Nicaragua's

MANAGUA

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Description : The rather ugly & dangerous capital of Nicaragua

Comments : There are a few sights in the old ruined center (cathedral, Palacio National & museum) but most travelers do not bother and visit only a few buses stations. This is exactly what I did !

What to do ? Take a taxi from one station to the other. It should not cost more than C15. / If you were adventurous enough to visit, let me know if there was something really recommendable to do... 

What you may not like ? The whole place / The danger of walking it, even during daytime : a girl I met had her watch grasped from her wrist while she was walking ! / The heat / Having little to see / The notoriously crowded and therefore dangerous (pickpocket) buses plying the city

How long ? If only you could avoid the place altogether !

Where to stay ? If you have no choice (like an early bus to take), Barrio Martha Quezada, 12 blocks S of the old ruined city is the place to head to for budget accommodations. This is where Ticabus's terminal and Hotel Intercontinental are located. 

Where to take your bus from ? Intercity Buses leave every 30mn or less from a few terminals, including :

  • Mercado Israel Lewites (S-W) : Leon (C15, 1.5 hrs) & Chinandega (C20, 2 hrs) 
  • Mercado Roberto Huembes (S-E) : Masaya (C5-6, 45-60mn), Granada (C7-12, 1.5 hrs), Rivas (3 hrs) & San Juan del Sur
  • Mercado de Mayoreo (extreme east, near airport) : Tipitapa (45mn), Matagalpa (3 hrs), Esteli (3.5 hrs)
  • Ticabus terminal in Barrio Martha Quezada : international routes to San Jose, San Salvador or Tegucigalpa, all early in the morning. 
  • The very few buses to El Rama leaves either from Mercado de Mayoreo or Mercado San Miguel


Backpacker's Tips :  Andrés, Sweden (Nov 05)
« There is little things to do in Managua...party, pool, or cinema...but the party is great! nicas are the best dancers..
About staying in managua: Bolonias(where Ticabus is located) is not a safe area (allthough they have alot of really cheap hostels there). It is more safe to take a cab heading Carretera Masaya, near Friday´s (this ride should just take 5-10 min). There you have zona rosa, where everything happens. The prices in that area are much higher but it is worth it.
Bares/disco: In zon rosa: Arribas, a nice place to take some drinks/beer´s, fri-sat, entrance vary from 0-120 cordobas(including 4-5 drinks/beers), a place for the "rich" (older 20-30)nicas. Brother, next to arribas, great party/dance place, (thur)fri-sat, entrance 100-200 cord, barra libre(free bar), if you don´t know how to dance salsa/merengue etc..here is your perfect opportunity. / Area hippos: "behind" Fridays, great bares(woody´s and some others), relaxed atmosphere, a bit pricy, no dancing. / Carretera masaya 8km (approx.): Just after the big new Galeria Seaman, is a great place called Hipa Hipa, wednsdays, fri-sat, Price 100-200 cordobas, age (21-30) but if youre "chele" you can enter with out problem, just put on your best shirt, this is the hot place in managua where the rich kids go out, and the ones who wants to be rich =). Matrix, located near zona rosa but closer to Metrocentro, is the place to go to if you want to party all night, might be open all nights..butthe best is thur-sat, and its full!! until 6 am...middleclass place, alot of dancing, pricy bar..beers 20cord. There are alot more bars but i think i have mentioned the best ones (they are all more or less located on carretera masaya, which is the the safest road/area in Managua)
»

Backpacker's Tips : Anthony Asael (March 04): Corn Island
« I stay just one night…. But really loved it. It looks like scary, but has a lot to offer. The malecon area is wonderful to meet locals and to dance all
night (el muelle offers life concert for free) ! To sleep go to Ghest House Santos, which is quiet good and safe for 5 US
» 

Backpacker's Tips : Mika (Dec 01)
« Well, just like the girl you tell about, my watch was stolen from my wrist as well ! But that was 7pm and I think I was foolish to wear it at dark.
However, the Barrio Martha Quesada (where most cheap hotels are) is FULL of thieves. You should ALWAYS use a taxi when it's dark. Try to get the taxi in front of your hotel as anything can happen even just a block away from it.
But I think the city itself is rather beautiful. The central square with the old cathedral and national palace is charming. And after 6pm when they
play some classical music and the fountains are colored etc, it's very nice. The national museum (inside the national palace) is quite good.
The distances are big in this city, but if you like walking and don't mind too much the heat it's possible to walk almost anywhere. The new cathedral is far away from the centre, but worth visiting, even though it's not very beautiful.
The malecon on the shore of Lake Nicaragua is very nice at sunset. Many good and not very expensive restaurants also there.
If the pickpockets and thieves were not so many, I think this would be a very pleasant city to spend a few days !
»


The trip to Masaya :
SSS / Right / C5 / 1 hour.
I made the mistake to jump into a normal bus. It proved despairingly slow : the extra C1 for a direct bus is a wise investment !
The scenery at first was quite ugly : the suburbs ! Fortunately, it improved on the right side with Volcano Masaya (entrance to the park at km23), followed by Laguna de Masaya, at the level of Nindiri village. Finally, the red dome of Iglesia de San Jeronima appeared. Ask to be dropped nearby if you wish to walk the small town.

See also the trip to Bluefields (Atlantic Coast)

See also the trip from Leon