The journey to Nicaragua from Costa Rica wasn’t as terrible as we had been told/read about. We set off from Liberia, where we had stayed overnight. We arrived at the bus station at 5.30am, had breakfast, the caught the 1 1/2 hrs bus to the border. Being a public bus it ran at about $2 each.
The border itself was the usual chaos, not sure where to go & no signs, but nothing more problematic than the others we crossed. The only difference was more hassle, men shouting ex rates for money, hassling you for cabs or offering help in exchange for money/or suggesting a place to stay. In total it took 1 1/2 hours to walk across into Nicaragua.
We then caught a packed chicken bus to Rivas, an even worse one to SJDS (the bus conductor insisting I carry my rucksack above my waist to create floor space for a man who was wedged too close for comfort standing beside me). The 2 person seats were already 3-4 abreast & we were standing wedged together so you couldn’t move arms or legs. We finally made it, nearly 2 hours later feeling hot, sweaty & a little sick.
On entering Nicaragua, initially we travelled along what we thought was the coast, but now realise was the shore of Lake Nicaragua as shown on the map below (courtesy of Google maps):
Our first stop is San Juan del Sur what was once a sleepy fishing village, but now, Nicaragua’s most popular tourist destination. Next will be Ometepe Island which is situated in the middle of the lake.