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Thread: Managua's airport

  1. #1
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Managua's airport

    On returning to the US, our flight left at 7:20am. Since it's an international flight we're supposed to check in three hours or whatever before that, but the Copa check-in desk is not open that early of course. So my wife called Copa to ask when they open, and it was six I think. That meant we had to get up, dress, eat breakfast, and schlepp our bags across the street from the Best Western Las Mercedes at o'crap thirty, and the Las Mercedes restaurant didn't open until six I think it was. So breakfast became the big dilemma.

    The hotel drove us and our Nicamax baggage across the street no problem, and we even got checked in for the flight with ease. Now for breakfast...

    There is food in the airport, even that early. We looked at all the places in the food court, then a young guy kind of got in our face hawking a place that served breakfast, next to the Subway. His aggressive sales tactics worked, we picked it. Bacon, eggs, toast, coffee, etc. and some pancakes for our 5 year old. Gringo airport prices, i.e. insanely expensive. And it took forever for the food to be served.

    Nica restaurants are normally slow, making me wonder if they have to go chase the chicken around the yard first, or in this case, chase down the pig to slice off the bacon. While waiting, it occured to me (the fog of o'crap thirty in the morning) that the Las Mercedes breakfast is a buffet, and it's complementary with the room. So we could have ridden the shuttle back across the street, eaten a good quick breakfast for free, and shuttled back over in plenty of time for our flight.

    The food came, and wasn't that good. Our little one didn't want the pancakes. So when we were done my wife wrapped the leftovers up in a foam clamshell box and as we passed by the curbside looked for street urchins that needed to eat. It was still early so no one was outside, so she asked the armed guard if he would hand it off to someone. No idea if the guard handed it off or ate it himself.

    After that everything went pretty normally. And as it turned out, Copa served us breakfast. So if you have an early flight on Copa, just wait and let them feed you.

  2. #2
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    I agree with you about the price of food in the airport....absolutely ridiculous.....wait!...make that ANY airport.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  3. #3
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    A sandwich at Orlando is $9. At the airport in Panama City, Panama, lunch for two is something like $40.

    Hot meals on Copa, don't worry about eating.

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    Took COPA for the 1st time a year or so and was very impressed, generous baggage allowance, free drinks, decent (free) food, even real silverware.

    Jonh, before I moved down I would do exactly as you described with the Best Western, go check in for the early AA flight, then go back have breakfast and check out, then walk back across to the airport.

    Food Court at MGA is ok. Subway is usually my go to as it is a novelty for me, there are a few spots that sell plates of typico for a decent price, and always a few spots with pizza by the slice if in a real hurry. I know the spot you are talking about, they always have someone out pulling people in, the place on the other side of Subway is ok, have got sandwiches there before.
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  5. #5
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    News alert--
    The panda express in Houston just had a major price increase, making MGA a bargain.
    Ditto on cookshow, Subway is the best breakfast.
    In dec I got the 4:45 sardine express from Esteli to the airport, but the driver sucker punched me and didn't stop at the airport because there was a traffic jam, so I had to catch a cab back from La Subasta
    The only good thing about the ride in the fog and dark was the young lady with a bright orange sweater had her left boob in front of my face the whole trip. Lotta stoicism here, aisle completely full of standing passengers the whole 2 hours. We had to go to the bus drivers house to get a reservation the day before, so at least I had a seat. I still fondly remember the Big Orange Boob.

    Coming back the other night, the Chamuca trees really set MGA off from the average city. A little Disneylandish, but cute.

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    You can see the Chamuca trees from the plane at night, looks like Vegas.



    Copa's silverware is a really nice grade of plasticware, I hated to throw it away. They'd probably last 3-4 years at our house.
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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    We walked across Nov / 2015 - The Chamu Tree between to hotel and the airport was turned off.

    My Daughter is a front desk person for Best Western up here so we got a family rate of something like $60 for the night. Brother in law stayed in the room with his honey after we lumbered across at 5:30AM. Maria convinced them to check in our bags at 11PM the night previous.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Managua's airport

    MIA got me good a couple months back. Premade sandwich, bottle of water, and bag of granola almost cost me a $20.

    Agreed on the Subway but there is also a hot-cart in the hallway to the food court that we usually eat at. Decent food and prices.

