Anyone have insight as to weather this would be a do-able trip? What to expect? How long does it take from Playa Hermosa?
ITs a 3 hour drive to the border at Penas Blancos and then you have to deal with immigration which can be fairly quick or fairly slow depending on how you time it and then there will be more time to get to whereever you are going in Nicaragua. Granada? Not sure of the exact time but figure several hours more. You're not going to be able to take your rental car over the border either, so plan on having to deal with bus schedules which could delay you further making connections or even restrict you to a certain time of the day (e.g. the TicaBus goes that way just once a day).
And then you have to come back.
Here are some bus schedule links:
When you get done with the math, I'd just figure on at least an overnight
We are visiting Costa Rica on our honeymoon in a few days. From what I have learned you can certainly take a day trip from this area of Costa Rica but it would be a long day. If you are going on your own I would stay a night. We are planning on taking the bus up to Granada but we plan on staying 2 or 3 nights. The other option is to take a day tour, which appear to be widely available. The buses are inexpensive and its not too long a trip from Liberia to Granada.
"From what I have learned you can certainly take a day trip from this area of Costa Rica but it would be a long day. .... The buses are inexpensive and its not too long a trip from Liberia to Granada."
Long day would be an understatement. Buses are certainly very cheap but their schedules is not always designed for maximizing you time in Granada and returning the same day. You sais its not a long trip from Liberia to Granada, but Bryna is not starting out in Liberia. Its an hour from Hermosa to Liberia, where they would have to change buses. Assuming the next bus leaves exactly when they arrive in Liberia its another 2 hours to the border at Penas Blancas. Assuming you instantaneously pass through immigration (a big if), and a bus is leaving at just that moment its another 3 hours to Granada. That's 6 hours without any delays. And then after you've had a few minutes to check out what Granada has to offer and assuming there is a return bus leaving shortly thereafter you get to turn around and hope all your connections are similarly graced on the way back. If all this miraculously occurs, you'll return to Hermosa 12 hours after you left. You could stretch your time out in Granada by a couple of hours making all 12 hour r/t drive more worthwhile, but keep in mind the border station closes at 7PM. You said you've researched this, but I'm not sure you fully realize all that is involved. I'm glad you decided to stay over 2-3 nights.
I'm sure there are also organized tour options out of Hermosa and these probably operate more efficiently than shuttling between various public buses (and navigating immigration on your own), but there is only so much time they could shave off the estimates given above and I'm guessing few if any are actual DAY tours. More likely they're MULTI-day tours and not nearly as inexpensive as the buses that you mentioned.
I guess it will have to wait for another trip. That is more time than I want to spend travelling. Thanks for the information.
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