RE: Border crossing to Nicaragua in a hired car.
It's 12 years since I was there but I crossed the border on a bus. It wasn't particularly well developed back then, but things may have changed. There were people on foot, on buses and in private (or hire) cars. The difference between Costa Rica and Nicaragua was startling back then, and you may find that you are charged a premium for taking a hire car from CR into N'gua.
Enjoy it though, it's a wonderful road into N'gua.
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