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Thread: Buses in Nicaragua

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  1. #16
    I hail taxis on the street in Managua all the time (though seldom at night), and they have always got me where I wanted to go.

    This doesn't mean I've not got worried as they took a short cut through a barrio I didn't know. Caution is good, suspicion bad. Why go somewhere if you mistrust and fear the locals?

  2. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Chinchuliar
    Alternatively, be friendly, polite and respectful, and enjoy the great conversations one can have with taxi drivers anywhere in the world.
    A far more reasonable point of view of Managua taxis, plus the advice below.

  3. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Meat Loaf
    CAUTION: Be aware of the conversation you maintain with taxi drivers. Don't tell them your hotel; don't tell them your citizenship; don't tell them anything other than your destination.
    When they pick you up in front of your hotel this warning becomes a lot more difficult to follow.

    If you stay at a non half-assed hotel, have the guard note the placa # of the taxi very obviously so the driver can see him do that. You can have the guard negotiate the rate as well and specify exclusive use of the taxi. Or you can call a radio taxi which is safer.

    Best to have your own car and driver though. There are cars and driver for no more than a rental car costs anyway. Or stay at Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, etc., who have private taxis.

    It is not as life threatening as it sounds.

  4. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Meat Loaf
    CAUTION: Be aware of the conversation you maintain with taxi drivers. Don't tell them your hotel; don't tell them your citizenship; don't tell them anything other than your destination.
    Alternatively, be friendly, polite and respectful, and enjoy the great conversations one can have with taxi drivers anywhere in the world.

  5. #12

  6. #11

    Driving Nicaragua as a Gringo

    Gringos are funny!

    Gringos that drive in Nicaragua are funny!

    Gringos that drive in Nicaragua do so with #5 window tint, the darkest tint as to not be seen by police officers and other drivers.

    Gringos that drive in Nicaragua do so with sun glasses as to not show skin or blue eyes.

    Gringos that drive Nicaragua do so wearing a baseball cap / gorda as to not showcase their blonde locks or baren skull. With the brim pulled down to the top of their sunglasses is the style.

    Gringos that drive Nicaragua do so with caution and trepidation as to prevent the ever so popular bribe / mordida.

    Gringos that drive Nicaragua do so with a vehicle that resembles a typical Nicaraguan jalopy as to not attract the attention of police officers and delicuentes.

    Gringos that get arrested for traffic violations receive transport to the police station "riding b*tch" on a police officer's motorcycle. And sometimes the Gringo must purchase gasoline for the police officer's moto.

    Driving Nicaragua as a Gringo is an adventure at every turn of the ignition.

  7. #10

    Taxi Conversation

    When you enter a taxi and declare your destination, do such with confidence!

    For the taxi driver may attempt to make "small talk" during the trip.

    When the taxi driver begins to comment on how poor the streets are. When the taxi driver begins to comment that there are no fares in the streets. When the taxi driver begins to comment that Nicaragua is a poor country, what is he / she attempting to say?

    Translation: If you drop your guard, passenger, during this trip I am going to rob your a*s!

    When this conversation appears a Gringo must position himself in the front-seat at an angle facing the driver. This is done so that you will get the jump on him / her before he over-powers your a*s and steals your possessions and possibly life.

    Let's not even talk about the taxi driver using the cellphone to call his carnales to aide in the robbery and kidnapping.

    O.J. Simpson: He went to prison for kidnapping. Will the Nica go to jail for kidnapping your Gringo a*s? Of course not: Gringos can afford to replace any and everything taken / given as a regalo to the Nica.

    CAUTION: Be aware of the conversation you maintain with taxi drivers. Don't tell them your hotel; don't tell them your citizenship; don't tell them anything other than your destination.

  8. #9

    Ferry Boat on Cocibolca: Granada - San Carlos

    Leaving from Granada, the 2-tiered ferry boat and metal bleachers, to San Carlos departs on Mondays at 1400 hours and Thursday at 1400 hours.

    Passport is required to purchase ticket(s) and board the ferry boat. Copies should be in possession at all times.

    Arrivals into San Carlos are approximately 16-hours after Granada departure.

    Departures from San Carlos are Tuesday and Fridays at 14 hours.

    The ferry boat arrives in Granada from San Carlos on Wednesdays and Saturday at 0500 hours.

    Granada to San Carlos is a 6-day trip / vacation.

  9. #8

    Managua - Granada Bus Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Remsen St
    How long was the bus ride from Managua to Granada?
    1 hour from UCA (Universidad de Central America) to Parque Central, Granada.

    Hours of operation are 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. for guaranteed service.

