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Thread: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

  1. #1

    Default Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    We're taking our first trip to Nicaragua next month. We'll be renting a small 4x4 in Granada and then heading to SJDS and then north to las Penitas and Leon.

    Looking at the map is seem that the only way to get to the airport is to drive through Managua. Is there another way that goes around the city? Is it pretty straight forward on driving to are airport or is it easy to get lost?


    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Perico
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    you can avoid downtown managua by going from the airport to tipitapa to granada-take old cementary road to the old central american hwy -turn left at nandaime for san juan del sur or right to go to leon and las penitas-go to carretera norte back to the airport in managua

  3. #3

    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by tucker View Post
    go to carretera norte back to the airport in managua

    Is Carretera Norte the route that does through downtown Managua? Is is relatively easy to make my way through the city and to the airport?

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    TRN's fiesty redhead catahoula fan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    I think we all can do better here, as far as real answers as a group for this fella. Take into consideration roadwork. If he runs into a roadblock, things could get interesting! Heck, I got lost for almost 15 minutes in a tiny town not too far from Leon when roadwork shifted the lane into never never land.

    First off, Sean, there is no downtown Managua. Staying on the main hwy (the biggest, widest one you'll see) is the safest advice.

    When it comes to the rest of your route, landmarks would be extremely helpful. How familiar are you with the country's roads? Heading back from Leon, for instance, who on this site can give an accurate description of the way back from the new road to Leon onto the main hwy which will take him straight to the airport (and deal with the overpass that can be confusing at times depending on new roadwork/road cleaning/etc)?

    I've gotten away from Managua and almost dread heading back that way so my info is probably a bit out of date. I can tell you, driving in Managua is a video game, one that should be looked forward to and enjoyed. Navigating the streets of this Central American country is something to be proud of!

    Good luck with your upcoming adventure! Y por supuesto, we want details!
    "Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing."

  5. #5

    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by catahoula fan View Post
    How familiar are you with the country's roads?

    I can tell you, driving in Managua is a video game, one that should be looked forward to and enjoyed. Navigating the streets of this Central American country is something to be proud of!

    Good luck with your upcoming adventure! Y por supuesto, we want details!

    This is my first trip to Nicaragua - I've been to Costa Rica 4 times and drove all over including thorough San Jose a few times and survived

    I'll be sure to post a trip report when i get back!

  6. #6
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by sean94112 View Post
    This is my first trip to Nicaragua - I've been to Costa Rica 4 times and drove all over including thorough San Jose a few times and survived

    I'll be sure to post a trip report when i get back!
    The drive is quite painless . I have done the part from the White house to the outskirts, close to the Leon Hwy. I have ridden in vehicles as well for the entire stretch and the path is relatively "uneventful"

    In essence turn left from the airport and go straight (izquierdo a recto)

    For piece of mind you could grab one or 2 GPS points off of google earth and plug those locations into a cheapie GPS as a "path" to follow.. That is what we did..

    Google maps also hides GPS data in its links.. So for the Leon Hwy link above, 12.152394,-86.304104 , the decimal GPS coordinates can be taken out.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    In essence turn left from the airport and go straight (izquierdo a recto)

    Thanks but I'm look for directions TO the airport. We're renting our vehicle in Granada and will be driving back to Managua from Leon

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by sean94112 View Post
    Thanks but I'm look for directions TO the airport. We're renting our vehicle in Granada and will be driving back to Managua from Leon

    Opps.. Now I am confused... Granada then Leon then MGA airport??

    Leon to airport is the same directions though.. Here turn left and go straight (izquierdo a recto)
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Opps.. Now I am confused... Granada then Leon then MGA airport??

    Yeah - we're getting a ride from MGA to Granada where we will rent our vehicle - from there we're driving to SJDS and then to Las Penitas/Leon - then we need to gat back to MGA and return the car and fly to BCI

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by sean94112 View Post
    Yeah - we're getting a ride from MGA to Granada where we will rent our vehicle - from there we're driving to SJDS and then to Las Penitas/Leon - then we need to gat back to MGA and return the car and fly to BCI

    MGA to BCI... Yes.. the drive through Managua will be a relative cake walk compared to that... How many connections do you have?

    ===========
    Just saw info in other post.. You meant BCI as in Big Corn I.. I thought you meant BCI airport Australia
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    Pinolero De Cepa!! FisherCigarman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    The best way is:

    Take the Granada-Masaya road,you will need to turn right at the intersection of "Coyotepe Hill" this is when there is a downhill slop ,this is the Masaya-Tipitapa road.

    Start looking for Pollo Narciso and Papa Johns pizza on your right hand side,when you pass pollo narciso,the intersection where you gonna turn right will be a few hundred yards away.

    Once you are on the Masaya-Tipitapa road,stay on it untill you reach the 1st STOP SIGN, at that stop sign,turn left,and you're set,thou you could go to the second stop sign and turn left once you reach the Pan Am highway,but I think turning left on the first stop sign it's much easier and less comfusing.

    Once you get to the Rotunda,make sure you go right on the rotunda and stay on your left,making sure:

    1) you make the complete circle,and end up going South on the Pan Am,watch for traffic,some won't yield the right of way.

    2) You stay on your left lane throught the turn and finish on your left lane,if not,you WILL get a ticket for sure,cops are always looking out for cars and small trucks to end up on the right hand lane,which is for "Trafico Pesado"
    Good luck,and hope that helped



    Quote Originally Posted by sean94112 View Post
    Thanks but I'm look for directions TO the airport. We're renting our vehicle in Granada and will be driving back to Managua from Leon

  12. #12

    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by FisherCigarman View Post
    The best way is:

    Take the Granada-Masaya road,

    Thanks for the help but I'm not coming from Masaya - I'm coming from LEON

  13. #13

    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Sean;

    It is fairly easy. You're coming from Leon and will end up in front of the US Embassy. Make a left turn and continue for about 6 KM. A good landmark to keep in mind will be the baseball stadium on your right side, after you pass the stadium you will be getting close to the main intersection which becomes Carretera a Masaya, it is the only traffic light you will see after you pass the stadium. At that intersection, make a left turn for about 100 or 200 mts. then turn right and you will be on carretera norte. Take that all the way to the airport. Be safe and do not travel at night.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Rivense67 View Post
    It is fairly easy.

    THANK YOU!

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    Active TRN Member renco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Whooa, now that is a lot of advice. May I suggest an easier solution. Turn in your rental in Leon, spend the night at La Perla Hotel and we will drive you to the airport in the hotel van.
    You'll excuse me, gentlemen. Your business is politics, mine is running a saloon.
    Casablanca-1942

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    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Renco, you cut right to the heart of things.....
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



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    Active TRN Member renco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain John Wayne View Post
    Renco, you cut right to the heart of things.....
    A sus ordenes, Don John.
    You'll excuse me, gentlemen. Your business is politics, mine is running a saloon.
    Casablanca-1942

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    TRN Surgeon General El Doc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving in Nicaragua - from Leon to Managua airport

    Quote Originally Posted by renco View Post
    Whooa, now that is a lot of advice. May I suggest an easier solution. Turn in your rental in Leon, spend the night at La Perla Hotel and we will drive you to the airport in the hotel van.
    Having taken that van from Leon all the way to Granada, I can say it sure as hell beats trying to navigate Managua. The civil engineer who laid down the road plan for that town definitely had too much guaro.
    "Un Estado que no se rigiera según la justicia se reduciría a una gran banda de ladrones." --San Agustín

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