Head-to-Head Comparison: After Arriving at the Managua Airport, Going Directly to Granada vs. Staying near Carretera a Masaya

Comparison of FEPV or other Carretera a Masaya lodging and Granada on a Nightime Arrival at Managua’s International Airport (MGA)

So, you have your Nicaragua trip all planned? Great! Got your tickets ready? Fantastic! Did you notice that you are arriving at nightime, around 8, 9, or even 10 o’clock at night? What? Coming into Managua late at night? Oh no, what do you do?

Does the above sound like you? If any of this comes even close to being some of your thoughts as you make your plans for your trip to Nicaragua, then read on!

When those flights do come in later at night, a good amount of folks decide to go directly to Granada. Most visitors have heard that Managua is just a place to avoid as much as possible. But that’s not true for everywhere in or near Managua!

You owe it to yourself to be well-informed, there are some things you should know before you go. The drive from MGA to Granada can be dangerous at night, so it isn’t recommended that you rent a car and drive yourself late at night! But with that aside, a shuttle van is probably there to pick you up and take you directly to Granada should you so desire. Just know there is a cost to going directly to Granada, both in monetary terms and in terms of environment and ambiance.

The shuttle will cost roughly $30 to $50 per person, depending upon whether you have a private shuttle or hop on a scheduled shuttle (and that they have room for you and your traveling companions).

Then after a 45 minute drive, you will be getting in to Granada fairly late, about 10 p.m. lets say. There you will check into your hotel, hopefully get a good nights sleep and in the morning, you will wake up in your destination city and get on to the task of enjoying your new environs, exploring the city, delighting in the views of the volcano, take a trip out to las isletas, maybe a zip line tour of Mombacho, etc. Great huh?

However, there is another alternative you you might consider. Consider staying nearer to Managua, but on the way towards Masaya and Granada. Then, the next day (first thing in the morning if you wish) you can take a public bus to Granada for less then one U.S. dollar! So, in this example, let’s use Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua as an example.

FEPV costs: $38 for lodging, $20 for transport from the airport, $1 for transport to Granada. Total: $59
Granada costs: $38 for lodging (example price just for comparison’s sake, you can easily pay more or less to stay in Granada depending upon your preferences), $40 for transport from airport to Granada. Total: $78

At FEPV, you are guaranteed a quiet night’s sleep, cool fresh air, and a hearty farmstay breakfast in the morning. You will be waking up to a view of the Masaya Volcano and the sounds of birds chirping. Looking out on the farm, you will see squirrels jumping from tree to tree. You can also get in an early-morning swim in our pool before you go on your way. Another unique feature of the Farmstay that you won’t find in Granada is that you can pick your own fruit on the farm!

View from the Farmstay

Sleeping that first night in Granada, you will have some street noise at night, much warmer air, (with the near-necesity of needing to sleep using air conditioning). Your lodging may or not include breakfast, and you certainly won’t see or hear animals or birds. Except for the typical city sounds of caterwalling cats, dogs barking, drunks loudly passing by, cars with stereo systems blasting reggaeton music, etc. The natural, tranquil atmosphere that exists at the Farmstay will not be a part of your first morning in Nicaragua, that’s for sure!

So, that is our comparison between staying that first night at Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua versus going directly to Granada. Don’t get me wrong, Granada is a beautiful town to visit as a tourist, I enjoy it immensely. But really, after flying all day do you really want to jump right into the hustle and bustle or do you want to ensure that you get a comfortable nights sleep and then awake refreshed, ready to begin your Nicaraguan adventures?

6 thoughts on “Head-to-Head Comparison: After Arriving at the Managua Airport, Going Directly to Granada vs. Staying near Carretera a Masaya

  1. A friend and I recently visited Nicaragua and chose to stay at Farmstay. You will not regret it – it is a nice secluded area that is quiet, comfortable and relaxing. Mike and crew are fantastic hosts. We will be using The soft landing service when we return in July.

  2. I like your comparisons, but I wouldn’t want to take the chicken bus with all my luggage–it’s hard enough to haul around as it is, as an older person, and I’m not good at traveling light. So if I add the cost of getting from El Porton to Granada some other/easier way, what would it cost? And what would be a less challenging way to get where I’m going in Granada?

    • Greetings Cedulune: Thanks for your comment. Yes, the comparison doesn’t help too much for people with lots of luggage; although the chicken buses do take your luggage. It is a hassle though to be sure. A taxi or even my taking you would cost about $30 one way, and then you could get right to your hotel in town.

      Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde

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