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Managua is Nicaragua's capital and its largest city. It was founded in 1819 as a fishing village, but soon was seen as a prospect for the nation's capital, due to its location halfway between rival cities Granada and León. In 1852, it was declared the nation's capital and has since grown into the political, cultural and economic centre of the country. While there aren't a great deal of attractions in Managua to entice travellers, the city does have a handful of worthwhile sites. Most of these can be found in the city's ruined old centre. Among these are the Old Cathedral and the National Palace of Culture, an impressive building that now houses the National Library, National Archive and National Museum.
This festival typically falls in the last Sunday of October, in the region of Masaya (close to Managua and Granada). It is a Nicaraguan dance festival that begins at noon, and ends at sunset, and is based on superstitions similar to Halloween. People create and wear masks for the processions.
Managua has a tropical climate with generally hot and humid conditions. Temperatures are around or just above 30 degrees Celcius during the day most of the year and most areas are still above 20 degrees Celcius at night. Nicaragua has two seasons regarding rainfall. A dry and slightly cooler November to April season and a wet season (but not raining all day) during May to October. Hurricanes occasionally hit the country from July/August onwards.
Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) near Managua is where planes depart and arrive. TACA has international flights to and from Miami, Los Angeles, San Salvador and San José in Costa Rica. Other destinations include Guatemala City, Panama City, Havana, Montreal, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale and several other regional destinations.
La Costena has services to the following domestic destinations: Bluefields, Corn Islands, Minas, Puerto Cabezas, San Carlos and Waspam. Atlantic Airlines has domestic flights as well to the same destinations. Taca Regional has some services as well.
Relatively well maintained roads lead to/from the capital, and renting a car gives you ultimate freedom to explore.
Buses travel between Managua and San José in Costa Rica and to San Salvador in El Salvador. Some continue all the way to Guatemala and Panama. Try Ticabus and Transnica for some examples of international connections.
Nicaraguan bus schedules, including those to and from Managua, can be found at thebusschedule.com.
There are some car rental companies in the city, but best not to use the car in the city as its traffic can be a nightmare.
Private taxis are the most popular option among tourists. The taxi is yours and picks up no one along the way. The fastest service in Managua also is the most expensive. These taxis have the most space and the most personal protection. If you have cargo, ensure that you hail a taxi that has a trunk. Not all cars are equipped with one.
Managua has an extensive public bus system, with some numbered routes which can be convenient for travellers.
Collective taxis work similar to buses: they pick up passengers on the route that you travel on. Usually this means that 3-4 passengers ride in a car with a common or similar destination. This is the fastest transport available in Managua, the cost is also friendly given that the fare is split evenly among the riders.
Much of central Managua can be explored on foot.
|Elena Borgen||Bello Horizonte VI Etapa 217 Del Experimental Mexico 4 C. Arriba 2 C.||Guesthouse||46|
|Hotel Camino Real||Km 9.5 Carretera Norte Carretera Norte||Hotel||93|
|Hotel DLido||Auto Nica 2 1/2c al sur Km 3 Carretera sur||Hotel||76|
|Hotel Europeo||Del Canal 2, 75 vrs abajo Residencial Bolonia||Hotel||68|
|Hotel Ticomo||Km 8 1/2 Carretera Sur||Hotel||-|
|Managua Backpackers Inn||Colonial Los Robles Monte Los Olivos 1 c. Norte, 1 c. Oeste, ½ c. Norte Casa #55||Hostel||82|
|Nicaragua Guest House||Bello Horizonte Vi Etapa 217 Rotonda Larreynaga 2 C. Sur 2 1/2 Abajo||Guesthouse||65|
|Marlenes Bed and Breakfast||Cuadro al Oeste Cuadro al Sur||GUESTHOUSE||72|
|Angel Azul Hotel Boutique||Villa Fontana 17||Hotel||-|
|Managua Hills Bed and Breakfast||From Main Entrance of Las Colinas 2 Blocks East 2 Blocks South||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Villa Angelo||Del Hospital Militar 3 cuadras al Norte 2 1/2 cuadras Oeste. Bolonia||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Casa Naranja||km 4 1/2 Carretera Masaya||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Shalom||De Montoya Calle 27 de mayo.||HOTEL||-|
|El Gueguense||de la Estatua de Montoya una y media cuadra al sur||HOTEL||68|
|Hotel Colonnade Nicaragua||Altamira plans, Pharaohs Casino, 1C. North West 30||HOTEL||-|
|Farmstay El Porton Verde||Road to Masaya, Km 10.5 from San Anton Green Gate on Left||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel El Almendro||Rotonda Metrocentro 1 cuadra al sur, 3 cuadras al||HOTEL||-|
|Hostal La Casa de los Abuelos||Hospital Infantil 1 1/2 c. Norte.||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Real Altamira||Avenida principal de Altamira D. Este||HOTEL||-|
|Hostal Doña Ida||Colonial Los Robles, de la uno Plaza el Sol 3 cuadras al sur 2 y media al oeste, casa No 73||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Villa Americana||Planes de Altamiria No. 12 Km 4.5 Carretera Masaya||HOTEL||-|
|Backpackers Manahuac||Hotel Seminole 1 cuadra oeste, 4 cuadras al sur||HOSTEL||65|
Internet cafes can be found in most larger cities and popular areas, but even in smaller towns you will usually be able to connect somewhere.
Wifi is generally free at most hotels, with the notable exception of larger chain hotels, which generally charge between US$3 and US$8 per day.
See also International Telephone Calls
The international phone code of Nicaragua is 505. The general emergency number is 911, though you can contact police (118), fire (115) and ambulance (128) separately if you want.
Nicaragua's cell phone system utilizes GSM 1900 technology. So, if you have a GSM phone that supports the 1900 band you can either use your phone as is at international rates or if your cell phone is unlocked , you can purchase a SIM card for your phone and you will have a local cell number and be charged local cell rates. Both Claro and Movistar provide cell phone service in the country. Claro is run by the old national phone company (ENITEL) that has now been privatized.
Another option is to buy a cell phone locally. Disposable cell phones are quite inexpensive, usually costing about US$20.
You can also purchase local prepaid phone cards that can be used at pay phone across the country. The different pay phone systems each have their own phone cards, so pay attention to which type you purchase.
Correos de Nicaragua provides postal services. It's fairly cheap but not extremely reliable or fast. Post offices are generally open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00am to 1:00pm. Airmail postage for a standaard letter or postcard from Nicaragua to North America is US0.60 and US$1 to Europe. Mail takes on average between 7 and 10 days to get to the U.S. and Europe. Though it's fine for sending a postcard, you'd better use companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx to send parcels internationally.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Managua searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Managua and areas nearby.
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