The actual drive from San José, Costa Rica to Granada, Nicaragua is a relatively enjoyable and pleasant
drive. The roads are very straightforward and fairly easy to navigate. Many people go to Granada to renew their visa for Costa Rica if the are not residents and prefer to stay in Costa Rica as a tourist.
The actual drive is only about 8 hours depending on traffic. This doesn’t include the time required to cross the border. There is a process on both sides of the border and you can’t drive your car out of Costa Rica unless all the paperwork is in order, you need to get permission from the National Registro to drive your car out of the country prior to your departure. It is wise to have photocopies of all your documents prior to departing on your trip also. Once you arrive on the Nicaragua side of the border there is a process also. You need to purchase insurance and another item from the Ministerio de Tourism. You also need to go through immigration and pay for entry into Nicaragua. Then you need to locate someone from customs and the police to look at your car and sign off on it. Then you take all your paperwork to a window to get your paperwork allowing you to drive your car in Nicaragua.
There is an immigration fee to be paid per person when arriving and departing Nicaragua.
Lodging in Granada we like Hotel Terrasol, it is a small Boutique style Hotel has 10 double rooms equipped with air conditioning, private bathroom and cable TV (Continental Beakfast included). Rates are $30.00 per night with a fan in the room and $40.00 per night with air conditioning.
While in Granada there are many restaurants to choose from 2 of our favorites are La Gran Francia and El Zaguan. These are very nice restaurants and El Zaguan is rated number 1 of 42 on Trip Advisor. There are many less expensive and good restaurants to choose from also.
While in Granada you should take a boat trip to the Isletas, go to Massaya Volcano, and the Laguna de Apoyo.