Nicaragua > Costa Rica
Peñas Blancas Border
As you approach the border, a guy in a small booth will ask to see your passport and will sign the vehicle permit and hand it back.
Drive a bit further along and turn left just after the large blue and white building (Immigration and Aduana) and park at the rear.
Pay $1 fee to Salida Immigration and take your ticket to the counter and get your exit stamp for Nicaragua. Here you pay another $2 to the guy behind the counter.
Next find a police officer and get him to sign the vehicle permit. You will have to find him, he was just standing around chatting in the carpark when we were there. Next, find the Aduana guy as he will need to sign and stamp the permit also. Look for someone wearing a white shirt with DGA logo.
Head into the Aduana office and they will cancel the permit and probably sign it again then hand the scribbled bit of paper back to you.
On to the Costa Rica bit…..
As you drive a bit further down the road, an official will check your passport and keep your cancelled vehicle permit.
Costa Rica Immigration is a large building on your left and Aduana is directly opposite. Park up just after the Immigration building. (Photo was taken looking back from where we parked – we haven’t got our lefts and rights mixed up :D)
Queues can get really long for Immigration so try get there early to beat the tour buses. No fee for immigration. Just get your passport stamped.
The Aduana office opposite is not next on the list. First of all, you need insurance so head further along the road and there is a small gap in the fence to the right which you should take. If you cannot get through, head approximately 200m further along and take the next right after a small office building. Either one of these routes will take you to a large building with an overhang and trucks parked under it.
At the far end (furthest from Immigration) there is an insurance window where you can hand over $17 (increased to $30 in December 2012) in return for an insurance policy.
Next, get a photocopy of the insurance certificate, passport photo page, immigration stamp and driving license.
Now head back to the first Aduana building. Fill in a form and they will do some stuff and hand back your paperwork.
Head back to the insurance building but this time use the entrance at the end (marked 2nd stop on photo) and hand over all the documents. They will produce a shiny new vehicle import permit and send you on your way!