Transport Schedules

Transportation in the region can be tough going, but if you are wanting to find out how to get to Corn Island, Bluefields, Pearl Lagoon, San Juan del Norte or any point in between, this is the best place to find out without having to go to the wharf in person.

Remember: information/destinations/schedules change without notice! This information is updated regularly, but if you find something has changed from these listings, please let me know.

Going to Corn Islands? Check out the updated transport graphic!

Destinations

Plane travel

La Costeña is the only airline offering service to the coast. They often sell out and it is best to make a reservation at least one week in advance. They usually request passengers to check in two hours prior and won’t think twice about bumping late arrivals. Don’t be surprised if they cancel flights without notice or send your checked luggage on a later flight without mentioning it. A reservation by phone means nothing if you haven’t paid for it. If the plane fills up and you haven’t yet paid for your reservation, it’s gone. They have a reputation for poor customer service but are the only airline in town. DON’T FORGET THEY ALSO ADD $18 LISTED AS “OTHER CHARGES” FOR ONLINE BOOKINGS! Reservations: 2263-2142, at the airport or www.lacostena.com.ni

Click it to big it…Low Season Flight Schedule (April 20 – November 19):

flight schedule for la costena

 

Click it to big it…High Season Flight Schedule (Nov 20 – April 19):

la costena flight schedule high season

Flight prices, June 2012. ADD $18 IF BOOKING ONLINE! click to enlarge

 

Boats to Corn Island and Little Corn Island travel regularly, though not daily. Transportation to the Corn Islands takes some planning, so if you are on a tight schedule you might consider flying to the islands instead. Flights to the Corn Islands leave twice a day from Managua and Bluefields but can be significantly more expensive. That being said, if you are wanting to know how to get to the Corn Islands, this is best place to look!

El Rama –>Corn Island

The Captain D leaves El Rama on Tuesday about 9pm, stops in Bluefields arrives in Corn Island about 3pm on Wednesday.   C$400 Capt. Norman Downs 8850-2767

The Isleño leaves El Rama on Thursday at 7pm, stops in El Bluff, departs El Bluff at 2am and arrives in Corn Island at 9am. C$250

Bluefields –> Corn Island

Note: For the boats that are leaving from El Bluff early in the morning, you will have to arrive in El Bluff the day before and spend the night. Be sure to wait at the Capitania and be ready to jump on board when they stop. They don’t stay but about two minutes!

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The big boat Rio Escondido departs Bluefields Wednesday between 9am – noon   C$300   The line to buy your ticket is at the green building on the right-hand side if you are facing the wharf. 

The Captain D is a cargo boat that leaves El Rama and stops briefly in Bluefields. Departs Bluefields at 10am (usually) on Wednesday and arrives in Big Corn Island at 3pm  C$300 seat or a bunk. You can buy your ticket at the office of Capt. Norman Downs (across the street from Oasis Casino, up the unmarked stairs)  8850-2767

The Island Express leaves from El Bluff Friday between 2am – 4am (spending the night in El Bluff required)  C$300

The Isleño D leaves from El Bluff Friday morning sometime between 12am – 4am (spending the night in El Bluff required)  C$300

The Island Trader leaves from El Bluff Friday morning sometime between 12am – 4am (spending the night in El Bluff required)  C$300

The Genesis leaves from El Bluff Sunday morning sometime at 5am (spending the night in El Bluff required)  C$300 Buy your ticket at the Capt. D office (across the street from Oasis Casino, up the unmarked stairs)

Corn Island –> Bluefields

The Isleño D departs the Big Island at 9pm on Sunday C$300

The Island Trader leaves on Sunday  C$300

The big boat Rio Escondido departs Thursday 9am   C$300 

The Captain D leaves Saturday, 11pm  C$300 for a seat or a bunk. Buy your ticket at the Fisher’s Cave restaurant

Big Corn Island –>Little Corn Island

Two pangas daily at 10am and 4:30pm and takes about 30 minutes. It can be a rough, wet ride and don’t be surprised if they don’t have enough life jackets.    $6 (~C$150)   departing from the municipal wharf.

There is also a motor yacht that leaves in the morning and afternoons on Mondays and Thursdays and takes about 45 minutes. It’s a smoother ride and you will stay dry.  C$205   departing from the municipal wharf.