    The bus is tight, lots of people standing-up, and little leg room. They make stops along the entire route and hang outside of the bus screaming to attract customers.

    It's so uncomfortable that I, Meat Loaf, rarely travel to Managua and it's only 40 kilometers / 24 miles away. Granadinos (ie. Granada residents) rarely travel to Managua and Capitalinos (ie. Managua residents) rarely travel to Granada. Managua is too dangerous for Granadinos and Granada is too boring for Capitalinos.

  10. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevewxly
    I took a bus from Managua to Granada yesterday and came back today.

    First bus was a regular sized bus. Approx. 40 passengers. The bus from Granada back to Managua was a mini bus.15 passengers. Except the Jammer. The second guy o who works the bus stopped and put everybody on that he could cram on. I had a seat but there were about 7 to 8 people who did have a seat. They had to stand.

    Cost was 20 cordoba each way. Which is $ 1.00. I had not problems with safety on the buses. But I do not think I would want to ride the school bus types in Managua city. Those do look rather dangerous.

    I will stick to taxi's in Managua. They are cheap and are everywhere. So no real need to get on one of the chicken buses.
    How long was the bus ride from Managua to Granada?

  11. #6

    Buses

    I took a bus from Managua to Granada yesterday and came back today.

    First bus was a regular sized bus....approx. 40 passengers.....the bus from Granada back to Managua was a mini bus....15 passengers...except the Jammer....the second guy o who works the bus stopped and put everybody on that he could cram on. I had a seat but there were about 7 to 8 people who did have a seat......they had to stand.

    Cost was 20 cordoba each way....which is $ 1.00. I had not problems with safety on the buses....but I do not think I would want to ride the school bus types in Managua city....those do look rather dangerous.

    I will stick to taxi´s in Managua...they are cheap and are everywhere.....so no real need to get on one of the chicken buses.

  12. #5

    Buses In Nicaragua

    An Update To Buses

    Senior Meat Loaf has outlined the bus schedules between Managua and San Jose below. I have only been on TicaBus - but was pleased with it.

    I have taken the Tica Bus from Managua to SJ, and can say it is fairly cheap and is not that bad of a trip.

    The Tica bus only made a 2-3 of stops along the way....once at the border for perhaps 15 - 20 minutes to check everyone's passport and such, and then perhaps another rest stop where we all got off to eat a quick bite along the way.

    I took this trip in Oct of 2008 and if memory serves the fare was slightly more than Meat Loaf says below....but then perhaps I had the executive ticket which has a few extra perks.....seems like I paid about $ 18-19.00 for my ticket...but could be mistaken on this.
    Typical travel time as noted below is about 8 to 9 hours, and the bus was very nice, clean & a newer modern bus....usually a Mercedes or Volkswagon brand bus.....nicer than almost all Greyhound buses in the US.

    I would recommend taking this bus if you need to go between Managua and San Jose...or vice a versa....it sure beats the price of airfare for the same trip....if one is watching their budget. And I am doing that.....just makes sense you can stay longer and partake more in mongering activities if you don't splurge on airfare when the bus will do.

    I believe I will follow the advice of Meat Loaf......and stay off the local buses in Nicaragua. I have never taken a local bus in Nicaragua. Why do it when taxi's are so cheap & convienent.

    I have taken plenty of local buses in Costa Rica though...and that is mostly good....if you know where you are going and when and where to get off.

    You want to keep a sharp eye on your belongings on any public conveyance in Central America though....as they will steal anything that is not guarded. So keep your luggage either in the lower storage compartment with a ticket stub from the driver for it...( and probably there is some slight danger in losing your stuff there ).....better yet keep your belongings very near your seat with your eyes/hands on it at all times.

    My next trip to Nicaragua is coming up in less than a week, so I do plan on taking the bus from Managua to perhaps Granada, or the beaches, or to Bluefields to see some of the country. Meat Loaf advises that that is usually OK on such cross country buses..........just don't take the buses in Managua City....as he advises....as that is perhaps just too dangerous for a foreigner/gringo like me or you.

    .......................................................................................................


    Quote Originally Posted by Meat Loaf
    BUS: Three (3) bus lines exist that run from S.J. to MGA. Tica Bus, Trans Nica, and King Bus.

    Tica Bus runs two or three time daily. 5 Star Service. US $12.50 each way.
    Nica Bus runs four or five times daily. 3.75 Star Service. US $15 each way.
    Travel time is 8 hours.

    Airplane: Flights from SJO to MGA are US $250.
    Travel time is 1.5 hours.

    "Ticos" and those that want to be "Tico," Nicaragua is nothing like the Central America Beverly Hills you reside, it's dirty, grimy, and 100% Spanish-speaking.

