was really annoying always was the people coming to you asking some offer or help and we always say no. Now, the Nicaragua Immigration Office was transferred to the building next to the gate where we gonna enter Nicaragua land.
So, that's it. We went to the same hostel I went before during my first trip. We paid taxi $10 going to Rivas and we stayed the night there. We observed food was really cheaper than Costa Rica. We changed some cash to Cordobas. $1 is 27 cordobas. I gave the $20 and he gave me 540 cordobas. I paid hotel 270 cordobas. When we return to the border the next day we paid the taxi driver 220 cordobas.
We had a smooth processing again. This time the officers were so good and treated us nicely.
COSTA RICA SIDE
At the Costa Rica immigration, the officer asked for my ticket and I was prepared and showed my itinerary using my phone. But, my american friend was not prepared. His ticket cannot be found in his email. The officer won't consider so he told her he's leaving Wednesday. It was Sunday at that moment. Then, the officer stamped his passport 3 days of stay in Costa Rica. What? Yes, only 3 days stay in Costa Rica. Luckily, that was a real trip. If not, he needs to exit Costa Rica again forcefully. Well, I got 90 days as usual.
That's all for today! I hope you will read more of my travel articles here.
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A licensed teacher in the Philippines who shifted her career into another direction to follow her passion to be a blogger. Her blogs are related in traveling and simple living as an expat in a foreign land.