The Isleño D  and the Island Trader depart the big island on Saturdays, about 11am, en route to the small island. Takes about an hour. C$80

Waiting for the ferry, Isleno D in the background. Big Corn to Little Corn island

Little Corn Island –>Big Corn Island

Two panga departures Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 6:30am and 1:30 pm and takes about 30 minutes. It can be a rough, wet ride and don’t be surprised if they don’t have enough life jackets.    $6  (~C$145)   departing from the municipal wharf.

There is also a motor yacht that leaves 6:15am and 1:15pm and takes about 45 minutes. It’s a smoother ride and you will stay dry.  $6  (~C$145) departing from the municipal wharf.

There is a little red supply boat called the Roger Saul that leaves at 4pm daily except for Saturdays. As on the boat.

The Isleño D and the Island Trader depart the little island on Saturdays, around 5pm, en route to the big island. Takes about an hour. C$80

Loading up to head to Big Corn Island

Corn Island –> Puerto Cabezas

Capt. D cargo boat leaves about once a month (when there is demand), on a Thursday, 6pm. Call to confirm: Capt. Norman Downs  8850-2767  C$550

By Boat

Bluefields –> Pearl Lagoon

Departures from 9:00am, 12pm, 3pm (or 4pm); Sundays only 9am     C$170   Look for the guy with the clipboard in the municipal wharf.

Pearl Lagoon –> Bluefields

Departures from 6:30am, 7am, 1pm; Sundays only 6:30am     C$175   Office is located on the left-hand side of the wharf entrance. Early morning departures should sign up the day before.

By Road

El Rama –> Pearl Lagoon

The bus from El Rama to Pearl Lagoon leaves at 4:30pm daily and costs C$130.  It leaves from the wharf or sometimes the “bus corner”, depending on who is driving it. You may have to ask.

Kukra Hill –> Pearl Lagoon

Kukra is a town just 45 minutes from Pearl Lagoon on the road to El Rama. Leaves at 10:15am and 4pm costs C$50

Corn Island –> Puerto Cabezas

Capt. D cargo boat leaves about once a month (when there is demand), on a Thursday, 6pm. Call to confirm: Capt. Norman Downs  8850-2767  C$550

Bluefields –> Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi)

Capt. D cargo boat leaves about once a month (when there is demand) on a Wednesday, 10am, goes to Corn Island and then on to Puerto Cabezas. Call to confirm: Capt. Norman Downs 8850-2767 C$850

Pearl Lagoon –> Kukra Hill

Kukra is a town just 45 minutes from Pearl Lagoon on the way to El Rama. Leaves from a corner one block west and a couple of blocks south of the wharf, right at the corner of the basketball court. Leaves at 7am and 1pm and costs C$50

Bluefields –> La Cruz de Rio Grande

Departs Monday   time?   C$680   Buy tickets at the Wendlyn Vargas transport window at the municipal wharf. Reservations 8851-2543 or 2572/1510

Bluefields –> Kukra Hill

Departures from 9:00am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 5pm     C$110   Look for the guy with the clipboard in the municipal wharf.

Bluefields –> Pueblo Nuevo (Wawashang)

Departs Sunday, and Wednesday, 7am   C$300   Ask at the NEW municipal wharf.

Bluefields –> Orinoco

Departs Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 9:30am   C$250   Ask at the NEW municipal wharf.

Bluefields –> Tasbapauni

Departs Monday through Saturday at 9am   C$250   Ask at the NEW municipal wharf.

Bluefields –> Sandy Bay, Karawala

Departs Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 9:30am   C$414   Operated by Transporte Dona Barbara 8725-4975 or 8909-8178 Departs at the NEW municipal wharf

Bluefields –> Desembocadura del Rio Grande

Departs Wednesday and Friday 10:30am   C$360   Operated by Transporte Dona Barbara 8725-4975 or 8909-8178

El Rama –> Bluefields

Sporadic departures when the panga has at least 18 passengers leaving from 5:30am – 12pm, 1pm and 3:30pm (again, if there are enough passengers) You can always ask the lady selling tickets in the office how many more are needed before going.          C$250        Wendlyn Vargas Transport office located on left-hand side of the street that dead-ends at the wharf (C$5 entrance).

Sporadic departures from 5:30am – 3:30pm          C$250        JIPE Transport office located at the entrance to the wharf (C$5 entrance). JIPE offers covered pangas. Reservations: 8622-2937 or 2572-1879

Bluefields –> El Rama

Sporadic departures from 5:30am – 12pm (1pm and 3:30pm if enough passengers) with boats always leaving between 5:30am and 6am.          C$250        Wendlyn Vargas Transport office located in the NEW municipal wharf (C$5 entrance).

