elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 754 posts 22 reviews 2.
Feb 08, 2016, 2:13 PM
Greetings winger88: Coming in at night there would be no public bus available. If you are up for another 2 1/2 hours in a vehicle after flying all day and are okay with arriving late at night, then you can use a private shuttle service like iSKRA Travel, NicaRoads, etc.
The last scheduled (shared) shuttle is cheaper but leaves the airport at 5:30pm so you might not be able to make it. The private shutlle is $80 for one or two passengers.
Taking the bus the next morning would be a lot cheaper if that is important to you, If you go that route, I would suggest staying at a place off of Carretera a Masaya so you could catch the bus as it heads out of town. Otherwise, go to the Mercado Huembes and get the bus to SJdS or to Rivas, then switch to a bus to SJdS from there.
Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua
From El Porton Verde we see two volcanoes on a clear day, neither of which is this one, Momotombo Volcano. We see Masaya Volcano and in the background we can sometimes also see Mombacho Volcano.
We drove up to see Momotombo Volcano a couple of weeks ago after the initial eruption had died down and were amazed by its beauty. There is a lovely little port where artesanal fisherman head out to Lake Managua to fish. We might go again as seeing the actual eruption would be really cool!
Luckily for us this volcano is some eighty kilometers away from us, so we are safe for the moment! Cheers everyone and here’s to living on the edge!
Nicaragua: The country travellers haven’t yet discovered
UTE JUNKER Last updated 05:00, September 29 2015 3 Roberto Zuniga
There is no sleeping in in the city of Leon. Even for those nestled, as I am, behind the sheltering walls of a converted convent – walls thicker than anything built in the intervening three centuries – 7am is wake-up time. That is when a loud siren sounds across the town, rousing any sleepyheads and reminding them that it is time to get up and go to work. A second siren sounds at midday, announcing f lunchtime. It is an odd ritual, redolent of life on a plantation. A local tells me the practice used to be common across Nicaragua. Back when workers were too poor to afford clocks or watches, it ensured everyone got to work on time. Today, the only place it is still practised is in Leon, which seems slightly odd, given that this is Nicaragua’s foremost student city. Perhaps it is the only way they can get students to show up for their morning lectures. I have never come across a city-wide wake-up call anywhere else in the world, but then, Nicaragua is different. Central America’s poorest country has a lost-in-time feeling, with a laidback pace that has disappeared from most corners of the globe. The country does not feature on many must-visit lists, but it is hoping to change that, aiming to reinvent itself as tourist destination. Given its magnificent natural attractions, from soaring volcanoes and massive lakes to dense jungles and wonderfully preserved colonial cities, it should be an easy sell.
Thanks for this story Ute Junker…I think you just barely made it here before the hordes arrive haha. Actually, if you stay away from Granada, San Juan del Sur, and parts of Ometepe Island, you will not see too many tourists. You mentioned how in your visit to Leon you just saw a few international travelers here and there. That’s why personally I enjoy Leon much more than Granada. Going to Granada you are confronted with several Irish Pubs, Tex-Mex restaurants, falafel bars, etc. that is much like home. On the Calzada (the main tourist drag in Granada) where is to my knowledge only one restaurant that actually features Nicaraguan cuisine that is not an overpriced fake experience.
Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua
FROM TO DEPARTURE TIMES PRICE PER PERSON
Granada San Juan del Sur 10am, 1:30pm $16 USD
Granada Managua Airport 4am, 9am $20 USD
Granada Leon 11:30am $18 USD
San Juan del Sur Granada 9:30am, 12:30pm $16 USD
Good prices on shuttles out of Granada! A good alternative to private shuttle as it’s less costly but nicer and more comfortable then public buses. $18 Granada to Leon isn’t bad IMO.
11. Re: Night arrival in MGA, transfer to Leon … safe???
Aug 15, 2014, 1:49 PM
This question does come up quite often; basically, “where should I stay on my first night in Nicaragua?”
I tried to answer that on my blog, starting with whether or not you will need to stay somewhere near the airport or even if you might need to stay in Managua in general. Just know that not all of the places to stay near Managua are equal in terms of ambiance and tranquility.
I hope that helps.
Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua
One destination mentioned in this post
It is true that this topic, “where should I stay on my first night in Nicaragua” comes up quite a bit in some of these Nicaragua travel forums such as TripAdvisor. Of course, at the Farmstay we offer our famous (heheheh) “soft landing” service where the idea is to have our friends and other guests we have visiting us start to relax and feel like everything is going to be fine pretty much as soon as they get off the plane. Our philosophy since coming down here to Nicaragua is that as long as we have the idea in mind that “todo es una aventura” then we’ll be okay.
But the folks who arrive at MGA on those later flights have a bit of a dilemna. If you are arriving on one of the night flights coming in from Delta (ATL), American (MIA), and United (HOU), or even later, the Spirit Air flight from Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), you are in my opinion best served to not take that late night shuttle.
If you are just going to Granada or Laguna de Apoyo, or Mombacho Lodge, then sure, not a big deal to take the 45 minutes to get to those spots. But if you are going to further-away locations such as Leon, San Juan del Sur, Matagalpa, Jinotega, Chinandega, Isla de Ometepe, etc. then think it through a little bit before booking that late-night shuttle. Lots more details of your choices here.
Business León Nicaragua | Sale of hostel right
Date added: 07/17/2014 3:50 pm
Lot Size 0
Sale of Hostel right in Leon, Nicaragua.
Located at 3 blocks to Cathedral. Working, with all legal papers in order.
Sixth place in Trip Advisor rating for hostels in Leon. Great reviews for place in main hostel web places.
Three Affordable Retirement Choices In Central America’s Most Misunderstood Country
Thanks Kathleen Peddicord for keeping the gringos in their place hahaha! Seriously people, if you are interested in Nicaragua as a retirement destination, let’s hope it is because you want to live with Nicaraguan neighbors too!
Saying there are only three possibilities for retirement lifestyle choices is like saying you should go to the ice cream store, ignore the 28 other flavors and just select between vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Ridiculo!
What are the Best Places to Live in Nicaragua?
There are many fine towns and a few real cities to choose from when deciding where to live in Nicaragua. Some of the factors influencing whether one town or city works best for your personal situation are:
- lifestyle preferences
- Spanish-speaking abilities
- financial situation
- personal health
- desires to live with or without other expatriates
There are many more factors in addition to those named above. We’ll tackle this topic on a broad level now and in further posts will break it down into some detail. If you have enjoyed this post, please comment below and encourage me to continue with this series!
Let’s get started with some broad strokes as to what whould be the best Nicaraguan city for you to live in.
Do you want to live in a city, town, village, or? Would you enjoy being in the center of the pueblo just a couple of streets off of the plaza? Or, do you prefer living a few minutes drive or bus away from the downtown? As with all things, there are pluses and minuses to each of these options and you need to find out for yourself what is best for you.
What about your Spanish-language skills? If you already have a fairly good handle on Spanish, then you are likely much more open to living wherever you want to in Nicaragua. Folks with limited Spanish and little-to-no ability to learn the language will probably be best suited to live in an area with a large existing expat community where you can speak English most everywhere you go.
Are finances a major consideration? If living on a fixed budget, even though your money goes much further in Nicaragua, you will still need to watch your spending habits and keep a reserve handy in case. Obviously, if you have a much more comfortable financial situation, then you can forego thinking about strategizing on money-saving schemes and live you life as you desire.
What about your health? Your age? Anything requiring regular checkups, medical specialists, tests and exams? That will affect your decisions too. Excellent health care is available in Nicaragua, but is not evenly distributed throughout the country. For the most part, Managua is where the best doctors and hospitals are located.
Do you prefer to live in a real Nicaraguan community or one with a sizeable expat population? Some people, usually those with limited Spanish skills, find themselves drawn to expat communities, of which there are not a lot to choose from in Nicaragua. Do you want to join the Kiwanas club or the American Legion? If that is the sort of social life you envision then your options are limited as regards Nicaragua. Or, do you want to live as completely as possible with Nicaraguans in a Spanish-speaking community? This question also speaks to your needs for a social life. Some folks are just fine by themselves or the occasional meetup with friends, and some are real “joiners” that want to be part of every bridge club, charity event, volunteering at the schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. Which are you?
Weather is another important consideration. Luckily, in Nicaragua one can choose what kind of weather they like. Warm and hot is the norm here, but there are mountainous areas that are great for that “perpetual spring” climate. As you get to live here awhile, a slight change in temperature can make the difference between sweating and being miserable or quite comfortable.
Transportation is important too. It is not too difficult to live without a car in Nicaragua and in some places it offers a distinct advantage to not drive! Buses and taxis are usually very available and mostly inexpensive. Driving here has its challenges, but of course offers freedom of movement that relying on public transportation just does not offer.
Finally, what amenities are important to you? For example, are you a shopaholic? There aren’t too many shopping malls in Nicaragua and most of them are in Managua. Are first-run movies in brand-new theaters your thing? Again, the capital has those but are not very well distributed outside of Managua. What about nightlife? Culture? Art? Poetry? Live music? A variety of different types of restaurants? I always recommend you be clear with yourself that if you feel you need these amenities, don’t go moving out to the coast where it takes an hour or two to find some of these things. Be real with yourself and admit you like eating sushi and seeing a musical play live once in a while!
Okay, that is the end of this edition. I plan on writing more of these and going into further detail on each and every consideration to help make your move to Nicaragua a good one! Please share, Like, or comment!
For your next vacation spot, we suggest visiting Nicaragua, one of the safest countries of Latin America. Specifically one of its two colonial cities, Leon.
Here are 20 reasons to fall in love with Leon
Nice article. It is interesting to me that historically there has always been a sort of a competition (and sometimes more…) between Leon and Granada, Nicaragua’s two main colonial towns. Now today, there is a sort of a similar battle between these two for “best vacation spot.” My guests who visit both almost always prefer Leon. I do too!
– LEÓN (CATHEDRAL)
PRICE PER PERSON: $ 15
DURATION: 100 MINUTES
MINIMUM 2 PERSONS
This is a new (to me at least) shuttle service with what looks like very fair prices. This would be a very good alternative to either a private taxi or a mini-bus/expresso bus from Managua to Leon.
I notice they leave from Galerias, which is very close to the farmstay. They provide travel to other areas of Nicaragua also, Granada, San Juan del Sur, etc.