Gringos Guide To Driving Mexico, Central America & Costa Rica
Managua - San Juan del Sur

Managua – San Juan del Sur

HWY: CA 1—CA 2

Managua - San Juan del Sur

When entering Managua, stay on the straight-away, and follow the signs to Central. About 10 minutes after entering the city, you will come across a sign that reads Jinotepe CA 2. Steer left; this is the road you want. Follow this road until you meet with a traffic circle. Follow the traffic circle around, and exit UNI-UNAN.

There is a large sign on the right. This road will eventually lead out of town and onto Penas Blancas and San Juan del Sur. Note that the Interamerican Hwy changes from CA 1 to CA 2 until the border with Costa Rica.

The exit for San Juan del Sur is about 10 minutes past Rivas. From the main road, it’s another 18K to the coastal town. Follow the road to the beach. If you have come this far, please don’t miss San Juan del Sur. It’s one of the most beautiful places along the entire trip. Take a hike along the coast in either direction. There are some fabulous tidal pools. There is also some decent surf at the river mouth. Just ask the locals.

Hotel & Eats

Casa Internacional Joxi is a half block from the beach and has excellent service and food. It has rooms with air conditioning and private baths for $40-$100. This town offers exquisitely delicious seafood. There are several restaurants along the beach to indulge yourself.

The Costa Rican border is 24k past Rivas. The road is horrible. It takes about one hour to reach the border from Rivas or San Juan del Sur.

Learned Lessons

In Managua, at the traffic circle, follow the signs to UNI -UNAN. The signs do not indicate Jinotepe CA 2 anywhere. It is a puzzling spot, so make sure you make the correct turn-off.

Special Directions

For some peculiar reason, CA 1 becomes CA 2 between Managua and the Costa Rican border. Better to use cities as references when driving between locations. The road signs and road numbers mean very little to the local people.

Next Section of Drive

Exiting Nicaragua

Exiting Nicaragua