From the airport: The best way to travel to San Juan del Sur from the airport is by booking an airport shuttle. The cost is $40 per person or $65 for two people each way and takes around 2 hours. (Click here for the details.)
If you arrive on a late flight into Managua and prefer to overnight at a hotel near the airport before traveling to San Juan del Sur the following day, there are two good hotel options close by. Directly opposite the airport is the Best Western Mercedes Managua and one mile away is the Hotel Camino Real, adjacent to the Casino.
By bus: San Juan del Sur is serviced from Rivas, Managua and Granada. Expresso routes are quicker than Routado routes as they have fewer stops. Locally referred to as “chicken buses” they can be crowded and uncomfortable. The legroom is limited and the seats are hard. There’s often no air-conditioning on board and no storage for large bags. The main bus terminal in San Juan del Sur is near the Mercado Municipal (municipal market). Bus schedules are available at this website. Be sure to double-check the information on the ground because the schedule is often subject to change.
Crossing the border from Costa Rica: As the border with Costa Rica at Peñas Blancas (Nicaragua’s border town) is just 40km (25 miles) from San Juan del Sur, quite a few visitors come overland. The easiest way to cross the border is on an international bus route serviced by TicaBus or Trans Nica.
Arriving on a cruise line: Since 2008 San Juan del Sur has been receiving around 20 – 40 cruise ship visits each year. In 2014, the government announced that it had started a bidding process for the construction of a cruise ship terminal to allow passengers to disembark directly on the port. Currently cruise passengers need to take a small boat or tender to reach the shore.
By taxi: Taxis are a practical way to travel in Nicaragua and the cost should compare favorably with renting a car. See the price guide.
For detailed information on planning your trip to San Juan del Sur, working out where to stay, what to do and where to eat, check out the Insider Guide to San Juan del Sur.