SAN JUAN DEL SUR, Nicaragua
the "Sarong Goddess" - Vicki Skinner's Info Guide
WHERE TO STAY

VICKI SKINNER’S STEP-BY-STEP 
WALKING GUIDE ON 

HOW TO DO THE BORDER CROSSING FROM 
PENAS BLANCAS - COSTA RICA  -  TO LA FRONTERA NICARAGUA



For now lets just assume you've made your way to the Costa Rica side of the border to Nicaragua (see "Getting There" on this site - SanJuanDelSurNi.com/GETTING_THERE.html)

  Get off the bus or park your car at the Migracion Building on the Costa Rica side.  

(PARKING - Many people park right in front or back of the Migration building with no problem)

EXIT TICKET: 

If you have not yet pre-purchased your CR Exit Tax (aka “Impuesto de Salida Terrestre”) you MUST do that FIRST before going to the window at Migracion.

WHERE TO PURCHASE THE EXIT TAX•IMPUESTO DE SALIDA TERRESTRE AT THE BORDER:

  There IS an atm type machine inside the “Exiting CR Migration” office - BUT - in ALL the times I’ve been there, less than a handful of times it was functioning.  NOTE IF it is working, I believe it ONLY works with an ATM card with a 4 digit code (NO credit cards).

OR

WHAT TO DO:

  Go through the building (or around) to the other side where you’ll see a bunch of kiosks for the various buses & to your right you’ll see the Deldu ticket office (last time I was there it was a white & lime green building with a sign outside that said “AutoTransportes Deldu - Peñas Blanca San Jose.  Adquiera aqua su Impuesto de Salida Terrestre”

BRING YOUR PASSPORT WITH YOU!!! (NOTE:  If there’s more than one of you & there’s a line [that happens when multiple buses arrive at the same time] - one can go into the CR Exit Migracion line & the other can take all Passports over to pay for the Exit Tax.  If you’re on a bus that crosses over into Nicaragua, you will be able to pay that Exit Tax with them in San Jose).

Pay for your Exit Tax there for $7 PLUS a $1 “Convenience Fee” ($8 total - US $s or CR Colones ONLY.  Here they MAY break a $20 bill but unless you’re coming back to CR - insist on US$s back.  I would try it as it’s hard to get smaller bills).

Go back to the other side to the Exiting CR side & enter.

Do NOT NOT NOT have ANYONE “help” you as they want $$for something that is EASY for you to do on your own with this).

Walk ahead of the crowd on the side to one of the Migracion Officer’s window’s & just show however many fingers you need the Migracion form for for all traveling with you (I always get an extra one so I can have it ready & avoid this step when I’m re-Entering CR - especially since that line is usually long.  FYI - the forms are ALL in Spanish & English).

Once you have that go to the back of the line & complete it (complete it BEFORE getting to the window or they will ask you to step aside for the next person to go).

Once it’s your turn simply pass your PASSPORT & COMPLETED MIGRACION FORM to the officer, they will stamp your passport with that days date, exit the building & walk North towards Nicaragua staying to the Right side of the street.

NOTE:  They will NOT ask you for proof of your Exit Tax as it will already have been input in the system.

KEEP YOUR PASSPORT OUT AT ALL TIMES TILL YOU EXIT THE BLUE GATES ON THE NICARAGUA’S SIDE!!!!!

Along the way you’ll encounter a small “building”.  There they will ask for your passport & they are checking it to make sure you were stamped OUT of CR - then proceed forward.

Just after that building there will be a 10’x10’ or so canopy tent (last time at least.  By now - because it’s rainy season it might be some sort of more rain-free structure).

There they will ask to see your passport & search that for your CR Exit Stamp.

Next - just a few steps forward & set back a bit on your right is the structure for the Ministerio de Salud - the Health Department.  You’re SUPPOSED to go there (but few seem to) & they look at you to make sure you’re not looking sick like you’re going to bring some disease into the country.  They may even insist on taking your temperature if you look questionable.  They will give you a little ticket (I’ve never been asked for that & I do it - just in case as I don’t want to walk back!!).

Exit there & keep going North.  

You’ll come upon a large open area.  On your left you’ll see a bunch of stands selling “things” & food - & in the open parking area - buses, trucks & cars & a long white with blue trim building (that was the color last time I was there in December).

Go to the far left door & enter (note it is nice & air-conditioned!!!).

Outside you again will be approached by people wanting to help you with the forms but you do NOT need ANY forms for you to fill out here.  Migration will fill them out for you.

AS you enter this building, immediately to your RIGHT you’ll see a little kiosk & ALL NON-Nicaraguans will pay $1-US$or the equivalent of that in Cordobas (as of August 23, 2017 it was 30.26 “cords” to $1-US$.  Hmmm - the sign here says $1.54/44.28-cordobas & I can’t remember if it’s gone up or what [ahhh the memory - or lack thereof]).  That person will give you a little receipt.

Proceed to the Migracion Window & give them your passport & that receipt & $12-US$.  They often will say they can not break a $20-US$so it’s best to have smaller bills (note many CR banks do NOT like to give you small US$s).

They will ask you where you’re staying in Nicaragua so be prepared with some sort of answer to that - even if it’s just the city where you’re going.

After they process you, go forward through the glass doors & there will be 2 X-ray machines on either side.  They will signal you which one to go to (IF they’re working) & put ALL your bags, wallets, etc. on the cover belt.

NOTE:  If it’s not working, they will direct you straight ahead to a long table against the wall & someone from the Aduana•Customs will come & search your bags (or not).

When completed there, Exit the building to your RIGHT & you’ll see a bunch of people (& Migracion officers) at the BLUE GATE on your left.  

With Passport in hand - Exit there again.

Walk out & look for whatever mode of transportation you’ll take to where you’re going.

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Vicki Skinner
(aka THE "Sarong Goddess" in Escazu, Costa Rica)

1-941-312-7569 (U.S. # that rings to us in CR)  /  (506) 8-378-6679 (WhatsApp & cell in CR)   /    SKYPE:  VallartaVicki
SanJuanDelSurNi.com   •   facebook.com/SanJuanDelSurNi

IWillSetUpYourVacationProperty.com  •   YourCostaRicaConnector.comLovingYourPetHouseSitting.com  •   LivingLifeInCostaRica.blogspot.com

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