    Not impressed with the Best Western last trip. Came in on late flight, could only get a $100 room. Had to re-book with LaCostena early. Told the manager I was trying for the early flight east but might not be able to get it. Asked if not, could I come back or should I check out now. He said no problem, keep the room key card and if you get the early flight don't worry about it. Had 2 charges from the hotel, the second charge was for $4, had to have been for the room key-card.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Managua's airport

    you guys should try one of the many other hotels in the area if you dont like the 100 dollar price tag.
    Hotel Airport X is 5 minutes from the airport. New, nice, air conditioned and dare i say a bit fancy (for me of course, which still means its pretty normal). 30 bucks a room, and they will shuttle you back and forth when you need. The hotel also has a bar and basic foodery for all your pre flight drinking and snacking needs. I can personally recommend this one.

    There is Hotel Monti Cristi, which a couple friends recommend, but i cant put my stamp of approval on it cause ive never been there myself. But its similarly priced, new, and supposedly decent if not basic. ALso offer shuttles and pickup, etc.


    Or for those coming in late, and just needing a place to crash, a short 5 minute taxi ride up the highway to the "la subasta" stoplights is a place called Hotel Altamira, and for 400 cords you can have a decent air conditioned room with cable and internet and be near some street food places and bars (though, they are a bit on the iffy side). Not Best Western quality, but for 12 bucks, a nice place to crash if you are only there to sleep. Morning can get a bit loud if you are trying to sleep in cause its a busy intersection with lots of buses. but if you are getting up early to travel, its all good.
    I stayed there once when the power went out in my neighborhood and it was soo hot i couldnt sleep, and i needed to get up early for a big day. Well worth the 13 bucks or whatever.

  10. #10
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    Have not stayed at Airport X yet but it looks nice. https://www.facebook.com/airportxmanagua

    Have stayed at Hotel Monti Christi twice. Owner Calvin is a great guy. think it is around $30nt now http://www.hostalmontecristi.com/

    Both these Hotels are in the Monti Christi Neighborhood, less than 1/2 mile from airport, both offer shuttle to and from airport. Really nice little neighborhood, gated, lots of security. Neighborhood has a few small stores, a bakery, and at least 1 restaurant/bar that has decent and reasonably priced food.

    Have stayed at Altamira twice as well. Convenient if you are coming in on Spirit and also if you are going to be using Mayoreo Bus Station. maybe a mile from the airport, right on Car Norte, on the Corner of the road that goes to Mayoreo. If you are not familiar with MGA it may look a little dodgy but has decent basic rooms for cheap. http://hotelrestaurantealtamira.com/
    Last edited by cookshow; 01-13-2017 at 07:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    If I were traveling alone, I'd try the $12 place. But with a wife and kids to please, it's a different ballgame.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Managua's airport

    Thanks,,, I've been looking for some cheaper places to stay.

    I like the Camino Real,, but it's $100 too usually by the time you pay the taxes. I've gotten it for less,, $85,
    but still,,, you pay for the elegance and service.

    For me a trip to MGA almost mandates an overnight to get everything done.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Managua's airport

    yeah with a wife and kids i dont think i would recommend the hotel altamira either. Its decent, but the area around, particuarly at night isnt the greatest. Sketchy bars with hookers and all that. (its funny cause its right across the street from the police station, but that never stops the action at night). The hotel itself is alright, especially if you are staying in, but if i had kids i wouldnt want them running around at night there i think.

    but the hotel airport x and monti cristo are in private residential gated areas, so its safe and nice, and family friendly. I know two families with children that stayed in airport X and enjoyed it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Managua's airport

    Did Altamira one time, was not that nice. Looks better now. Will have to try that X Hotel, looks good.

  15. #15
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    I have stayed at the Hotel Monti Cristi many, many times now and is a deal at $25-$30nt. Few months ago tried to stay at Airport X for $21nt but had trouble with getting any response until last minute and by then had booked Monti Cristi. I have a friend that gets the $21 room all the time, he says place is great and he is a hotel owner himself, and he knows Managua like the back of his hand, too far out for me except for late night flights.

    Both are located almost behind the Camino Real, is a gated community, very safe and secure.

    The good thing about both is that they are accustomed to the Spirit flights and have no issue coming in middle of night.

    If I arrive in daytime I usually opt for something more central but at 2am these places are an oasis, I hated traveling around MGA in those hours before, now no way.

    I have seen Best Western prices down around $65, +IVA in recent months, so hard to swallow for few hours rest when there are such reasonable options are nearby, but it is hard to beat a day of lounging around the BW pool and simply walking across street for the airport.

    1 thing I have noticed is that unlike Granada and elsewhere MGA hotel prices have stayed high.

    Over the years I have ferreted out some cheap places to stay in different parts of town and have found some bargains but you really have to hunt them. 1 Place I stay regularly is right behind metrocentre mall and I honestly cannot figure out if they are still operating as a business or just let me stay because I show up unannounced. I noticed a few trips ago they had taken down their sign.