Sporadic departures from 5:30am – 3:30pm          C$250        JIPE Transport office located at the market wharf. JIPE offers covered pangas. Best to buy your ticket the day before to guarantee a place on the morning panga. Reservations: 8622-2937 or 2572-1879

Bluefields –> El Bluff

Continuous departures from 6am – 6pm as the passenger limit of 12 is reached (for the 6pm departure be there an hour early to be sure) C$42  Departing from the market wharf.

El Bluff –> Bluefields

Continuous departures from 6am – 6pm as the passenger limit of 12 is reached (for the 6pm departure be there an hour early to be sure) C$42    Various pangas leaving from the municipal wharf.

Corn Island –> Bluefields

The Isleño D departs the Big Island at 9pm on Sunday C$300

The Island Trader leaves on Sunday  C$300

The big boat Rio Escondido departs Thursday 9am   C$300

The Captain D leaves Saturday, 11pm  C$300 for a seat or a bunk.

El Bluff –> Bluefields

Continuous departures from 6am – 6pm as the passenger limit of 12 is reached (for the 6pm departure be there an hour early to be sure) C$42    Various pangas leaving from the municipal wharf.

San Pancho, Zampopera (Tiktik Kaanu) –> Bluefields

Daily departures at 6am  C$80 San Pancho, C$50 Zampopera.  Departs from municipal wharf in San Pancho, will stop if waved down.

Kukra Hill –> Bluefields  

Departures from 6am, 8am, 11am, 3pm, 4pm     C$110 Departs from the municipal wharf

Pearl Lagoon –> Bluefields

Departures from 6:30am, 7am, 1pm; Sundays only 6:30am     C$175   Office is located on the left-hand side of the wharf entrance. Early morning departures should sign up the day before.

Pueblo Nuevo (Wawashang) –> Bluefields

Confirm departure at Bluefields wharf before going. C$300

Tasbapauni –> Bluefields

Departs Monday through Saturday in the morning   C$250   Ask at the Tasbapauni municipal wharf.

Kukra Hill –> Bluefields  

Departures from 6am, 8am, 11am, 3pm, 4pm     C$110 Departs from the municipal wharf

Pearl Lagoon –> Bluefields

Departures from 6:30am, 7am, 1pm; Sundays only 6:30am     C$175   Office is located on the left-hand side of the wharf entrance. Early morning departures should sign up the day before.

Pueblo Nuevo (Wawashang) –> Bluefields

Confirm departure at Bluefields wharf before going. C$300

Orinoco –> Bluefields

Departs Tuesday and Friday in the morning.   C$250   Ask at the Orinoco wharf office.

Tasbapauni –> Bluefields

Departs Monday through Saturday in the morning   C$250   Ask at the Tasbapauni municipal wharf.

Sandy Bay, Karawala –> Bluefields

Departs Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30am   C$414  Operated by Transporte Dona Barbara 8725-4975 or 8909-8178

Sandy Bay, Karawala –> Bluefields

Departs Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30am   C$414  Operated by Transporte Dona Barbara 8725-4975 or 8909-8178

Desembocadura del Rio Grande –> Bluefields

Departs Monday and Thursday 6:30am   C$360   Operated by Transporte Dona Barbara 8725-4975 or 8909-8178

La Cruz de Rio Grande –> Bluefields

Departs Wednesday   time?   C$680   Buy tickets at the Wendlyn Vargas transport window at the municipal wharf. Reservations 8851-2543 or 2572-1510

Desembocadura del Rio Grande –> Bluefields

Departs Monday and Thursday 6:30am   C$360   Operated by Transporte Dona Barbara 8725-4975 or 8909-8178

Monkey Point –> Bluefields

Call Capt. Kevin Hogdson 87041497 or 88429204 to see if you can catch a ride back with him on Sundays. No phone in Monkey Point so you will have to call before you leave!

