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Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

Charleston, South...
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Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

Hi all, we will be renting a car while in Costa Rica, and want to spend a night in Granada.

Interested to know what problems there can be for us crossing ourselves. I do speak Spanish, but I am sure I have an accent. :)

Is it straightforward? Is there risk with crossing? If we have the fees and our passports sorted out, what other things to consider?

Thank you in advance for your help!

Nicaragua
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1. Re: Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

First of all they do not allowed to cross with rent a car the only thing you can do is to rent from Alamo per instead, they have agencies both sides and get one car in one side and get another in the other side.

Also why nly one night in Granada Nicaragua is a beautifull country with lots to show.

i leave you an article i wrote no that long ago on how to cross the border.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294477-c153545/Nicar…

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

Byron, thank you for the info. We will be in Central America for 5 days and we think that two days/one night in Nicaragua will fit the schedule. We could perhaps be convinced to stay two nights. :)

We seek the easiest way to experience Nicaragua with the best value, it does not have to be cheapest but provide value and a great experience. Byron, you are a guide as well, no? What would you recommend for transportation across - are you able to offer private transfer?

Nicaragua
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3. Re: Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

Hi Blondegeek yes i´m a guide i have been doing this job for over 10 years and i try to help as much as i can to tourist.

An easy way of transportation depending on the season (December and Jan i would not recommend it) is the big busses as tica bus or trans nica but if you like to have a private transfer please feel free to send me a private message.

Enjoy Nicaragua.

South Padre Island...
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4. Re: Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

Bad idea. The wait to cross both ways you can be looking at 8 hours each way, PLUS rental cars going into another country not happening.

Nicaragua
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5. Re: Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

Spiguy if you have a better idea shared it.

that´s why i said tica bus or transnica depending on the season in low season only take 20 to 30 minutes each way . BTW i have been there in high season and it doesn´t take 8 hours be more responsible with comments we try to help people not scared them

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

Can we drive to the border and get a taxi to Granada from costa rica?

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

With only 5 days I'd forget about trying to go to Granada and instead concentrate on your time in Costa Rica. As other have said crossing the border can take hours and it would be a full day of travel to get to Granada.

Also keep in mind that while distances may look short on the map, the reality is that it it takes a considerable amount of time to drive from place to place. Low speed limits and poor roads (especially in Costa Rica). If you are interested in visiting Nicaragua, then it's best to fly to Managus and go to Granade form there - it's only a 45 min drive from MGA

Edited: 02 December 2012, 23:58
Loomis, California...
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8. Re: Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

'ola-I just did this last week for the 5 time in three years as we went from our house in Costa Rica to Granada for my daughter's wedding in Laguna De Apoya-just outside of Granada...

First a little math-if you are in the area for 5 days, the act of crossing this border on foot/car/bus will consume almost all day.

Second, the drive from Liberia to the border-Penas Blancas is about two hours, the act of crossing (more in a min) takes about 1-2 hours, and then it is another two hours to Granada........

You cannot take a rental car across the border from CR to Nicaragua per the contract, but theoretically you can do it the other way--don't. The act of getting a car across adds hours to the process.

You can do Alamo and they will take a car on one side and walk you to another on the other side. you can leave a car at the border and rent one on the other side-we have used budget four times and it is flawless--howver the act of renting a car takes an hour as all the reservation info is printed, re-entered into the computer, and the re-written by hand....this is not Gold service at Hertz....just the way they do it.

If you do not know the drill, driving up the border is terrifying--there are lines of several kilometers of trucks waiting to cross-as a driver you go into the opposite-wrong-lane and then get ahead of the line, dodging oncoming traffic...this is terrifying for the initiate, hilarious for the experienced...the bus will do the same thing but at least you are not at the front.....

Take no more luggage than you can carry comfortably-there is a half mile of walking over lousy roads that will test any roller bag.

Summary of the process: first stop is CR exit imigration-you have to fill out the form-which you can get by walking to the front of the line and asking the policeman-tip-get two/person-you are going to need the same form again on the Nica side. Make sure they stamp 'exit' on your passport-the same guys work in/out and can forget to change their stamps....and then you start all over.

Collect your stuff-start walking on the right side of road-you will go through CR police check to make sure you have been stamped, CR "customs" who will only look at you if you yell-I am smuggling drugs!....then you keep walking and get to Nica police check to make sure you have been stamped out of CR. This right next to the truck fumigation-get out of there quickly. Now you walk another 200yds across dirt parking lot to Nica immigration-step one is pay $1/person and KEEP THAT LITTLE SLIP!!! and then go to immigration and turn in the form with your passport-and pay $12/person entrance fee. Again-check that the stamp is Nica-in....now go to Duty Free--and then either get on your bus, in your rental car-and go another 150 yards and you will pass through a police check to make sure you got stamped, that you have the little slip for the $1 and customs-you are now in Nicaragua.

For first timers-easy way is to go to Liberia in the am-wait on the north side of street just west of McDonalds on the street-catch any Nica/Tica bus or Express to Granada-they run all the time and will pick you up on the corner-it is about $50 to Granda and they know the whole drill--and have the little forms aboard.

Have Fun!!!

9. Re: Crossing border from Nicaragua by car

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