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.
- From Granada you will have to change here if you want to go on to San Juan del Sur by bus.
- From San Juan del Sur there are several departures daily.
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.
- From Isla de Ometepe take the boat from Moyogalpa to San Jorge and take a taxi (15 minutes) or bus from there to Rivas.
From Costa Rica
- From the border with Costa Rica crossing at Peñas Blancas.
Rivas is not too big but from the bus terminal you might want to take a taxi or bicitaxi (bicicle-taxi; often slightly cheaper). Colectivos can be found about a block from the bus station.
- Museo de Antropologia.
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 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.
- Tip Top, De la rotonda, 200 metros al Norte, NIC2 (from the rotonda, 200 m to the north), ☏ . Your typical greasy chicken chain. A favorite with the locals, nothing fancy but decent fast food if you want to play it safe.
- Hospedaje Lidia, frente Intur, ☏ .
- San Juan del Sur
- Granada (Nicaragua) the colonial pearl locally known as la gran sultana for her namesake in Spain
- Ometepe via the port of San Jorge (just out of town, about 15 minutes by taxi)
- The Pacific beaches listed in the Do section of this article