San Juan del Sur Transportation
With so much to see in San Juan del Sur, it’s important to know a few different ways of getting around. Many people get rental cars, however public transportation by bus is just as easy.
Transportation by Bus
Getting to San Juan del Sur typically starts at the bus station in Rivas. Rivas is the most important transportation-hub in the south-west of Nicaragua and almost all busses in the area will stop here. The ferry towards Isla Ometepe also stops here (so it is easy to combine the two) and from Granada there also is a direct bus towards Rivas. For about $1 USD you can take a return bus from San Juan del Sur to Rivas. These busses leave about every 30-45 minutes. The trip goes through the wild-west landscape of this part of the country which can be both beautiful and exciting. Since busses are a main form of transportation for many you may find them to be crowded.
If you’re traveling from Granada it will take about one hour and one dollar to get to Rivas. Busses depart from the small bus station at the Mercado Municipal in central Granada. In Rivas they arrive at the central bus station. When you arrive from Isla Ometepe, you will need to charter a taxi from the harbor towards the bus station, which will cost you about 2 dollar and 15 minute. If you’re in a hurry, often times you’ll be able to pay taxi drivers to get you anywhere the bus goes for a dollar or two.
Transportation by Taxi
You should use caution when riding in a taxi as numerous travelers have been mugged while getting rides from fake drivers. Unfortunately, if you’re traveling to the docks you’ll undoubtedly need to take a taxi. Routes from Rivas to San Jorge are reported to be safer than routes from Managua. In one traveler’s accounts, a man approached her after she visited an ATM in Managua an presented forged documents to prove he was an official taxi driver. As she arrived at her destination in Roberto Humbes a number of men approached the car and grabbed her bag from her. She insisted that it be returned and was able to board the bus without further hassle.
Transportation by Boat
From San Jorge to Isla de Ometepe there are several boats per day. The ferry (bigger boat) only leaves twice a day, but the lancha (smaller boat) leaves more often. Visitors typically pay the fare of about 20 cordobas and then sit down in the waiting hall as boats may be little late arriving and don’t usually depart on time. When it is time to board, everyone tends to get on all at once which can be a bit chaotic, but soon as everyone is seated the boat will leave. While ticket’s can be bought on board, they are typically three times more expensive.
Transportation by Car
Getting around by car allows for more flexibility on your trip. You’ll find that most major highways are in good condition and have at least two lanes. At times, traffic will move slowly as you’ll be sharing the road with everything from overloaded semis to donkey carts slowing things down. If you find yourself in traffic just chill out and enjoy the ride. You’ll find this is the general attitude of locals and travelers alike. It’s also worth noting that the highway connecting from the Pan American to San Juan was recently redone and is in excellent condition. If you plan to go outside of the area with a rental car, you may want to purchase supplemental car insurance as there are a number of side roads that aren’t maintained well.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Transportation Tip via Taxi, Train, Bus, & Airport in San Juan del Sur.