Arriving in Managua ~8pm-Feasibility of making a minibus from UCA at 9, or shuttle from airport to Granada available?



I am arriving in Managua around 8pm and was wondering if I have time to get to UCA for a 9 pm shuttle to Masaya, and also if shuttle buses from the airport to Granada run that late. Any suggestions on the best way to get to UCA at that time? Would it be more advisable to stay in Managua and travel the next day?
Thank you!

Greetings emgtravel:

I’d say no chance to get to La UCA at that time and that there would be no bus leaving that late. Like others have written, it is basically either do the shuttle or private sedan, so max $40 but you can split that up to three ways with 3 pax. The other option would be to look for a nice place to stay that will come pick you up and be located near the route from UCA to Granada and then the next morning you would only pay about a buck to go to Granada instead of up to $40.

Cheers, Mike_elportonverde


Arriving in Managua at Night?

This question comes up fairly frequently in the travel forums about Nicaragua, as a lot if not a majority of flights come in at night, when arriving in Managua how would one get to Granada or is it better to wait until the next day?

I’ve answered this before in an original blog post: Head-to-Head Comparison: After Arriving at the Managua Airport, Going Directly to Granada vs. Staying near Carretera a Masaya

Bottom line is that, after arriving in Managua, you should be able to decide if it’s okay with you to get to Granada the next morning instead of at a late hour at night.

If you decide to go with the El Portón Verde solution, you can:

Now I’ve had expats of Granada give me a really hard time about this modest proposal I make, as if enough tourists don’t go directly to Granada as soon as they land! I don’t argue that what is right for an individual traveler is always the best thing for everybody, but I do contend that for someone who wants a softer landing to Nicaragua, have a chance to see a friendly face, be greeted by someone who speaks your language meets you at the Managua airport, gives you a nice comfortable ride and room at a farm where in the morning you’ll have an incredible view, eat a great filling breakfast, have a chance to do a quick farm tour or a dip in our swimming pool, then we get you on the bus for a short trip to Granada that only costs $1 USD, well, that is a good proposition for some people, am I right?


Nicaragua Trade news: Indra to install primary surveillance radar at Managua airport in Nicaragua – Airport Technology

Nicaragua Trade news: Indra to install primary surveillance radar at Managua airport in Nicaragua

9 March 2016

Nicaragua Trade news

Indra has signed a contract with COCESNA to provide a PSR at Managua Airport. Photo: courtesy of Indra.

In Nicaragua Trade news, Indra has signed a contract with Central American Corporation for Air Navigation Services (COCESNA) to deploy a primary surveillance radar (PSR) for the Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport in Managua, Nicaragua.

The contract was signed on the first day of the World ATM Congress held in Madrid, Spain.

The deal adds to COCESNA’s network of non-cooperative radars installed in the terminals of its major airports.

It was signed in the presence of COCESNA executive chairman Jorge Vagas; the chairman of the board of directors of COCESNA, Carlos Salazar; Indra general manager, Rafael Gallego; and Indra chairman and CEO Fernando Abril-Martorell.

The surveillance radar can identify intrusions in the terminal airspace of manned and unmanned aeroplanes with no transponder.

It also features a weather channel enabling COCESNA to provide weather information for the region.

“The surveillance radar can identify intrusions in the terminal airspace of manned and unmanned aeroplanes with no transponder.”

The new radar at Managua Airport is similar to another radar recently installed by Indra at the Monsenor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez International Airport in El Salvador.

The company will also install a radar at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Indra’s technology has been integrated to cover the airspace managed by COCESNA in Central America.

Indra has supplied its technology to several countries in Latin America, including the Bahamas, Ecuador, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.

Image: Indra has signed a contract with COCESNA to provide a PSR at Managua Airport. Photo: courtesy of Indra.

Source: Indra to install primary surveillance radar at Managua airport in Nicaragua – Airport Technology

In Nicaragua trade news, the Augusto C. Sandino International airport in Managua will get a new radar system that can track incoming planes without transponders. This would appear to be a good thing!

The company providing the system is called Indra and is a Spanish company doing lots of business in Latin America. In addition to airport and air traffic systems, they do a lot of work in other areas such as defense, health care, finance, industry, etc.

We’ve had a few trade-related items on this blog lately; for example, the dredger that will be used to create a canal on the Caribbean coastline, kind of an intercoastal waterway sort of canal, which allows for safe water transport between Bluefields in the South area of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast up to the north, all the way to Puerto Cabezas.

Point being, there are a lot of infrastructure and systems improvements being made in Nicaragua. Here at El Porton Verde, we will attempt to include more of these sorts of stories. I you enjoy this sort of reporting, please send a comment below!

Managua – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Re: Managua

There are several private shuttle services serving Nicaragua.

There are several private shuttle services serving Nicaragua.

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

Source: Managua – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Transportation to Granada: Late flight to MGA, best way to get to Granada at midnight? – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 739 posts 22 reviews

4. Re: Late flight to MGA, best way to get to Granada at midnight? Feb 03, 2016, 1:09 PM

Greetings Amen9: You are saying things that aren’t so, it would be nice for the readers of this forum to know why…of course I already know why! Anyway…


Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify for you and the readers El Porton Verde’s location and ambiance.


We are at 1,000 feet elevation so the nights are always cool. Views of two volcanoes, forested hills and plains. On a working eight acre farm full of fruit trees, plantains, bananas, pineapples, etc. Location is 10 minutes to a fancy Managua shopping mall, five minutes to the best hospital, 15 minutes to Masaya Volcano, 20 minutes to the town of Masaya, 25 minutes to MGA.


We are less than an hour from 4 of the top 10 things to do in Nicaragua. And none of those places are in the city of Managua!


Plus, Managua has improved considerably and there are world-class things to do and see in the city now. So thanks for asking! Take a look at my website and you’ll see I’m not stuck anywhere. We already know you have a hidden vested interest in promoting Granada. (Speaking of stuck!)


Just because you don’t like to hear that there are really nice options besides just going straightaway to Granada doen’t mean that they don’t exist. At least I am transparent with the readers of this forum. It’d be nice if you did the same…have a great day!


Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Late flight to MGA, best way to get to Granada at midnight? – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Either way is cool, but ask yourself, do you want to wake up to this:

Transportation to Granada

Panoramic view from the porch of El Portón Verde

Or this for your first morning in Nicaragua, your choice!

Late flight to MGA

Expat central, La Calzada, Granada at night

United Airlines Increases Flights to Nicaragua • El Nuevo Diario

Managua, Nicaragua |

  • |

A greater flow of tourists and visitors to Nicaragua has helped United Airlines to increase its number of direct flights from Houston to our country Now we have a frequency of 17 flights per week this year, said Salvador Marrero, United Airlines’ Executive Director for Central America.

“The extra flights that we have implemented on Saturdays illustrates this new reality. What was done last year only in the high season, this year of 2015, has been the permanent level of service. We constantly analyze what happens to our destinations and to the extent that the market requires, we add more crews and add more seats, “said the airline representative.

Meanwhile Gloria Callejas, Manager of United Airlines in Nicaragua, said that “this year we added a fourth flight on Saturdays leaving at 1:30 am, arriving in Houston at 5:00 am,” this is because ” the boom that is taking place in Nicaragua, the boom in the number of tourists forced us to put an additional flight on Saturdays, in high season we had three daily flights available. “

Better services

Callejas said another aspect that has been the expansion in the services of the airport terminal. “The extended hours, more extensive migration and increased capacity has facilitated customs operations and made the process more expeditious”, meeting the demands that airlines have asked for, he said.

About the capacity of passengers, Marrero explained that the types of aircraft that serve direct service from Houston with our country are models 737, 800 and 900, meaning that on average more than 200 passengers are transported by the company They are then able to connect to 162 destinations worldwide.

United Airlines celebrated in Managua 25 years of being present in our country and they planned to increase the number of direct flights to the extent that the level of tourism, business or visits demands. The number of visitors is increasing, company executives announced .

Source: Más vuelos de United Airlines a Nicaragua • El Nuevo Diario

Another good data point for those following tourism in Nicaragua. This is a story about United Airlines and how they have increased the number of flights per week to 17, and that additional flights they added last year in the high season are now permanent. In addition, the airlines’ executives said that as tourism grows in Nicaragua, so will the number of flights.