    Typing this from a $13nt MGA hotel, had seen it online so thought I would try it. Good neighborhood, fairly well located, owner is great, looks like maybe 6 rooms, the owner's house is in the back. Not sure I will stay another night this trip but would stay here again. At $13nt obviously no a/c or hot water, for me the location is not ideal but I wanted to try it. They have good wifi which is always a nice bonus.


    Few weeks ago I was passing through MGA and kept seeing a $10nt hotel online, I know the hotel is great location, used to be decent place, well I try to find reviews, none, finally see 1 on a booking site that the place is not in business anymore which sounded closer to what I thought. I went there and sure enough place is not in business, I guess running some scam on the booking sites, I sent message to booking.com where I had seen it listed. Was truly too good to be true but I was 3 blocks away so was worth a peek, would have been an epic deal.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Managua's airport

    ".....I have a friend that gets the $21 room all the time, he says place is great and he is a hotel owner himself, and he knows Managua like the back of his hand, too far out for me except for late night flights .....


    I became an Airport X fan, people are really nice, let me bring in a sack of pupusas from a shop not too far from the gate.
    I get the $21 room,, $16 or 17 plus tax. The room is a bit claustrophobic, like a tomb. I sleep like a baby there.
    AC is too strong for the small room, and water is HOT.

    Reception area is nice,, some prices are a little high, I don't remember if breakfast is included, but I generally get breakfast there.


    I'm always driving,, getting a bus down from the farm to Condega, then to Esteli ,,, actually there is a 5 AM bus that passes through Condega from Ocotal,, but it won't stop if it's too jammed full, so not a sure thing. And no way to get to Condega that early.

    Buses up and down the hill to the farm are limited, although there are more on weekends. Many people use the Yali buses which are more frequent, and walk. It's five Km to the farm from the enpalme, and it's straight uphill.

    I'm back in Tucson,, but before I left I made frequent trips to Managua. The traffic was much more manageable than it was,, say a year ago.

  17. #17
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    Last few trips to that neighborhood been way too late to catch the papusas but have had them before. Decent little bakery and well stocked pulpurias up by the entrance to the community but a bit of hike from the hotels.

    Before things went bad it was really tough to get into either hotel last minute.

    This last trip I started to just sleep in airport, done that a few times, Spirit was late, nearly 3 am, can get ticket for Coast at 7 be on plane at 8, not that bad but I did not have reservation for Coast so was worth getting a room. Be advised if you do decide to ever sleep in the airport, have some clothes on, it is freezing in there at night, always several people crashing there and lots of police around, always felt safe. Cold tile floor not idea of fun but with only a few hours between flights is not the worst thing in the World.
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    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport

    I check MGA hotels and am still on some email blast lists about hotels specials and such. I have seen the BW advertised at $58 a night a few times, on the weekends. I have also seen the CR pop up at around $70 a night with no breakfast. That is a really good deal.

    The thing you have to consider about the hotel prices in MGA is that since about 2010 they were on basically a stead 10 to 15% price increase per year. In 2006/7 my frequent stayer rate at the CR was $55 a night, best I could get, and this is considering I know the manager super well and he is a long time buddy, was $92 a night in 2017. But when my wife was in town he would always comp me a couple of nights.

    I miss that place so much.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Managua's airport

    Quote Originally Posted by RGV AG View Post
    I check MGA hotels and am still on some email blast lists about hotels specials and such. I have seen the BW advertised at $58 a night a few times, on the weekends. I have also seen the CR pop up at around $70 a night with no breakfast. That is a really good deal.

    The thing you have to consider about the hotel prices in MGA is that since about 2010 they were on basically a stead 10 to 15% price increase per year. In 2006/7 my frequent stayer rate at the CR was $55 a night, best I could get, and this is considering I know the manager super well and he is a long time buddy, was $92 a night in 2017. But when my wife was in town he would always comp me a couple of nights.

    I miss that place so much.


    Yeah,, I loved the CR buffet breakfast. An incredible spread. I put friends and family up there, everyone is pleased,, always meet someone interesting in the small bar. I was paying $85 including breakfast, with taxes over $100. I've left my car there and flown back to the US a couple of times,, $5 /night parking. Even the parking lot guy ties to speak English,,

    Early flights out are greeted with a complementary mini breakfast, fresh squeezed orange juice, pastries and good coffee.

    An air of elegance. And an attitude that is often missing in Nicaragua. Nice business center too.

  20. #20
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managua's airport


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