Getting Around Nicaragua

  • three wheel drive from Mirador to Laguna de Apoyo
    three wheel drive from Mirador to Laguna...
    by mircaskirca
  • Young girl selling sodas at the busstop in Rivas
    Young girl selling sodas at the busstop...
    by Pieter11
  • Transportation
    by rosequartzlover1

Most Viewed Transportation in Nicaragua

  • Managua Driver

    by RonStanford Updated Mar 18, 2007

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    I've been there 8 times since 1999, and I've found that it's extremely helpful to have a driver who knows the ropes. Every trip
    from Managua to the Pacific in the last two years, we've been stopped by police asking for a variety of documents and small bribes. Last month I met a driver who is great. He lives 5 minutes from the airport in Managua and knows how to find out the inside information about arrivals, departures, luggage location, etc. You can call him or email him to arrange for a pickup, and he'll know if your flight is delayed, so you don't have to panic. He drives a lot for the surf tours down in San Juan del Sur, and he knows his way around the country, especially from Managua to the Pacific coast. Owns a trusty old Land Cruiser and a couple of cabs. I even made him a little web page to help him a bit.

    Noel Castillo, driver Noel knows Nicaragua like the back of his hand.
    Related to:
    • Fishing
    • Surfing
    • Beaches

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    Transportation Within Nicaragua

    by maryellen50 Written Feb 28, 2007

    As most towns/cities in Nicaragua do not have physical street or address numbers, it is recommended to use public transportation rather than renting a car. There have been several reports of foreigners being stopped by police intent on obtaining a bribe so as to avoid that take public transporation or taxis - they are cheap and will take you to most spots around the country.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking
    • Adventure Travel

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    Driving in Nicaragua...don't.

    by jglsongs Written Jan 25, 2006

    If you really don't have to drive in Nicaragua, don't. Let someone else do the driving- the roads (probably because of the rains this past year) are full of potholes - to the point, where the traffic along some stretches try to avoid the potholes and it ends up looking like a line of cars going down Lombard Street in San Francisco!

    Also, honking in Nicaragua isn't like honking in the states - so if you are "honked at," it could just mean another driver is passing, or just basically saying 'hi, just making sure you know I'm driving here too.' The other things to always watch out for are the 2-wheeled, 2-wheeled plus four-legged and just the four-legged travellers.

    normal road traffic in Nicaragua
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    • Road Trip

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    Bussin in from San Jose, CR

    by kohltrain Written Dec 10, 2005

    make sure you bring warm clothes for the busride and I advise not traveling during the Christmas season as the wait at the border will last forever. We took the bus just over the boarder and then a taxi. The bus drivers usually know who will take you and make sure you ask someone on the bus how much it should cost so you dont get ripped off. Also, there's some risk involved if its a pirate taxi. Another method is to get off the bus somewhere near the junction with San Juan del sur and take a local bus. When traveling from San Juan del Sur to Granada, ask at your hotel for advice or find other travelers heading that way.

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    International Bus Fares From Managua & Granada

    by BorderHopper Written Jul 20, 2005

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    International Bus
    is air conditioned and is called Transnica S.A. Tel. (0)552-6619 Granada.

    Salida Granada - San Josè 6:20 am 8:00 am 11:00 am

    Ticket price: two way $20 - one way $10

    Tica Bus Tel.(0)552-4301 Granada.

    Salida Granada - San Josè 6:15 am 12:15 pm Ticket price: two way $ 20 - C$ 280 - one way $ 10 - C$ 140

    Salida Managua -Panama 6:15 am Ticket price: two way $ 70 - one way $ 35

    Salida Managua - San Pedro Sula (Honduras) 4:00 am Ticket price: $ 28

    Salida Managua - San Salvador 4:00 am Ticket price: $25

    Salida Managua - Guatemala 4:00 am Ticket price: $ 33

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    • Budget Travel

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    Local Transport Around Nicaragua

    by BorderHopper Written Jul 20, 2005

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    Information provided by
    The most common type of transportation in and around Granada is the collective taxi.
    The fare is 5 cordobas per person within town during the day ( 6 am to 10 pm): after
    10 pm the fare is 10 cordobas. Fares double when traveling to the suburbs.

    Also, you can take a horse and carriage for the same price as taxis.

    Several months ago, a bus service started that uses small, old buses that can carry about 20 people. This service has a fixed route within city and costs 2 1/2 cordobas.

    A different way to enjoy Granada is with a colorfully painted bus, that for 5 cordobas, offers a city tour accompanied by latin music emanating from large speakers in the rear of the bus. There is also a colorfully painted tractor that pulls carriages where you can sit and take in the
    scenery while listening to typical latin music.

    When travelling outside Granada, you must use the local bus system.

    Express Bus:
    24-passenger direct bus. This bus station is one block south of Central Park. The bus leaves Granada every 20 minutes starting at 6 or 6:30 AM.

    Granada - Managua C$ 15

    Local Bus:
    50-passenger and is usually yellow.

    Prices: Granada - Masaya C$ 7 The bus station is near the market

    Granada - Managua C$ 10 The bus station near ìthe old hospital

    Granada - Rivas C$ 15 The bus station near the gas station Shell Palmira

    The Chicken Bus to Managua,Nicaragua
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    Roads in Nicaragua

    by trek06 Written Jul 6, 2005

    With the exception of the Pan American Highway roads aren't in the best shape but local transportation in cities and between them is cheap and efficient. Getting around with very little spanish is not a problem.

    San Juan del Sur street
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    • Road Trip

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    Crazy buses al over the city

    by quime Updated Oct 30, 2004

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    very old buses are the main atracction on the capital road.
    be sure you are in good condition to hold strongly, you will be traveling standing for sure.
    prices are about US$0.15 or US$0.25 max

    Take taxis for about C15, or 1USD to almost everywhere around managua.

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    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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    Granada buses

    by quime Written Jul 28, 2004

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    i did my travel to granada by using local chicken bus. it took me an hour to get there, but a backpacker told me at the hotel that he did it by taxi, including a stop by city of masaya for about 25 dollars.
    taxis inside the city of granada just 1 dollar and less!!!

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    • Backpacking

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  • Christian.Lafont's Profile Photo

    The Map Of Nicaragua

    by Christian.Lafont Written Jan 7, 2004

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    Difficult to go from West to East.
    The main road goes down the west coast, then the road to the East is more an adventure !!
    Flying is a good option to cross the country as you can save time and avoid the areas with paludism.

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  • JenniferG's Profile Photo

    The chickenbus!

    by JenniferG Written Dec 11, 2003

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    The only way to get around Nicaragua is by chickenbus. The name comes from the fact that everything, including chicken and other alive creatures, are put on the roof. It's a cheap but not really comfortable way of travelling. The chickenbusses are originally american schoolbusses (made for children... get the idea of 'not really comfortable'?)

    But you join the locals which is ofcourse a great experience. The busstations are fairly good organized. Can't find your bus? Just ask some of the boys yelling really loud. They yell in a funny way the name of the destination of the bus!

    Colourful chickenbusses

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    Taxis in Nicaragua: Part II

    by epicult Updated Nov 8, 2003

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    Well... not only were we being pulled over but we also had a flat tire, in the middle of nowhere! After showing the police our passports, I quickly pulled out my camera to snap a couple of "ice breaking" photos and my trusty bag of melted candies followed in hopes of softening any potential police fiasco. Meanwhile, our cab driver pulled out the "flat" spare.

    When something like this happens, it's all about rolling out (or concocting) a contingency plan. Unfortunately, it was a little late and given our resources, or lack thereof (no traffic or taxis), we quickly dismissed any possibility of dreaming up any clever 1st world McGiver plan.

    While our taxi driver stared blankly at our "flat" spare a local Nica approached our driver and began discussing the situation. Before we knew it, both of them disappeared down a small dirt road and into a dilapidated tin-roofed shack. We wondered how they could possibly repair a flat, bald tire in the middle of nowhere? I couldn’t imagine they could do much without electricity, (perceivably) no tools or an air compressor???

