5 tips for crossing the border

5 tips for crossing the border.

5 tips for crossing the border by bus

Doing the Passport Shuffle: a Tica Bus driver shuffles through his passengers’ passports at the border, trying to remember who’s who (photo/ Katie Jackson)

By Katie Jackson/ guest blogger

March 26, 2013 


  • Come prepared. Obviously you’ll need your passport, but also have a pen handy to fill out forms. Sharing is caring, but it’s more efficient if you bring your own.

  • Know your number. At some point the bus driver will collect your passport, and sometimes he does this before you fill out your forms. Have a copy of your passport on hand and/or memorize your passport number. Otherwise you have to track the bus driver down and try to get it back from him. Yes, the bus driver WILL take your passport, but he will give it back!

  • Cash is king. You’ll need to have cash to pay the entry fees. To enter into Nicaragua, we paid 8,000 colones (about $16) each, and the American couple sitting in front of us paid in USD. The bus driver should have plenty of change in both currencies as well as cordobas. The mysterious part is theamount you pay seems to vary according to the source. Try to have at least $20 or the equivalent in local currency easily accessible.

  • There’s a reason it’s called hand luggage. Keep your hand luggage in your hands at all times. Even if you unload the bus and are told to leave your big bags below, always carry your hand luggage with you. Never leave it on the bus unattended.

  • Be prepared to be bombarded. “Cambio, cambio?” men will yell as soon as you step off the bus. Although they’re offering to change money for you as you wait, they may be ripping you off if you don’t know the current exchange rate, or even what the currency looks like. Also, your first welcome is likely to come from the many vendors who approach you. They sell everything from snacks to sandals and cellphone cards. Others will straight up ask you for money, providing a toothless grin in return. As we understand, the men wearing navy blue vests are authorized to search your luggage, but they too can be aggressive and demand tips if they help you carry it.

Good useful information for anyone who is coming across the Costa Rica/Nicaraguan border via bus. Thanks to Katie Jackson of Green Travel!

Another fabulous review of Farmstay El Portón Verde!

This one is for our deluxe apartment listing on airbnb.com

Mike is amazing. I almost don’t want to share all the wonderful aspects of this bed and breakfast because I want to ensure him having room so that I can return many times. If you need to stay in or near Managua chose Mike. Dont settle for the Best Western across the street. He will meet you at the airport and get you to the adorable farm no matter what time of the day or nite. He will translate for you if you get in a pinch. The accomodations are to American eco lodging standards and there is nothing more refreshing than jumping in the pool after a long day of travel. Missions groups rent the whole place, solo travels one room, families can rent the two room apartment. You will immediately feel safe as Mike makes you feel like a friend. Keep up the great work Mike you offer a wonderful service. We will be back.

Thank you to the father/daughter team of Laura Collins and Bob Engelman!

Activist Post: Should You Move To Another Country To Escape The Collapse Of America? 10 Questions To Ask Yourself First

Activist Post: Should You Move To Another Country To Escape The Collapse Of America? 10 Questions To Ask Yourself First.

Michael Snyder

Activist Post


Why are so many people leaving the United States right now? Over the past couple of years, an increasing number of Americans have decided that moving to another country is the best way to prepare for the collapse of America. According to the U.S. State Department, an all-time record of more than 6 million Americans are now working or studying overseas.


Of course many of those that have left the country do not believe that the U.S. economy is going to collapse, but without a doubt there are an increasing number of preppers that believe that now is the time to “escape from America” while they still can. And certainly there are a lot of reasons why the U.S. is becoming less appealing with each passing day. In addition to our economic problems, crime is on the rise in our cities, our liberties and freedoms are being eroded at a frightening pace, political correctness is wildly out of control, and our corrupt politicians continue to make things even worse.

I normally do not post or comment on these sorts of topics or websites, but just had to post this and comment on the actual Activist Post website. Few are aware of this, but a huge wave of emigres will be leaving the USA soon.

I left two years ago and am very satisfied with my life here. Better years too soon then a day, week, or a month late!

Something else any emigrant should think about and understand is that wherever you go, you are always the foreigner, not part of “them” and will forever be seen as something other than a local. I’m okay with that and love the Nicaraguan people who have welcomed me here, thank goodness. But even in our area, I am known as the gringo, the yanqui, or the guy with the swimming pool! Definitely not a local 🙂

Impact Of Sequester Cuts On Travel: Houston Is The Third World Airport Not Managua | Gadling.com

Impact Of Sequester Cuts On Travel: Houston Is The Third World Airport Not Managua | Gadling.com.

managua airport

As Americans, we’ve been bred to believe that the way we do things should be a model for the rest of the world. But after spending a good chunk of my Friday, day one of the sequester federal spending cuts, at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, I have to admit that Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, felt like a better run airport than that of our fourth largest city.

Comparing Augusto Sandino International Airport in Managua to George Bush is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison, because Managua is a much sleepier place, but here is what I observed. We arrived at the airport in Managua at 11 a.m. and despite the fact that it was relatively busy, we made it through immigration, customs and baggage screening and to our gate by 11:30.

Managua has free Wi-Fi that is fast and works flawlessly. Free as in no strings attached. You don’t even have to register, agree to any terms of use or sign up for anything. But even better than that, there is free espresso spiked with rum at the Flor de Caña boothAnd I’m not talking about a tiny sample either. They made me a double shot of espresso with a healthy shot of their delicious rum, aged in oak barrels for 12 years. Awesome.

Well, this is a fine mess the US Congress (among others) have put us in (“us” as in travelers who need to go through US Customs and Immigration). So the good news for your trip back home is that you should definitely enjoy the free shot of Flor de Caña rum at the Managua airport because getting through customs once you land in Miami, Houston, or Atlanta is going to be a very un-enjoyable experience!