  13. #4

    Riding the Bus in Managua

    you have to be (1) broke / pinche (ie. penny pincher,) (2) foolish, and / or (3) eager to experience violations of personal space to ride almost every bus route in managua.

    all buses are former usa yellow school buses. in other countries the buses are painted pretty colors, but managua is poor so you'll see school districts, townships, and other first-hand signs of wear-and-tear. it's always fun to see where the bus came from: do you remember playing the "license plate game" when traveling the interstate system of the usa?

    the bus cost c $02.5 or us $ 0.125 cents per bus. in comparison the cheapest taxi fare is c $20 or us $1.00. hence, you must be broke to sacrifice the luxury of taxi.

    you must be foolish because on the bus and at the bus stops is where the crime takes place! it's not uncommon for bus passengers to get "jacked" at knife point or gun point while riding the bus. the delincuentes (ie. thieves) will exit the bus at the next stop. the other passengers are thankful thay they were not the victim. nobody will help / aide / or assist the victim! the bus driver is thankful the ladrones didn't approach him to steal his change box (ie. cash register) holding less than c $500 or us $ 25. less, for sure!

    * quick story: on the route, several members of the pandilla (ie. gang) boarded the bus at various bus stops. they rode the bus appearing to be honarable passengers. when they acquired the seven (7) pandilleros, they made their move and hijacked the bus! passenger by passenger was robbed, including the bus driver. they confirep001ed the cedulas (ie. state issued indentification card) of various victims to enstill fear based upon knowledge of their home address. the pandilleros exited the bus with loot in hand. how much was the ganancia (ie. paycheck)? calculate 20 passengers each carrying at least c$ 20 and that gives you c$ 400 divdided by 7 assailants, etcetera.

    this is / can be a "common" experience. *

    0% of the buses have air conditioning!
    very few buses play music for your distraction!
    very few buses offer comfortability.

    it's everyday experience to witness buses, especially at rush hour, jam packed (ie. lleno) with people leaning out of windows in search of space; leaning outside the bus (ie. like india); and riding upon one another's feet and nalgas (ie. buttocks.) how will you gaurd the possessions in your pockets (ie. bolsillos) and mochila (ie. backpack) from pic-pockets? how will you defend yourself from an armed robbery up close-and-personal, with no place to run and hide?

    one must be foolish to place themselves in such an environment.

    one must be eager to experience such a horrible experience in 35 / 95 degree weather, and no air conditioning.

    eveyone should leave the bus system alone, as visible tourists, and as an accented-spanish speaking tourists.

    "you don't want to experience the bus! besides, it only costs us $1 for most taxi rides, and less than us $5 for sure."

    if you're taking the bus to another state / departamento (ie. granada, boaco, rivas, matalgalpa) it's okay, but within the city limits it's a "death wish!"

  14. #3

    Get Local: Las Rutas

    Quote Originally Posted by Meat Loaf
    BUS: Three (3) bus lines exist that run from S.J. to MGA. Tica Bus, Trans Nica, and King Bus.

    Tica Bus runs two or three time daily. 5 Star Service. US $12.50 each way.
    Nica Bus runs four or five times daily. 3.75 Star Service. US $15 each way.
    Travel time is 8 hours.

    Airplane: Flights from SJO to MGA are US $250.
    Travel time is 1.5 hours.

    "Ticos" and those that want to be "Tico," Nicaragua is nothing like the Central America Beverly Hills you reside, it's dirty, grimy, and 100% Spanish-speaking.
    Tambien (also,) you can take the intra-country buses too, instead of the aforementioned international carriers.

    The local buses will take you all the way to Penas Blancas with stops along the way in Costa Rica or Nicaragua. You can see the populace and stike-up conversation.

    On the intra-country buses, you'll get off in Penas Blancas. Walk to la migra (immigration); get stamped; connect to the other country's intra-country bus service; and travel to your destination within C.R. of Nicaragua.

    This is a very effective way to meet local dames and not international tourists.

    Get in those streets and smell what is cooking!

  15. #2

    Travel from San Jose to Managua

    BUS: Three (3) bus lines exist that run from S.J. to MGA. Tica Bus, Trans Nica, and King Bus.

    Tica Bus runs two or three time daily. 5 Star Service. US $12.50 each way.
    Nica Bus runs four or five times daily. 3.75 Star Service. US $15 each way.
    Travel time is 8 hours.

    Airplane: Flights from SJO to MGA are US $250.
    Travel time is 1.5 hours.

    "Ticos" and those that want to be "Tico," Nicaragua is nothing like the Central America Beverly Hills you reside, it's dirty, grimy, and 100% Spanish-speaking.

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