Safety Traveling from Managua to Playa Maderas – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor


Safety Traveling from Managua to Playa Maderas

I’m taking a taxi from the Managua airport to Playa Maderas and am feeling apprehensive about safety all of a sudden.

I am a solo female traveler and it is my first time visiting Nicaragua.

Does anyone have any tips?

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 894 posts 25 reviews

7. Re: Safety Traveling from Managua to Playa Maderas Feb 09, 2017, 10:06 PM

Greetings Larissa: We receive a lot of single female travelers and they really appreciate having a trusted person come and pick you up at the airport. Your driver will be just fine, knows the route, etc. To get to your question/concern, you don’t say if you are traveling during the daytime or at night time. During the daytime or even the early evening I wouldn’t worry too much about the trip. But if it’s full nighttime, as lots of flight come in at 8, 9 and even like tonight, I’m going for a pick up from the Copa flight from Panama that gets in at about 10:20 pm. I wouldn’t want to drive another 2 1/2 hours to SJdS (and about 20 more for Maderas…)! The driver you would be using certainly does it all the time, but of course it’s really your decision. Another point is that during the night time you won’t see any of the scenery, which includes viewing at least four volcanoes! Traveling that late could feel a little bit daunting, especially for first-time visitors, so some visitors will book something a bit closer and someone who offers good services in addition to quality lodgings. Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Safety Traveling from Managua to Playa Maderas – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Hey Larissa (and any other readers or robots!) Yes it can feel a bit odd coming to Nicaragua the first time. I certainly remember the semi-terror feeling of not so much landing in Managua but more when first stepping through those automatic sliding glass doors that lead you either to the curb and the street or staying inside the terminal heading towards the rental car companies.

Lots of taxi drivers ask you if you want or need a ride. Sometimes it might take a little while before you find the person that’s supposed to be picking you up. Not so often anymore, but occasionally in the daytime you might get a couple of kids that want to give you something made out of a sort of straw and using that to extract a dollar out of you.

It can be a lot to take in for some people not accustomed to international airports, especially in Latin America.

Also, when you get here, in addition to a warm welcome from an old Nicaragua hand, you may want to:

  • exchange money
  • buy groceries
  • buy a SIM card and setup a pre-paid starter data and/or phone call plan

Contact us for further information or book your room!

by over_kind_man Karen Leavitt surfing at Playa Maderas, Nicaragua, December 23 2009. | by over_kind_man

A week(ish) in Nicaragua – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Michele M San Mateo

Level Contributor 7 posts 28 reviews

A week(ish) in Nicaragua

Jun 11, 2016, 12:29 AM

Hi, My husband and I are thinking of a short trip to Nicaragua for about a week or so in early December. We’ll fly into the capitol and are interested in Granada, Ometempe Island and Little Corn Island. Need help planning tranfers from place to place. We prefer convenience over price; willing pay more to fly vs long bus or ferries. Anyone have ideas how best to get around these places efficiently? Thanks


elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua

Level Contributor 808 posts 22 reviews 1.

Re: A week(ish) in Nicaragua

Jun 11, 2016, 4:21 PM Greetings Michelle: Okay, let’s see if there is anything help-wise I can offer you 🙂 Well, there might be some of the regulars here shortly to tell you to drop Corn Island but really if you want to go and do it, then why not? You can take flights from Managua to both Corn Island and Ometepe Island. So that’s the good news as this will save you time.

The not as good news is that the flights to Ometepe are not daily. You’d have to look on the website to be sure, but I think there is only one or maybe two flights per week to Ometepe. So, ideally you get your international flight into Managua as early as you can, then book your (probably afternoon) flight to Corn Island. Then, on one of the days when the flight to Ometepe is scheduled, you fly back from CI to Managua. Go enjoy Ometepe, then from there take the ferry to San Jorge and then bus/taxi to San Juan del Sur.