Here on this blog, we’ve discussed the growing number of flights to Nicaragua, here and here for example. Also, how the services and hours of operation at the Augusto C. Sandino International airport have increased.

All good stuff! Another observation would be that those thinking that the new Costa Esmeralda airport would somehow decrease flights to Managua appear to be incorrect. United and other airlines would not be investing in new flights if they didn’t have the data to back up the proposal that additional flights and seats are required.

This combined with the recent article written by folks working for the IMF: Nicaragua, a success story in the making would add confidence to anyone looking to invest in, or relocate to, the Central American country of Nicaragua.

Airport improvements “noticeable”

Airport improvements “noticeable”

In Managua International Airport, where US $ 95 million has been invested in the past eight years, the bags are on-time and the paperwork is agile, following recent reforms made by the government, according to national and international users.


 Foto: Melvin Vargas Better and faster service is being felt at the Managua airport.

Foto: Melvin Vargas
Better and faster service is being felt at the Managua airport.

Managua, Nicaragua | August 30, 2015 | 12:05 am | Print edition
Faster clearance of bags and customs & immigration working more expeditiously when leaving or arriving in the country are the main improvements that users of Augusto C. Sandino International Airport then perceive as the terminal begins operating 24 hours a day this week.
“I had no delay. I was only asked for my papers for immigration and had a quick security check performed on my luggage. I passed the checkpoint and within minutes I left,” shared Maria Castillo, a visitor coming from Panama.
A similar view was shared when yesterday Nohelia Alvarado, who came from Miami and stressed that in addition to the expedited landing process, the attention of the staff has improved and the hassles from immigration are less.
“I just filled out the customs form when I noticed that at least three people from immigration are ready to assist in landing procedures,” said Alvarado.

Operations Around the Clock

Earlier this week, government authorities reported that given the high increase air connectivity with Nicaragua, Augusto C. Sandino International Airport would have an extended office hours.
The measure was supported by representatives of the private sector and the airlines operating in the country.
On Wednesday officials of the Nicaraguan Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC), the Administrator Company of International Airports (EAAI) and representatives of the airlines provided details on improvements.
Speaking to the official website 19 Digital, Orlando Castillo, general manager of the airport, mentioned that one of the measures implemented is related to the increase in personnel to provide care for 24 hours, allowing, among other factors, to guarantee full service for night flights.
They also have a new X-ray system to inspect the bags. They settled breaks in passenger flows for better organization, for example, reordering of rows in immigration to ease inflows and outflows; improved lighting in all areas of international and domestic terminal; relocation of domestic flights counters for the reorganization of passenger flow, signage location for the orientation of airport users, among other improvements.
Meanwhile Maria Antonieta Novoa, director of Immigration, said that “we managed to hire 30 new employees in Immigration.”
“At the same time we have increased to 12 the number of kiosks dedicated to the attention of travelers leaving the country. As for services for incoming passengers, we increased to 15 the number of kiosks. Among them we have to care for the crew, pregnant women, the elderly, people with disabilities,” according to the EAAI website.
The Directorate General of Customs said that increasing the amount of existing airport scanners, allows greater streamlining of customs clearance processes.
95 million dollars have been invested in the past eight years at the airport Augusto C. Sandino and other air terminals in the country, according to official data.

Source (in Spanish): Mejoras en Aeropuerto “se notan”

So this is undeniably good news for tourism and for the visitors themselves. More lines to go through customs and immigration, better attention to the clients, and improvements in passenger flows are all good things and much needed to help improve the experience of the customers of the Managua airport.

Also notable is the Managua airport going to a 24 hour schedule of operations. As it stands now, there at least two flights coming in at the wee hours (thanks Spirit Air!) and undoubtedly there are some more new routes coming in at that late night/early A.M. time frame.

Congratulations airlines, EAAI, and INAC for a job well done, keep up the good work!

