We started our day from Diria, Granada taking the chicken bus via Rivas to the Border
One of the first things I did before starting this trip is create a trip itinerary. As most of you know you can order a ticket online and cancel as soon as you receive the trip details.
Pit stop between countries. This trip is always an adventure.
Huge windmills a few kilometers south of Rivas with volcanoes Concepción and Maderas in the background.
The bus will drop you off about 100 meters from the Nicaraguan immigration and customs. Where you will be approached by several people trying to tell you they can help you cross the border faster, easier, for visa extension etc.. Most will be in regular clothes and some wearing golf shirts with logo to look more professional. They are costly and not necessary, however some travelers do use them.
At the first gate there are a couple of border guards who check your passport to enter building. At door to enter building there is a booth that charges you US$1. Then the next booths are the Nicaraguan Immigration and customs and they charge US$2.
Once you exit the building this is what it looks like on the other side
There some artisans set up around the area and food vendors as well.
Below is a picture showing what you will see when you start walking away from the building towards Costa Rica. Past the two wood buildings on the left there is another Nicaraguan patrol to check your passport and to make sure you paid the exit fees.
20 some odd paces down there is a Costa Rican guard that sometimes checks your passports but don't usually, so far three border runs and no guard has checked.
It's about a 500 meter straight stretch to Costa Rica immigration and customs.
Stay to the right towards the bus.
You have arrived at the Costa Rica immigration and customs. There is a bank on the left take the right door. If you are extending your stay in Costa Rica immigration and customs will ask for proof of exit out of Costa Rica (an airplane ticket or bus ticket should work). Ask an expat on Facebook or if you see any around town before you go to border to know your options or if any recent changes have occurred.
Birds eye view of border crossing PanAmerican Hwy.
After Costa Rica immigration and customs I turn right around and head back but be prepared to stay 1 to 3 nights. You never know.
On the way back out of Costa Rica and towards Nicaragua you will have to pay a US$11 exit fee.
Then you go back to a Costa Rica immigration and customs agent to start your exit out of the country towards Nicaragua, but on the opposite side of building, fill out a form and they check your passport. As you head back on the same road (that you entered Costa Rica) to Nicaragua and go in on the left side of Nicaraguan immigration and customs building where you pay US$12 entry fee, submit your entry document and your done and you should have another 90 valid visa to stay in Nicaragua.
It took me 1 hour to accomplish all the items as written. I was back home in time for dinner around 3pm.