San Juan de Norte (Nicaragua)/Greytown –> Bluefields

Canceled again. Departures are sporadic but usually at least once a week. Boats usually depart from the municipal wharf. There isn’t any regularly-scheduled service, but you can sometimes hop on a boat going north if you are vigilant about asking and patient about waiting. A private panga can also be chartered for about $500, which can be economical if you are with a group that would otherwise have to wait for days. There is also a fuel barge that sometimes carries passengers to Bluefields; it is a 12-hour journey that is usually made a day or two after the barge arrives to San Juan. Talk to Capt. Lester (en español) at 8737-8836. Beware, it is a 12-hour ride through the night and you might come off smelling like gas.

La Cruz de Rio Grande –> Bluefields

Departs Wednesday   time?   C$680   Buy tickets at the Wendlyn Vargas transport window at the municipal wharf. Reservations 8851-2543 or 2572-1510

By Road

There are several companies running bus transport to/from the coast. They usually leave on time but arrival times can vary. Often seats are assigned with a seat number on the ticket. In El Rama, expect to be approached by pushy locals trying to sell you a bus ticket to Managua. They get a little kickback from the competing bus companies to steer riders their way, but the tickets they sell are no more expensive and the locals can be quite helpful in answering any questions you might have.

Kukra Hill –> El Rama

Kukra is a town about three hours from El Rama on the road to Pearl Lagoon. Leaves at 3pm. C$130

Pearl Lagoon –> El Rama

Leaves from a corner one block west and a couple of blocks south of the wharf, right at the corner of the basketball court. Four hour ride and leaves at 5am and costs C$130

Managua –> El Rama

There are buses that leave several times during the day from two Managua bus stations. For the express buses, you can buy your bus and panga tickets from Wendelyn Vargas transport located in the Ivan Montenegro station. Departures are 6am and 9pm daily. C$160 bus, C$250 panga. But tickets at the ticket counter. You can reserve tickets in advance by calling Transporte Costa Atlantica’s Managua office at 2253-2879.

wendelyn vargas schedule

Schedule is right but prices are now C$160 bus and C$250 panga

There are buses that take a little longer to get there which stop and pick up passengers along the way. They leave from the Mayoreo station throughout the day, including 5 am, 6am, 4pm and 6pm and 8pm. Buy your tickets on the bus for C$150.

El Rama –> Managua

Departures from 9am, 7pm from buses parked at the wharf entrance.    C$170    Buy your ticket from the Wendelyn Vargas office located in the small room in front of where the rows of benches are facing by the wharf. The number on your ticket corresponds to your assigned seat. Odd numbers are usually against the window and evens are in the aisle.

The slow bus takes about an hour or two longer and, as you can see, leaves Rama at 6:40am. Also leaves nearly every hour afterwards. Buy your tickets on the bus or from the guys shouting ManaguaManaguaManagua! for C$150

One of the slow buses that does the route

Bluefields –> Zampopera (Tiktik Kaanu), San Pancho

Daily departures at 6am  C$50 Zampopera, C$80 San Pancho.  Departing from Santa Rosa bridge.

Bluefields –> Monkey Point –> Punta Gorda

Departs Friday 7am from the yacht wharf (behind the PNUD building). C$400 to Monkey Point, C$600 to Punta Gorda. Call to confirm: Capt. Kevin Hogdson 87041497 or 88429204

Bluefields –> San Juan de Norte (Nicaragua)/Greytown

Canceled again. Departures are sporadic but usually at least once a week. Departs from the municipal wharf. Sign up with Jim who walks around the entrance to the wharf with a clipboard to get your name on the list. C$500 – C$900 depending on which boat is going. There is also a fuel barge that goes down about once a week and accepts a limited number of passengers. Talk to Capt. Lester (en español) at 8737-8836. Beware, it is a 12-hour ride through the night and you might come off smelling like gas. Chartered pangas are available; they cost about $500.

San Juan de Norte (Nicaragua)/Greytown –> San Carlos, el Castillo, Rio San Juan

San Carlos, el Castillo, Rio San Juan –> San Juan de Norte (Nicaragua)/Greytown

The very latest info I could find (click to big it) (ed. note: This is from 2012, you can guarantee prices have gone up since then, though the schedules are likely the same:

Yeah, right. hahaha

drug-runner-rib

48 Responses to “Transport Schedules”

  1. Kat15 September, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Thanks, good to have a dependable reference when I can’t quite recall the cost of the Managua-Rama bus!

    • Casey1 March, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

      That’s what I’m here for, darlin!

  2. Usvala28 February, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    The only thing that is missing is the travel time from Managua to El Rama. How many hours on express and how many on a slow one?

    • Casey1 March, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      Included! Check it out:

  3. silvia1 March, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    hola me gustaria ir a la isla pequena del mais … hay cada dia barcos .yo vengo por tierra ..desde managua . hay problema si voy en la isla pequena llevandome a mi mascotta ??
    gracias adios

    • Casey1 March, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

      Hay barcos pero no salen diario…bueno, mejor si planificas a salir del unico barco de transporte comercial, el Rio Escondido, que sale Bluefields a las 9am en Miercoles. No se si aceptan animales. Si no, tambien el barco de carga se llama el Capt. D sale el mismo dia. Que le vaya bien!

  4. Emilie17 September, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Casey your site is amazing, I can’t believe you compiled all this information! Thank you so much!

    • Casey20 September, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      Glad you find it useful!

  5. patty3 November, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Im thinking of traveling to corn island but my friends want to drive to el rama and then get a panga to bluefields-corn island,, I was wondering if we can drive in a small car to el rama or is the road really bad? also can we leave the car somewhere in el rama? my other question is are there any ships leaving like tuesday or late monday to bluefields- corn island? it seems to me by what i read that the only ship leaves on wednesday and that seems like to much time since we would like to stay there like 2 or 3 nights and we would like to be back by saturday probably. thanks

    • Casey7 November, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      The road is in great shape. No problem driving to El Rama from Managua. There are two ships leaving on Tuesday from El Rama, the Capt. D and the Rio Escondido. You can even bring your car on the Capt. D!

      • Anne29 March, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

        Casey,
        Your site is sooo excellent! I do have a question I’m hoping you can help me with –
        two of us are leaving Pearl Lagoon Saturday June 15th – and we want to end up at Little Corn before sundown:-).
        Is it possible to get from Pearl Lagoon to Bluefields that same a.m. – in time to catch the 07:00 flight to Big Corn? How would you recommend we secure this reservation? (if it is possible…..)
        thanks for your help, Anne

      • Inga1 December, 2013 at 8:18 am #

        Do you know how much he charges for cars? Do you know of anywhere you can park in El Rama for 5 days or so that is secure?? Thanks for info!

        • Casey5 December, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

          There is the hotel right at the wharf where you buy your tickets for the panga. They have gated parking. Hope that helps!

  6. Jo21 March, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Good informations! Muchas gracias!
    Perhaps something which could help people going there
    http://es-la.facebook.com/pages/Terminal-Costa-Atl%C3%A1ntica-SA/406685389395349
    leaving today to Rama…!!!

  7. Fred14 April, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    What time does the ‘Captain D’ leave El Rama and on what days?
    Above it states,
    “The Captain D leaves El Rama on Tuesday about 9pm, stops in Bluefields arrives in Corn Island about 3pm on Wednesday. C$400 Capt. Norman Downs 8850-2767″
    I thought I read somewhere it leaves in the ‘am’.
    Also is Tuesday the only day the ‘Captain D’ makes the trip from El Rama, I have a motor cycle I need to transport.
    The other question is, do you have any idea the condition of the road from El Rama to Pearl Lagoon this time of year (April 15)?
    Thankx Casey. Fred

    • Casey14 April, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      The Capt. D leaves El Rama on Tuesday… but to be honest I can’t give you a specific time because they always seem to bump up or delay their departure time. For example, the last time I returned from Corn Island, the Capt. D left 6 hours earlier than it was scheduled to leave!

      As for the road to Pearl Lagoon, it was recently grated and is in pretty good shape considering it is a dirt road.

      Hope that helps!

  8. fred18 April, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Requesting information on ¨¨Ferry 1 ¨, scedules, can you give any help? Correct contact number perhaps?

    • Casey18 April, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

      Hi Fred,

      Sorry, I thought I had replied already! In short, there is not “Ferry 1″ that I know of. I have never seen it before in my life. Your best bet is the Capt. D I think.

      Thanks,
      Casey

  9. fred18 April, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Ferries returning to Rama from Bluefields? Cost of transport of a motorcycle in each direction? Port fees, etc.?
    Sorry to be such a pain in the…. but I don´t like unpleasant surprises at the last minute. Thankx Casey

    • Casey18 April, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      No worries Fred. Unfortunately I really don’t have the answers to some of your questions. I don’t know how much they would charge to ship a moto, though I would guess the guy who charges the fees has the rates all in his head (or makes them up as he goes along). The cargo ships that run are the Capt. D and the barges that come two or three times a week.