There is a new airport north of SJdS near Playa Gigante called Costa Esmeralda which has flights to Managua. You might consider staying in the P.G., or Popoyo areas instead of SJdS if convenience is at a premium since that would be much closer to the little (but brand new) airport.

So that said, your final step is take your flight from C.E. to MGA, then your international flight back home. Now the challenge would be to actually be able to get all those connections to work: it would a near-miracle if there are no delays, that La Costeña airlines doesn’t reschedule or have equipment problems, that your international flights all work out, that the day the Ometepe flights happen coincides with being able to spend two or three nights on CI, and that the Costa Esmeralda flights leave at a time where you can make your international flight home.

It may well be impossible to do all that, so figure out a backup plan (staying in Managua might be necessary, for example) or downsize the number of spots you’d like to visit. I hope that helps! Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: A week(ish) in Nicaragua – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

So is this do-able? A week or a bit more and able to see three of the main places to go in Nicaragua? I say yes, especially if you are willing to fly between locations and willing to pay for that privilege. But of course, saying it is possible doesn’t mean that it is likely that all the comings and goings described above could actually come to fruition. For the above-itinerary it’s better to spend 10 or 11 days IMO.

The Concepción volcano, one of the two that are found on the island of Ometepe in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, seen from the port of San Jorge in the western department or province of Rivas. Credit: Karin Paladino/IPS

The Concepción volcano, one of the two that are found on the island of Ometepe in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, seen from the port of San Jorge in the western department or province of Rivas. Credit: Karin Paladino/IPS

Time of year to travel | Lonely Planet

What is the best time of year to travel to Nicaragua?

The one where a family wants to travel to Nicaragua and wants to know what is the best time of year to travel to Nicragua. Hint: The rainy season isn’t bad! From the Lonely Planet Nicaragua travel forum.

Hi folks,

We are a family with two kids, 7 and 2, that are very much wanting to travel independently in Nicaragua. We are seasoned travelers, that isn’t an issue, but as it is our first time to Central America we are mainly wondering about weather at the time of year available. We are most likely looking at either a few weeks in the end of May to mid June, or the month of July. I have read that this is the rainy season? We were thinking of a few locations only, probably basing in Granada, but also are interested in Otega and Little Corn, maybe also a few days at least in some off-the-beaten-track little town in a local hotel where there is nothing in particular to do. lol. But is this literally the worst time to go? We don’t want to do the beach every day or anything, but a month of crappy raining weather would suck, especially with the kids. Advice? Thanks

Greetings DBN9663: You have an excellent response already, that the rainy season isn’t like an all-day deluge, but more typically either afternoon thundershowers or better yet, raining at night time. So you can plan your outings in the morning and be almost guaranteed to have good weather. On Corn Island the rain comes more frequently and there’s not such a distinct wet/dry season as there is on the Pacific coast, but it’s usually a short rain that clears up after a bit.
To add to that a little, the “normal” rainy season begins in mid-May but the weather has been anything but normal for a few years now. In fact, the first part of the rainy season has been extremely dry on the Pacific side in recent years. So, that said, it might be better to come in July if that’s an option as it might be that most of May would still be the end of the hot/dry season, which typically is April to the beginning of the rainy season.
By July the rainy season should hopefully be in full swing, fingers crossed! What with the El Niño year, its not clear how that might affect our rainy season in Nicaragua. The forecast maps say it will be dry further north and wet further south but who knows, right?
It’s just weather anyway, so go ahead an plan a great trip for your family!

Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Time of year to travel

Best time to travel to Nicaragua

It’s typically rainer on the Caribbean coast.

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?


Private Shuttle or drivers, – Managua Forum – TripAdvisor

Re: Private Shuttle or drivers, Feb 14, 2016, 4:41 PM

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 754 posts 22 reviews 2.

Greetings WM: Try NicaRoads for shuttle service to Leon. You’ll probably get to Leon at about 11:30 pm and will pay around $80 for the service. Alternatively, you can stay somewhere nearer to Managua (and yes there are nice places to stay around Managua!) get to sleep earlier, and after breakfast the next morning arrange to take the microbus from La UCA to Leon in the morning for $2 per person. Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Private Shuttle or drivers, – Managua 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

transportation Popoyo: Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor


1 post

transportation Popoyo

I land in managua at 10pm so will stay there that night, but I’m wondering what the options are for getting to popoyo? A public bus would be preferred to keep cost down if it I easy to find?
1 reply


Managua, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
698 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: transportation
Greetings Jessica:

Once in Managua, you’ll need to get yourself to Mercado Huembes and take a bus to Rivas. The easiest thing at that point would be to hire a taxi to Popoyo, but if you want to keep on the bus program you can go from Rivas to Las Salinas de Nagualpa, then walk or hitchhike the last couple of miles to Popoyo.

For further details take a look at:

If the schedule is accurate, you leave Huembes at 7, 9 or 10:30 am and get there by 10, 12, or 1:40 pm, respectively.

Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: transportation – Popoyo Forum – TripAdvisor

A little advice for someone flying into Managua, intending to stay overnight, and then wanting to go to Popoyo, near Tola, Rivas without spending an arm and a leg.

Inexpensive transportation is readily available in Nicaragua if you’re willing to deal with some of the (minor) hassles, you’ll save lots of money!

Itinerary – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Itinerary – Nicaragua

Dec 19, 2015, 3:32 PM

Even though I have been reading this forum for days, I am still having trouble planning. I wish there was an interactive map that would tell me exactly what each town or area has to offer when I touch it with a stylus !!! I am not worried about the distance or form of transport because we will rent a car, but can someone please LIST the names of the town/area and then write what each one has to offer or what they are most popular for? That way, I can pick exactly what we like to do or not like to do and then plan our route accordingly. I know this my be a daunting request but if it can be thoroughly and correctly done, it will be a great informative read. T.I.A.


elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 679 posts 17 reviews 1.

Re: Itinerary

Dec 19, 2015, 5:37 PM

Greetings farmerswife1: Okay, I’ll give it a shot…

  • Managua – flights in and out internationally and nationally, i.e. Corn Island, history of the Revolution, shopping/dining/entertainment, day trips to beaches, hiking/nature (El Chocoyero/La Bruja Nature Reserve & Masaya Volcano, Laguna de Apoyo, etc.
  • Granada – Colonial architecture, Las Isletas (boat/kayak tours of little islands on Lake Nicaragua), near Mombacho Volcano (hiking) and Laguna de Apoyo (swimming, kayaking, SUP boarding)
  • Masaya – Some Colonial architecture, artisan shopping, hiking/nature (Masaya Volcano/Laguna de Apoyo), near interesting villages (Pueblos Blancos)
  • Leon – Colonial architecture, Cerro Negro and Telica volcanos (hiking and volcano boarding), not far from Las Peñitas and Poneloya beaches
  • Ometepe – Hiking, Kayaking, Nature (Island on Lake Nicaragua with two volcanoes)
  • San Juan del Sur – Beaches, Surfing, Partying
  • Esteli – Cigars & tobacco, Hiking/Nature (Somoto Canyon and Miraflor Nature Reserve)
  • Matagalpa – Coffee, chocolate and forests, fresh climate, Hiking/Nature (Cerro Apante/Selva Negra)

This is just the major towns that are on the radar for most first-time visitors to Nicaragua. Additional areas include:


  • Rio San Juan – nature/hiking/boating (Los Guatuzos Nature Reserve, Solentiname Islands, other areas)
  • Tola, Rivas – beaches/surfing without the party scene
  • much more!

Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Itinerary – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

I suppose this is a good idea, having an interactive map that on rollover shows the main activities that can happen at that location. In doing an Internet search, I can’t find any, although it would be a great idea to have one!

A sample itinerary for a trip to Nicaragua

A sample itinerary for a trip to Nicaragua

If you have any other places to add to this short list, please let us know in the comments below!

Day Trips Managua: 3 nights in MGA – day trips? – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

3 nights in MGA – day trips?

