Getting to Managua
- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Four main bus terminals link Managua to the towns and cities of Nicaragua’s farthest corners. In general, buses depart approximately every hour, 5 a.m.–5 p.m.
To Points North and East
Buses to Estelí, Matagalpa, Ocotal, Jinotega, Boaco, Juigalpa, El Rama, and San Carlos operate out of the Mercado Mayoreo bus terminal on the eastern edge of town. From the other end of Managua (i.e., Barrio Martha Quezada), you can take the 102 ruta bus to get there, but plan up to an additional hour’s travel through Managua’s heart; a taxi is much quicker and should cost no more than $3 for a solo traveler.
Expresos del Norte services the entire north of Nicaragua with express buses. Their fleet includes a few Scania luxury buses (a rare treat), and they have a posted schedule, ticket window, and office where you can call to check on times (tel. 505/2233-4729).
To Points West and Northwest
Buses to León, Chinandega, and Carazo depart from the Israel Lewites terminal (named for a Jewish-Nicaraguan martyr of the revolution but sometimes referred to by its post-Sandinista name, El Boer). The terminal is surrounded on all sides by a chaotic fruit market by the same name; watch your belongings and expect a slightly more aggressive crowd of buseros.
To Points South
Buses to Carazo, Masaya, Granada, Rivas, Ometepe, the border at Peñas Blancas, and San Juan del Sur depart from Mercado Roberto Huembes in south-central Managua. The taxi ride from Barrio Martha Quezada should cost no more than $2 a person.
Before you get to Huembes, be sure to specify parada de los buses (bus stop) to your driver, as opposed to el mercado de artesanía (crafts market), located on the opposite side of the same market. This is a very busy terminal, serving thousands of commuters from points south, and its porters and bus assistants will swarm you as you get out of your taxi.
Fast, express minibuses known as interlocales are the best option for Jinotepe, Diriamba, Masaya, and Granada, and depart from a lot across the street from La UCA. Service starts around 6 a.m. and runs as late as 9 p.m. You can also get Carazo expresses at Mercado Israel Lewites, from el portón rojo (the big red door).
Finally, Adelante Express (tel. 505/ 8850-6070 or 505/8850-6064, www.adelanteexpress.com) offers fast, direct service between the Managua airport and San Juan del Sur for people looking to bypass Managua entirely.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition