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
Lots of families like yours have wonderful vacations in Nicaragua that are really quite inexpensive if you plan them correctly
and as you have identified, keep some of the in-country transport costs down. Some folks want to plan every second in advance while another extreme has no plans other than to land and try to get to their first destination, which they may decide based on talking to someone on the plane, for example. 🙂
My usual suggestion is to take care of that first and last night in Nicaragua and then have some idea of what to do and where to go, but to keep an open mind and at a minimum, an attitude of “es todo una aventura” (it’s all an adventure) so that some spontaneous events might happen. I’ve seen families adopt this attitude and end up having lots of fun with it!
One option (especially if your flight arrives at night) is to stay somewhere near where the buses from Managua to SJdS pass by, so you can easily take advantage of the surprisingly not too bad public transport system here that will cost just a few bucks a person. Any shuttle service will charge at least $80 if not more for a MGA-SJdS.run, whereas a bus trip is around $3 p.p.
This approach to your first night in Nicaragua also works the same for other destinations to the south of Managua such as Masaya, Granada, Mombacho, Laguna de Apoyo, San Jorge (ferry to Ometepe), Rivas, Tola, Peñas Blancas, Cardenas, etc.
Regarding a volcano tour from SJdS, that would be do able as a day trip, but not ideal due to distance from said volcanoes. The closest would be on Ometepe Island; taking the ferry from San Jorge over to Moyagalpa, then probably taxi or tour to hike one of the two volcanoes. Best doing a volcano from Masaya, Granada, or Leon.
Finally, the cheap way to get to Granada from SJdS is to take a bus to Nandaime, then a different bus, Nandaime to Granada. Routes and timetables (take with a big grain of sal, especially on departure and arrival times) http://www.thebusschedule.com/ni/index.php
I hope that helps.
Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde
3. Re: Surfing…aside from Colorados, help me with these spots?
Jul 16, 2014, 5:21 PM
What would be the best way to get to Gran Pacifica without a car? How about getting to sjds from gran pacifica?
4. Re: Surfing…aside from Colorados, help me with these spots?
Jul 16, 2014, 6:06 PM
Greetings mike m: If flying into MGA with boards, a rental car is preferred. If you are staying at G.P., they can arrange transportation for you. If you need to go by bus, taxi to Mercado Israel Lewites and take a bus to Pochomil. Before getting to Masachapa/Pochomil, get off at km 49 and you can probably hitch a ride or eventually a taxi will pass by on the highway and you can negotiate from there.
I’ve taken Farmstay guests there on daytrips before too. There are surf guides that can do this too. My friends at NicaSurfing.com are headquartered in Managua and could get you on a run to G.P.
Now to get to SJdS from G.P. on bus, you can take a bus to Jinotepe, and from there a bus to Rivas, and then to SJdS. Alternatively, you can go back to Managua, get to Mercado Huembes, and take an expresso to San Juan del Sur.
Check out http://thebusschedule.com/EN/ni/index.php for bus schedules.
Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua
Surfing Advice for Nicaragua
Just tryin’ to help a bruther out hahaha. Trying to get around to get to the various surf spots is not that easy without a rental car,that’s for sure! You had better have more time then money available. 🙂
Thanks to virtualtourist.com, there is a good resource to go over some of the transportation options you will have when you come to visit Nicaragua. Let me know if you have any questions!
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
Good useful information for anyone who is coming across the Costa Rica/Nicaraguan border via bus. Thanks to Katie Jackson of Green Travel!
Regarding the bus situation, the deal is that there are at least three different official bus stations that I know of for inter-Nicaraguan trips. Mercado Huembes for points South, Mercado Mayoreo for points North and East and Mercado Israel Lewites for points Northwest. So if you are coming from the South but heading further afield, you likely need to get yourself to the appropriate market. Taxi is really the only way to go between the different bus stations, especially if you have baggage and such. Another reason to travel light!
(There are also the areas where TicaBus/NicaBus leaves from for international trips and “la UCA” for minivan expressos to most anywhere.)
As for Granada to San Juan del Sur, see if you can find a bus that goes to Penas Blancas (the border/la frontera). They would drop you off at the turnoff/empalme to SJdS, and typically a local bus would come by or if you are lucky be waiting for you. Alternatively there are always taxis at the empalme to take you to SJdS.
I’m not up on whether or not minivans leaving from SJdS would go to “la UCA” where as you rightly say, expressos to Leon leave from. The buses and expresso vans I am familiar with end up at Mercado Huembes and from there you would need to taxi to la UCA for minivan or Mercado Israel Lewites for regular buses.