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Travel Guide Central America Nicaragua Chinandega



Chinandega is the capital of the Chinandega department in the Northern Pacific Coast region of Nicaragua.



Sights and Activities

The town itself is not terribly alluring, and it can be a hot, still place full of traffic, but at night it cools down and comes alive. The Parque Central area fills with strolling families taking their kids to the well-lit play areas, and a row of food kiosks sells food and fruit shakes at good prices.

There are many sights that make Chinandega a great place to come: large churches in town, great park in the middle of town and friendly, real people.

Going to the central park is a good past time. There are many carts selling hamburguers and milkshakes. You can also take the famous "bus pelon" for a ride around the town - for just C$3. It is a way to enjoy the cool night air.



Getting There

You can get to Chinandega from Managua on a mini bus or bus in Huembes Market. This costs US$3 and takes 2.5 hours and is very safe.

You can also get a mini bus (collectivo) from Leon (terminal) to Chinandega (terminal) every 15 minutes. This costs C$23 cordobas (US$1), and takes about an hour.

Hitchhiking is an option, as is renting a car.



Getting Around

Local buses run between the Parque Central, Bisne (the large peripheral market), the old market, and other points. Taxis are abundant. If driving, take into account the fact that most streets in town are one-way.

In Chinandega city you can either walk, take a taxi (8 cordobas) or take a bike taxi (5 cordobas).

There are school buses that leave from "El Mercadito" to go to other parts of Chinandega province, such as the town of El Viejo, where the rosquillas (cheese crackers) are famous.




The best food is either at the parque or in the restaurants nearby. There is also great food from the many fritangas on the side of the road.

Also, do not forget to try toncua! It is the most delilious fruit ever. Ask street vendors if they know anyone who is selling Tonqua.




There are many types of beers, both foreign and domestic to try out. A favorite is Toña which you can buy at any local pub for about C$15.




  • Hotel Cosiguina. has A/C rooms with wireless internet and a secured parking lot. Also has its own restaurant "Fumarolas" with room service available. Nice friendly hotel. Located in the center of town within short walking distance of all area attractions. for US$40/night.
  • Los Volcanes Hotel, Km. 129 1/2, Carretera a Chinandega, Nicaragua (Go to Chinandega. From Chinandega hire a taxi to take you to the hotel. They will know where it is.), ☎ +505-341-1000. A high quality hotel in Chinandega. Nice food. You can relax here. US$46-93.



Keep Connected


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.


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This is version 2. Last edited at 10:00 on Feb 9, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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