Leaving Nicaragua, Have a Vehicle to Store? Park & Fly Special

Leaving Nicaragua, Have a Vehicle to Store? Park & Fly Special

(km. 10 1/2 Carretera a Masaya)



If you need to come to Managua to fly out of the country but don’t know where to park your car, and if your flight is early in the morning, why not take advantage of our Park and Fly Special?We offer lodging for two persons with transport to the airport and up to 14 days parking for $70 total. If you are out of the country for longer, the parking charge for each day after 14 days is only $1 per day.We have secured parking on our tranquil farmstay property that is only ten minutes from Galerias but feels like it is a hundred miles away from the noise and pollution of Managua.If interested in the Park and Drive Special, please contact Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua



Si usted necesita llegar a Managua para volar fuera del país, pero no sabe dónde aparcar su coche, y si su vuelo es temprano en la mañana, ¿por qué no tomar ventaja de nuestro Aparcar y Volar especial? Ofrecemos alojamiento para dos personas con el transporte al aeropuerto y hasta 14 días de aparcamiento por $ 70 USD total. Si usted se encuentra fuera del país por más tiempo, el cargo de aparcamiento por cada día después de 14 días es de sólo $ 1 por día. Nos hemos asegurado de aparcamiento en nuestra propiedad farmstay tranquilo que está a sólo diez minutos de Galerias, pero se siente como que está a cientos de millas lejos del ruido y la contaminación de Managua. Si está interesado en el Aparcar y Volar especial,  por favor póngase en contacto con Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua

Source: Leaving Nicaragua, Have a Vehicle to Store? Park & Fly Special

This is our latest advertisement in Craigslist, aimed at expats and Nicaraguans who are leaving the country via air, have a vehicle, and would prefer to drive themselves close to the airport, stay overnight in a place so quiet and tranquil that it is way better than spending more money to stay somewhere else, get taken to the airport to catch their flight, leaving their vehicle to rest in a nice shady spot where it will be well looked after and safe.

We’ve had three guests come in this way, so my ever so astute marketing sense tells me this must be some kind of a need folks have that the Farmstay can and does provide. If you would like to take advantage of this deal too, just get in contact with me by filling out the form below:

Nicaragua, more attractive to airlines | La Prensa Noticias


Nicaragua, more attractive to airlines

  • Central America in general has become a good choice for airlines, whereas Nicaragua stands out for both passenger and freight

Los Angeles is the second most-visited destination to which Nicaraguan traveling to America go -after Miami, but until ten days ago Nicaragua had no direct connection with the city.

Since last June 5th, Managua is one of 18 international non-stop flights of Delta Airlines departing from Los Angeles International Airport, where the company has invested about $229 million as part of its expansion plan, where Central America occupies an important position.

Jose Antonio Torres, general manager for Delta Central America, explained that during the last three years, growth in demand has prompted an “explosion” in seat capacity to the region, especially in the last year, when capacity has grown by thirty percent.

“Nicaragua has begun to make a very important for the tourism sector in Central America position.” Jose Antonio Torres, general manager for Central Delta.

“Right now Delta is the largest airline in Central America that is flying to the United States (…). And we have done very well, we are very happy with the results, “says Torres.

Delta executives inaugurated an investment in Terminal 5 at the Los Angeles International Airport. La Prensa / COURTESY OF DELTA AIRLINES

The expansion between Central America and Los Angeles “began with the flight from Guatemala, we continued this expansion with the flight from San José, then from there we went to Liberia, Costa Rica, then to San Salvador and a few days ago the flight from Managua to Los Angeles,” explains the regional manager, who claims that Delta “is the US airline with the most flights to Los Angeles from Central America,” for which we have increased sales teams, have hired more staff in the various countries, and invested in marketing campaigns, among other measures.

“Central America is the only area of ​​the portfolio in Latin America where Delta has no partner, an alliance with another airline, Delta decided then yes we will do by ourselves, but we will do it very well,” added the official.

In this process, the airline has adapted so that the flight crews and terminals have staff who speak Spanish and its terminals at US airports have also added signage translated in Spanish.

Why the interest in the region? Torres, general manager for Central Delta Airlines, and Abimael Ortiz, regional director of sales and Delta Cargo operations for Latin America and the Caribbean, argue that the isthmus is an attractive market for growth in demand.

It is estimated that thirty percent of flights between Central America and the United States are billed from the region.


In the case of transport of goods, Ortiz mentioned that the region has sustained four to five percent annual growth, because the planes they use are “perfect” for the type of products that is flown to Central America, where Nicaragua is among the most dynamic countries  recently.