    Things were not looking so promising.

    Operating on 3 hours sleep, this was certainly not a welcomed edition to our last day in Nicaragua, but what can you do? The police however seemed rather amused with our dilema and it was nice to know we brought happiness to someone :-)

    30-40 minutes later we were very surprised that our driver, and new found friend, had returned from the dilapidated shack down the dirt road with a fully filled, albeit bald, tire. After a few minutes and with a quick thank you and handshake (between our driver and the local), we were back on the road. We arrived at the airport in Managua with 20 minutes to spare.

    This experience encompassed the magic, generosity, spirit and ingenuity of Nicaragua and its people.

    Break Time
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    Taxis in Nicaragua

    by epicult Updated Aug 21, 2003

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    Taxis are cheap in Nicaragua. In Managua it's pretty much 1-2 dollars anywhere within city limits and 5-8 to the airport. In the country, it's typically less. Be sure to bargain for a fair (non-gringo) price but remember that everyone has to make a living!

    On the way from San Juan to Managua we decided to buck up 30.00 for the 1+ hour taxi ride back to Managua so that we could spend as much time as possible in San Juan del Sur. After all, we only had 10 days in total. We thought leaving two hours of travel time from San Juan to the airport in Managua would be more than enough time for any 'unforseen logistical problems'. Much to our chagrin, this became a near impossibility.

    En route, we were gestured to pull the taxi over by the police. Let the fun begin!

    Continued below...

    Routine stop.. post photos and candy.
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    Getting to the Caribbean

    by hanula Written Jul 15, 2003

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    You can take either La Costeña or Atlantic flight from Managua to Corn Islands through Bluefields. There are many flights per day.

    You should be able to buy your ticket on the spot and ticket dates can be changed with no fee. La Costeña has smaller airplanes and you can take nice photos from the airplane. On the other hand, Atlantic has more propellers... Return flight to the islands is around 100 euros.

    You can also take a flight to Bluefields and from there a boat to Big Corn Island but the boat only goes twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday. It takes about 4 hours.

    p.s. Be careful not to put your films in the checked in luggage because on the way back they are scanned with X-rays.

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    • Backpacking

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  • Ometepe-San Carlos en barco/by boat

    by tabla Updated Apr 21, 2003

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    Para llegar a San Carlos hay tres opciones: en avioneta desde Managua (700 C$ trayecto), en autobús (11 horas desde Managua por carretera sin asfaltar) o en barco desde Granada o Altagracia.

    Yo tomé el barco desde Altagracia, en Ometepe (12 h, 30 C$) a eso de las seis y media de la tarde (noche). El viaje hubiera estado bien de no ser por dos cosas:

    1- El barco estaba lleno de gente, con lo que era imposible tumbarse o sentarse dentro

    2 - Al no haber sitio dentro nos sentamos en cubierta. El problema es que toda la noche estuvo lloviendo y acabamos empapados.

    El viaje fue una auténtica odisea, y volvimos a Managua en avioneta. Sin embargo, al menos la ida, sí que os recomiendo hacerla en barco (aunque lleguéis destrozados). Es una experiencia de las que luego cuentas a tus nietos.


    There are three ways to get to San Carlos from Managua: by plane (700 C$) by bus (11 h by unpaved road) and by boat from Granada or Altagracia.

    We took the boat from Altagracia, Ometepe Island (12 h, 30 C$) at 6:30 PM. The trip could have been nice unless:

    1- the boat hadn't been crowded and it had been possible to lay or sit inside.

    2- It hadn't rained the whole night, for we tried to sleep outside on the deck

    The trip was terrible and we went back to Managua by plane. Anyway, I recommend you to take this boat, although you arrive pissed off and return by plane. It's one of those experiences you'll tell your grandchildren.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel
    • Cruise

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Nicaragua Hotels

See all 76 Hotels in Nicaragua

Top Nicaragua Hotels

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Nicaragua Transportation

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