Peñas Blancas, Guanacaste

It is a common misconception that Peñas Blancas is a small town. This is actually not the case. Peñas Blancas is simply a border post. This means there are no places to stay in the area, although there are a few other amenities nearby. There are a few great restaurants in the small border post, as well as stalls and souvenir shops.

The primary service you will find near Peñas Blancas, however, is money changers. Because it is a post on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, there are most businesses you would expect to help facilitate traveling between two different countries here. If you have a vacation or trip planned that visits both of these Central American countries, be sure to learn everything you need to know about this Costa Rica border post.

Tips for Crossing the Border

There are a few things you should keep in mind if you are planning to cross the border at Peñas Blancas. First of all, the border post is open from 6 am to 8 pm each day. If you come during this time, you should expect to pay a small fee, but if you arrive before 6 am, you can enter Nicaragua for free. From 6 am to noon, you will be charged seven US dollars to pass through Peñas Blancas. After that, the fee is slightly increased to 9$ USD. Additionally, there is a small 2$ USD fee if you are coming into Costa Rica from Nicaragua, as well as a 22$ USD fee for bringing a car across the border.

Secondly, the time of year and day you choose to cross Peñas Blancas will greatly impact how long it takes. Most of the time, you should expect to cross the border in less than an hour, but if you mistakenly come here at the wrong time, it may take significantly longer, perhaps even as long as 10 hours. The best time of day to arrive is in the early evening. This is the time of day which has the shortest wait times. No matter what time of day you arrive, you should expect a huge wait if it is near a holiday or seasonal even. In particular, you should avoid trying to pass Peñas Blancas a few weeks before or after Christmas or Easter. These are the worst times of the entire year to pass through this border post.

What To Do Once In Guanacaste

Guanacaste Province is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. While you are visiting this part of Costa Rica, the unique and pristine coastline should be at the top of your list of sights to see. Tamarindo is one of the most famous beaches because it is sunny and beautiful nearly the entire year. There is so much to do on this and other beaches, include snorkeling, surfing, horseback or ATV tours, fishing, hiking, and more. The beaches of Costa Rica are also a great place to see the wildlife in its natural habitat, including exotic fish, birds, and reptiles.

Guanacaste also features a wide range of incredible national parks. Visit Rincon de la Vieja National Park to see active volcanoes, powerful waterfalls, and deep black soil. Or come visit Santa Rosa National Park, which was one of the first parks in the country. Learn more about Costa Rica’s history and how the ongoing preservation task first got started.

Guanacaste Escape Adventure Tour
7 Days / 6 Nights
Starting at $932 per person
Costa Rica Beach & National Park Tour
14 Days / 13 Nights
Starting at $2,091 per person
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Distance: 173 miles / 277 km
Drive Time: 4 hr
Distance: 155 miles / 248 km
Drive Time: 4 hr 30 min
Distance: 48 miles / 77 km
Drive Time: 2 hr 12 min
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Where to Stay near Peñas Blancas

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Best Western El Sitio Hotel & Casino
Starting at $55 / night
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Cañon de la Vieja Lodge
Starting at $60 / night
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Blue River Resort & Hot Springs
Starting at $105 / night
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Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin
Starting at $87 / night
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Hotel Las Espuelas, Bar & Restaurant
Starting at $59 / night
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Borinquen Thermal Resort
Starting at $113 / night
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The Coast Beachfront Hotel
Starting at $163 / night
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Café Playa Negra Hotel
Starting at $150 / night

Things to Do near Peñas Blancas

Featured Activity
Del Mar Surf Camp - Nosara
Starting at $65 / person
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Coyote Sportfishing Tamarindo
Starting at $475 / Day
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Palo Verde Jungle Boat Tour with Lunch
Starting at $120 / person