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Thread: MGA versus SJO

  1. #1

    Default MGA versus SJO

    The last time I came down to Nicaragua was two years ago. At that time, I found vastly less expensive flight into SJO ($300 round trip), so I flew into San Jose and then took Ticabus to Managua ($25). The bus ride sucked, but I saved several hundred--even on a one-way ticket to Managua.

    On that trip, I learned that Costa Rica requires a round trip ticket--or some other evidence or return/onward travel. I remember thinking that this was unique to Costa Rica, because I don't remember the same thing when I flew into MGA serveral years before that. However, I'm not sure if Nicaragua requires the same kind of thing...

    This time around, a found a one-way flight into MGA that is less expensive than a round-trip flight into SJO. If I can get away with a one-way ticket, I'll definately take this flight into Managua.

    Can anyone confirm for me if Nicaragua requires proof on return/onward travel--like Costa Rica does? I realize that this topic has probably come up before on TRN, but I wasn't able to find it by searching for "one way" or "round trip."

    My flight is only two weeks off--so any response would be greatly appreciated.
    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #2
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: MGA versus SJO

    The return/onward ticket requirement is pretty standard for most Countries. The Countries are usually pretty lax about it (at least CR and Nica).

    Your problem will be with the airline. they will gladly sell you the one way, but when you show up for your flight you will most likely get a little surprise, Spirit was notorious for this. The airline will require you to have a return/onward ticket or they will not fly you.
    My understanding is that the airline is responsible for you. Say you arrive in MGA with a one way, for some reason you are denied entry, the airline has to fly you back where you came from.

    Search lonely planet thorn tree forums (particularly the Central America forum) and you can read all about it. Sometimes the airlines ask, sometimes not, same with the Countries.

    You could buy a bus ticket to CR online, print that and that should suffice, waste of $25 but may end up being cheap insurance.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Re: MGA versus SJO

    Cookshow is exactly correct -- it is the airlines that will bust your, um, balloon on a one-way ticket.

    Another option that has worked for me is to buy a fully-refundable one-way on Continental (now United). They have a 24-hour grace period to cancel ANY ticket with no penalties or fees. Literally I have made the reservation/bought the ticket on the way out the door to the airport and cancelled same in the boarding area. Usually takes 3-5 days for the charge/refund process to post but it works well for the one-way fiasco.

    You might also take a look at flying into Liberia (LIR). Lots more seats going there these days and supposedly some decent fares as well?

    When it's all said and done, there's nothing left to say or do... ~~~Where's MY spy camera?~~~

  4. #4
    TRN Member Gypsytoes's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    La Paloma, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
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    Default Re: MGA versus SJO

    I won't fly Spirit anymore for this very reason.( well, one of the reasons) I was on my return trip on a rt ticket to MGA, when Spirit refused to let me board the plane because I didn't have a return ticket to the states. They asked if I had residency in Nicaragua ( which I didn't at the time). So with some quick thinking, I told them, " I live in Nicaragua and I had to return to the US to gather my documents to obtain residency." Worked like a charm...they didn't even ask to see any documents.

    I have never been asked in MGA for proof of a rt ticket and I have made countless trips back to the states. The problem is in the USA...that's where they will ask you if you have a rt ticket.

    On another note, we used to fly into Liberia, CR because the flight was always cheaper and closer to Ometepe Island, where we live. But, for the past 2 years, the flights have been more expensive than MGA. I try to fly on TACA out of MGA because they feed you for free and there is more leg room between the seats. I also fly AA because I like the times of their flights. I can leave Ometepe Island and arrive at MGA the same day, and the same on my return flight to MGA. It saves me money because I don't have to spend the night in Granada.

    I hope this helps.

  5. #5

    Default Re: MGA versus SJO

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    You could buy a bus ticket to CR online, print that and that should suffice, waste of $25 but may end up being cheap insurance.
    The last time I looked at the ticabus website (, there was no option to buy online. Now, I see an option to purchase a ticket by placing a call.

    "Desde la comodidad de tu casa u oficina...Con tan solo una llamada"

    I assume that I pay using a credit card over the phone. Has anyone tried this? This is a great option--if it works. My concern is proving that I have a ticket if the website doesn't let me purchase it there, or allow me to print out a receipt.
    Soy el chele mono.

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