Through Delta Cargo, as mentioned by Ortiz, Nicaragua sent to the United States primarily cigars, sea cucumbers and clothing. Even during the inaugural flight Managua-Los Angeles the plane was carrying 1,300 kilos of merchandise, above the regional average of 1,200 kilos per flight.

That first flight was also a success for the transfer of passengers, as it had an occupancy rate of 85 percent.

“Nicaragua is a very important country for Delta, has grown in profitability in its offer and is one of the routes where we have increased the supply, we brought in a larger plane from Atlanta. Seeing the very positive trend we have seen in Nicaragua over the past two years we have decided to bet with the opening of flights to Los Angeles, “said Torres.

Although it started with a weekly flight between Managua and Los Angeles, it is projected to increase the frequency to two, then three times a week, and ultimately, into a daily flight. “It started conservatively because it is a market that traditionally has not been profitable for other airlines,” he said.

Delta Airlines has invested more than $ 229 million in a terminal of Los Angeles International Airport. La Prensa / Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

Delta Airlines has invested more than $ 229 million in a terminal of Los Angeles International Airport. La Prensa / Courtesy of Delta Air Lines


According to the Index of Travel and Tourism Competitiveness 2015, compiled by the World Economic Forum, the aviation infrastructure of Nicaragua was evaluated with 1.91 points out of 7, one of the most lagging indicators. However, regional manager for Delta, “the Managua airport infrastructure meets the needs” of the airline and “is on par with other airports in Central America.”

Torres, however, suggests that alongside the recently announced expansion of the runway of the International Airport of Managua, that investments be made in the areas of customs, immigration (to leave the country) and Security, as well as airline counters .

Recently the Administrative Company of International Airports (EAAI) for the Managua Airport announced it will invest between six and ten million dollars to expand the runway of the international airport, which would lengthen from 2.440 meters to 3.240 meters. The terminal is also expected to expand.

80% of passengers flying from Managua to Los Angeles have Los Angeles as their final destination, 15 percent use this destination as a connection to other US cities and five percent as connection to Asia.


The president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) and president of the Association of Airlines, Sylvia Ramirez Levy believes that Nicaragua is experiencing a boom in air connectivity, demonstrating the confidence of airlines.

“The dynamics experienced by the country in terms of air connectivity is certainly an effort of years which seeks to facilitate the conditions for tourists and businessmen and even family to come to the country and found no obstacles,” said Ramirez Levy.

He also explained that the opening of direct flights to Nicaragua helps position in the minds of foreigners, who for many years had not taken into account this destination. Yohany LOPEZ

Source (in Spanish): Nicaragua, más atractiva | La Prensa Noticias

This is from the business section of the La Prensa newspaper here in Nicaragua and is obviously a very positive indicator of a good economy and a real bump in current and future tourism numbers. The part where Delta says they will eventually up the number of flights to one per day is really fantastic news.

Before this direct flight was inaugurated, you had to choose where your layover and change in planes had to occur. Having non-stop flights from Los Angeles is a great time-saver for tourists and business people so you don’t waste too much time waiting for your connection.

Overall, very positive news and it is good to see that a large U.S.-based airline like Delta is developing a real presence in the region without any alliances with other airlines. This means they are in the Central American market for the long haul.

American Airlines landing in Managua, Nicaragua – YouTube

American Airlines landing in Managua, Nicaragua – YouTube.

Thanks to for this video showing in HD what it looks like when you fly into MGA, the Augusto César Sandino International Airport in Managua, Nicaragua.


Forget the chain hotels, come to us for “soft landing” w/airport pickup

Forget the chain hotels, come to us for”soft landing” w/airport pickup.image 0

Our latest advertisement is up on craigslist.  I’m certain the big chain hotels are quaking in their oversized, impersonalized boots hahaha 🙂

But seriously, where else within the city limits of Managua are you going to be staying on a farm that employs permaculture techniques, has amazing views of volcanoes and forested mountains, super-nice guest rooms, and plopped in-between the rooms and the view is an awesome swimming pool?

We have had excellent feedback from our guests. “Best night of sleep ever!” and “When in Managua I will never stay anywhere else!” have been a couple of the comments we’ve heard so far.