Rivas is a city in the Southern Pacific Coast of Nicaragua.


From a tourist point of view, Rivas is mostly a travel hub. While it is by no means ugly, its buildings can't compete with nearby Granada, and it doesn't have a beach, so most people who like sea-related activities go on to either San Juan del Sur or Isla de Ometepe. But if you have to spend a day there, there is probably still enough to keep you entertained.

Rivas is the capital of the municipio (think county) Rivas which includes the port of San Jorge (boats to Ometepe) and also of the Rivas departamento (think state) which includes San Juan del Sur and the island of Ometepe. The departamento borders Costa Rica to the south the Pacific to the west and Lake Nicaragua to the east, so expect lots of people just passing through.

Get in

By bus

By car

Rivas sits along the Panamerican highway, which is generally in good condition but is prone to congestion and slow trucks or buses blocking the lane

By boat

From Costa Rica

Get around

Rivas is not too big but from the bus terminal you might want to take a taxi or bicitaxi (bicicle-taxi; often slightly cheaper).




Area beaches enjoy almost daily offshore winds coming from Lake Nicaragua. As a result the beaches are ranging from hollow beach breaks to incredible point breaks, fit for all ability levels. Thanks to surf and eco-tourism in the area, large developments like Rancho Santana have land-grabbing expats and entrepreneurs excited. The many surf camps and smaller resorts attract a variety of travelers world-wide. This surge can be attributed to the many articles that have been published in recent years in surfing magazines and lifestyle magazines like GQ, and the fact that Costa Rica's once untamed coasts have been developed to the point of exhaustion.




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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.