Getting around


La Costeña
 operates air services to Bluefields, Corn Island, Minas (Bonanza/ Siuna/Rosita), Puerto Cabeza, San Carlos and Waspám.
Atlantic Airlines
, provides similar coverage and connects to Tegucigalpa and other Honduran cities. Domestic flights should be reconfirmed as soon as possible. Domestic departure tax is 30 córdobas in Managua and about 5 córdobas in outlying airports.


The Pan-American Highway from Honduras to Costa Rica is paved the whole way (384 km) as is the shorter international road to the Honduran frontier via Chinandega. The road between Managua and Rama (for Bluefields) is also paved. Road directions are given according to landmarks, even where there are street names or numbers.

If arriving overland, there is a charge. Exit tax for foreigners is applicable. Always insist on a receipt and if in doubt, go to the Immigration Department in Managua to verify the charge. Officials in Las Manos may try to overcharge - be firm.


Local buses are the cheapest in Central America and often the most crowded. Baggage loaded on to the roof or in the luggage compartment may be charged for. International
buses link Nicaragua with Central America from Panama to southern Mexico.

Car and motorcycle

Motorists and motorcyclists pay in cash on arrival at the border in addition to the entry tax for other overland arrivals . Do not lose the receipts, or you will have to pay again when you leave. Get the correct entry stamps or you will encounter all sorts of problems once inside the country. Vehicles not cleared by 1630 are held at customs overnight. Formalities can take up to four hours. On leaving, motorists pay five córdobas, plus the exit tax. There are 24-hour service stations in the major cities, elsewhere they close at 1800. Be careful when driving at night, few roads are lit and there are people, animals and holes in the road. Crash helmets for motocyclists are compulsory.

Car hire
costs around US$30 a day for a basic car, rising to US$85 for a jeep. Weekly discount rates are significant and if you want to cover a lot of sites quickly it can work out to be worthwhile. A minimum deposit is required along with an international driving licence or a licence from your country of origin. Before signing up check insurance and what it covers and also ask about mileage allowance. Most agents have an office at the international airport and offices in other parts of Managua.


Several cyclists have said that you should take a 'proof of purchase' of your cycle or suggest typing out a phoney 'cycle ownership' document to help at border crossings.


Hitching is widely accepted, but not easy because so many people do it and there is little traffic - offer to pay a small contribution.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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