      But with all due respect, this is the last place to come if you don’t like surprises at the last minute, especially with transportation!

      Thanks,
      Casey

  10. Renee27 April, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    Hi Casey!

    Any new info on boats traveling from Bluefields to San Juan Nica or visa versa? I have read that there is a boat called Virgo I and Virgo II that leaves Wed/Sat at 8am. Any up to date info would be helpful!

  11. Renee Harris28 April, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Hi Casey,

    Not sure if this went through because I don’t see it on the forum. We are trying to see if Virgo 1 and Virgo 2 are still operating between San Juan Nicaragua and Bluefields. Any recent updated information?

    Renee

    • Casey28 April, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      Hmm…never heard of the Virgo 1 nor the Virgo 2. I will check down at the wharf here in Bluefields tomorrow and let ya know.

      • Renee Harris28 April, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

        Thank you!!!

    • Casey29 April, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      Went down to the municipal wharf today to check. Nothing.

      While there are some boats that go between Bluefields and San Juan on occasion, there is nothing that you can plan by. Your best bet is to contract someone when you get to SJdN.

      Thanks,
      Casey

      • Renee2 May, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

        Thanks for checking Casey! Hoefully we will find some boat to hop onto!

  12. fred10 May, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Hi Casey;
    I took the trip to Bluefields via the “Captain D” left at 9pm from El Rama, at 10:30 we stopped at an obscure village where for more than 3 hours, 7 men loaded bags of wet sand onto the ferry. We then proceeded on to bluefields where I waited until all of the other passengers and cargo were unloaded before they finally 2 hours later unloaded my motorcycle and charged me C$1000 for the bike plus C$ 250 for my passage plus dock fees on each end. All in all a pretty lousy experience.
    Three days later I returned to Rama via the “Maria Gloria Zeledon”, the locals prefer this passage to the Captain D (the numbers don’t lie), total cost including all dock fees(both ends) less than C$700.
    You do the math.
    My money says for the best deal, and friendliest people, it isn’t the Captain D.
    Thankx for the Pepitos tip though, it is a pretty nice place, centrally located, decent food though they only served breakfast, (C$60) Rooms when I was there were $20 for a two bed room, $15 for a 1 bdrm. (w/air cond. & shared bathrm) I’d recommend it.
    your friend, Fred

    • Casey25 May, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

      Hi Fred,

      Thanks for the update on your experience! Sorry to hear you had an expensive and unfriendly experience with the Capt. D. I have never taken the Maria Gloria but it sounds like that one is the preferred choice! So, you came to Bluefields with your bike for just three days?

      Glad you like Pepitos. Not a bad place. Take care Fred and let me know when you head back this way!

      Casey

  13. Shawna11 July, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    Hi Casey,

    Do you know any way to get from the Indio-Maiz Preserve area to Pearl Lagoon? We want to stay near the entrance of Indio Maiz closest to El Castillo for a few days then amke our way over to Pearl Lagoon. There does not seem to be direct flight between San Carlos and Bluefields. I would assume there is enough connection via waterways to make it by boat but these seems spotty and super expensive. Any suggestions?

    • Casey24 July, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

      Hmm…well, it isn’t easy. There isn’t any public transport from San Juan de Nicaragua to Bluefields (or Pearl Lagoon for that matter). Your cheapest and probably fastest way would be to go back up the Rio San Juan to San Carlos and take a bus to El Rama. From there you can take another bus to Pearl Lagoon.

      Good luck!

  14. Frederick Roellig4 August, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    Hi Casey,
    Wife, 5 year old kid and I want to go to the Corn Islands before heading back to the states on 21 Aug.
    There are 3 boats leaving from El Bluff on Friday mornings from 0001 to 0400, the Island Express, Isleño D and Island Trader.
    On Saturday Morning, there is one boat, the Genesis, leaving from 0001 to 0400.
    We would like to go on Saturday Morning, it works with our schedule better, but if we miss that boat, or the boat does not come, we DO NOT get to go to the Corn Islands. This would be disappointing.
    Our dilemma is, do we play it safe and go on Friday Morn, so we have lots of backup. Or do we risk it for convinience and go Saturday Morn on the Genesis. If you tell us that these boats are not very regular or reliable, or cancell frequently because of weather, we will go Friday. If you tell us we are relatively sure of Saturday, like 95% sure (I realize nothing is 100% around here) we´will go Saturday. So, what call would you make?
    Amazing info by the way. You should get some sort of medal for this, or named a saint by the catholics when you die or something.

