Saturday, June 29, 2013

Costa Rica-Nicaragua Border Crossing Procedure

Border Town: Guasaule
Direction: Northbound (From Costa Rica to Nicaragua)
  • 50 Cólones - copy of permit
  • US$4 - fumigation
  • US$1pp - Nicaraguan entry tax
  • US$12pp - Nicaraguan visa
  • US$5/car - vehicle tax
  • US$12 - insurance

Copies: (1) copy of Costa Rican Vehicle Permit

Costa Rica side:

Before you cross into Nicaragua, you must go through Costa Rican immigration to get your exit stamp and through customs to cancel your vehicle permit. You can do these in any order you prefer. I would recommend not arriving at the border anytime between 10:00am and 1:30pm as the busses arrive with hordes of people between those times.
The aduana that you need to visit is the one that is located next next to the semi cargo inspections.
  1. Before you go in (although you may want to verify with the customs agent as policies constantly change), you should get a single copy of the front of the Costa Rican vehicle permit at the copy office in front of aduana. Cost is ₡50.
  2. Enter the aduana building directly across from the copy shop.
  3. Give the copy, the permit, and the driver’s passport to the customs agent.
  4. He will stamp both the copy and the permit and provide the copy back to you as proof of your canceled permit.
  1. Park inside the fence at the migración office. (Guides and money changers will try to get you to park outside of it so they can assist you and convince you into an exchange.)
  2. Enter the building and fill out the exit form.
  3. The agent will take the exit form and stamp your passport.
Crossing Over
  1. When you have completed the migración and aduana procedures in Costa Rica, you are free to cross over to Nicaragua.
  2. When you drive back onto the road from the parking lot, you will come up next to the semis. Keep to the left of the semis and drive up to the drop-bar barricade, where the officials will check your passports and canceled permit.

Nicaragua side:

  1. After that, you cross over to the right and stop at the tent gazebo where Nicaragua officials will check your passports and vehicle and provide you a customs form for your vehicle. Fill this form out before you start deal with more customs officials.
  2. Drive to the area migración and aduana and park.
  3. Per usual, you must visit migración and aduana before you can leave, but you can do this in any order you which.
  4. You must also purchase insurance for the vehicle at some point. I would suggest doing this before you get the police signature as he asked us for it. At this station, they are located inside the aduana office with a booth that says “Seguros.”
  1. Enter the entrance (entrada) section of Migración buildings.
  2. As you enter, there is a booth where you must pay a $2pp entry tax and receive a receipt for it.
  3. Proceed to the windows, where you will fill out the entrance form and turn it in. You will also present your passport to be stamped and pay $12pp. Make sure you get your receipt and your tourist card.
    1. Wandering about in the parking lot is an aduana official. He is normally wearing a polo and a neck lanyard both of which say “DGA” and has a clipboard. Get him to sign the customs form you received at the tent gazebo.
    2. Then you must get the police officer to sign your form. He could be wandering around, but we usually find him in or near the customs office. He wanted to make sure you had gotten insurance and paid your vehicle tax.
    3. If you have not paid your vehicle tax yet, he will escort you to the booth to pay the tax. The booth is in the customs office with a pink Nicaragua sign on it. The tax is $5/car.
    4. With signatures from the entry station, aduana, and police, plus insurance, you can now proceed to the customs agent inside the customs office (only one with a computer and no sign) who will review the information and create your permit. She will need your title or registration, driver’s passport, and driver’s license in addition to the customs form with signatures.
    1. With permit in hand, you can drive north (around the buildings) to the exit.
    2. At the exit, there is another set of officials who will check your passport stamps and vehicle permit paperwork.
    3. Then you are free to go!

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