Hey Fellow TA peeps,

Heard so much(positive) about Nicaragua during my trip to CR and El Sal, that I found myself booking the tickets as soon as I got back 😛

MGA would be my base for my 3 night trip. Any recommendations on day trips?

Some casual research puts volcano boarding on top along with Ometepe and Granada.

Love nature/hiking(2-3 hrs), plus any adventure sort of stuff and most importantly, food!

Recommendations/suggestion/help is much appreciated!

Also, can Ometepe and Granada be done as day trips from MGA?

Have a great one!


2. Re: 3 nights in MGA – day trips? Dec 16, 2015, 12:42 AM Greetings SK_Kris14: To actually answer your question, yes, several great day trips can be done from the Managua area. Here’s a partial list: Granada, Las Isletas, Laguna de Apoyo, Mombacho Volcano, Masaya Volcano, Masaya Artistan’s Market, Pueblos Blancos (including visiting with a master ceramics artist at his studio), beach day including surfing, Managua city tour, Leon city tour, Leon Volcano Boarding, El Chocoyero/La Bruja wildlife refuge/waterfalls, Activities include: kayaking, standup paddling, motorboating, canopy zip line, surfing, hiking, birdwatching, volcano visits, history, art, culture, etc. Here’s an article I wrote awhile back: “Top Five Managua Day Trips for Adventure Travelers”… Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: 3 nights in MGA – day trips? – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Day Trips Managua

Of course there’s always someone (well one or both of two specific posters) on the Nicaragua TripAdvisor forum that always want to poo-poo Managua and act like anyone wanting to stay or do anything around the capital city are idiots or somesuchthing…so now that I’ve had my mini-rant (thank you for humoring me btw…) I read this poster’s question and noticed that the only other reply actually didn’t answer the person’s question, namely, are there any cool day trips that can be done from Managua.

So the poor guy or gals asks Day Trips Managua ??? and the answer is go and stay in Granada, Ometepe, Leon, etc. Really? The person for some reason is staying in Managua. That’s clear from his questions. He might have points at the Hilton or something, so give the guy/gal a break already, whydontcha?

Life's too short, right?

Life’s too short, right?

I’m not sure what these two frequent posters have against me (well, one is worse than the other…), but I just try to stay positive and not get down about why someone in Granada or Leon would always make it a point to try to say I give bad advice or some other dreck. Just ain’t true my little turtle-dove! How’s that, use the old “kill ’em with kindness” routine hehehehe!

gluten free options? – San Juan del Sur Forum – TripAdvisor

Managua, Nicaragua
posts: 572
reviews: 14
2. Re: gluten free options?

Greetings 4travelgirl:

As amen9 says above, the traditional Meso-american diet is essentially gluten-free and a large part of Nicaraguan cuisine is based on those staples. So basically they’ve been doing gluten-free up here until the Spaniards introduced European foods like wheat.

For example with gluten-free El Porton Verde visitors we just make sure to have corn tortillas instead of toast.

Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Portón Verde

via gluten free options? – San Juan del Sur Forum – TripAdvisor.

Since writing this post on TripAdvisor some time ago, I’ve been thinking more about gluten-free eating in general. While I’m obviously no doctor or nutritionist, I can see where eating gluten-free is just a bit more healthy than eaten all gluten products. While I’m not convinced that for the majority of folks going “gluten-free” that the decision isn’t made more for a general comfort’s sake rather than a real life-threatening situation should one eat the occassional piece of wheat bread, I don’t doubt that it’s overall a healthier way to go.

In Nicaragua we tend to eat mostly beans and rice, with tortilla, plantain, and the occasional cheese or sour cream (crema) as a side dish, for flavor. Sure you can get a hamburger or a pizza (with plenty of extra gluten!) in this country, but let’s just say that for every slice of pizza served in this country, a couple-three hundred servings of beans and rice have been delivered to their lucky recipients!

 gluten-free options

A Nica gluten-free lunch would look a bit different…think more tortillas and beans!