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

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