  15. Jonathan17 October, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Hi Casey,

    Just wondering when this information was last updated? I’m planning a trip for this December, and we’re looking at the Friday El Bluff departures to Corn Islands and wanted to make sure the information we were using to make decisions is still relevant. Thanks in advance, and thank you for the incredible public service you’re doing by compiling and providing this travel information!!

  16. Daniel28 November, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

    Your site is amazing! Thank you for all the info.

    One question: is it possible to get from the Corn Islands to Pearl Lagoon? I am planning my itinerary and am wondering if it is possible to do a route from Corn Island to Pearl Lagoon to Bluefields (or vice versa).

  17. Sarah25 December, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Thanks for all the work you put into your website. When we travelled from Managua to Rama we saw a nice air conditioned looking comfortable bus that said Managua-Bluefields. It had luggage underneath and all!! Do you know where/how you get this bus? We are looking to return from Bluefields in the near future. Sure looked better than the bus we were on!

    • Casey25 December, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      There are two.

      One is an express bus that only stops in Juigalpa for lunch. You can get it from the Wendelyn office in El Rama which is located on the right hand side diagonal from the exit of the wharf. HOWEVER, they have 3 buses and the other two are converted school buses. That means decent seats but luggage is stored overhead. It’s really the luck of the draw if you get the plush bus. Oh, and no A/C. Windows only.

      The other bus is a yellow King-Quality bus that has a big batman symbol on the windshield. It parks just left of the wharf and is the first bus you see when leaving. It is a nice bus too but it isn’t express (regardless of what the driver tells you). It will stop in every village to pick up people and by the time it reaches Managua the aisle is jammed full of sweaty uncomfortable passengers (no A/C either).

      For the best ride I would suggest getting the Wendelyn Vargas bus that services the wharf in El Rama direct to the Ivan Montenegro terminal in Managua.

      Have a good trip!

  18. Biologique Earl10 January, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Hi Casey,

    You are sure doing a great public service with this blog. I thank you for your time and research.

    We keep seeing suggestions that there are at least small boats going SJ de N to Bluefield and talk of a ferry, in future. Are there any glimmers of hope in the air. My wife and I, not youngsters, hope to find a ride in February as, obviously, we would like to do a loop tour starting at San Carlos. We are used to small boats and rough rides. However we are not so desperate as to take fuel boats.

    Thank you,

    Biologique

    • Casey10 January, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      Thanks for the compliments!

      Really the only sure way is to hire a panga. It isn’t too hard to find one from SJdN, it just costs a ton of money. My suggestion is to get friendly with other travelers and convince them to pitch in on hiring a panga. Start talking to people in San Carlos, talk to backpackers in El Castillo and find people who have reached the “dead end” of San Juan to see who would be willing to help hire the boat.

      It is a rough ride…the wind is pretty strong and it’s 1/4 of the length of the coast in open sea. But it is an adventure! One day there will be commercial service, but I doubt it will start in February.

      Good luck!

      • rokae25 March, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

        Hey Casey,
        Great website! There is nothing else like it!
        At the moment we plan our trip in Nica. We’re four people they whant to go from Corn Island / Bluefields to SJdN in the End of May. There seems to be no public transport. How likely is it to find a panga in the afternoon for the next day? Did you have any advice where we can find anyone who takes us to SJdN?
        thx
        rokae

        • Ben26 April, 2014 at 11:22 am #

          Hi Rokae

          I’m going to be in the Corn Islands with my wife around 17/18 May and we’re looking to travel down to SJdN. From my limited knowledge gleaned from Casey’s fantastic website it seems private panga is the only way so it would be great to find some other travellers interested in sharing the cost!

          Get in touch

          Ben

  19. Biologique Earl10 January, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    Thank you Casey for the prompt reply. Never get over the electronic marvel of the IN. We are half a world away from Nic.

    Biologique

  20. NTC25 January, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    looking for a barge (plana) to take heavy equipment up the the river from Pearl lagoon. We are doing some reconstruction of a few towns in the region. Can you recomend a resposible professional group that can assist us in this delivery.

  21. Dylan22 April, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Hi Casey, driving from into nicaragua from El Salvador in a few days, do you know of any secure parking in el Rama while we head out to corn islands?

    Thanks

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