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Getting Around Managua

Local buses and taxis both crisscross the urban chaos of Managua. Buses work on a confusing system of numbered routes (don’t look for a route map, it doesn’t exist) with set, but not very well defined, bus stops. The best way to maneuver by bus is to repeatedly ask locals for directions. City officials may not understand the bus system (none of the local agencies claim responsibility for it), but locals know basic routes and market vendors are particularly well informed. Buses operate between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., pass by their stops regularly and cost C$2.50.


Good routes to know include: 164, from Reparto Shick to the Malecón; 110, which passes the American Embassy on the way from Mayoreo to Batahola Sur; 111, from Via Fraternidad to Mercado Oriental; and 109 which passes Plaza Intur.


Taxis are a much easier, if more expensive, way to navigate the city. Regular fees are C$30 for destinations within the urban center and C$40 to C$50 for points on the city outskirts. Trips to the airport regularly cost between US$10 and $15. Agree on the price beforehand and keep in mind that taxi drivers regularly quote foreigners C$10 to C$20 more than the price for locals. Taxis are also collectivos, which means they will pick up multiple fares, so talk to the cabbie ahead of time if you want to ride alone. Make sure you have as close to the fee as possible, since drivers rarely have change. Taxi scams range from  doubling the price at the end of the ride to kidnapping express where gun-wielding robbers jump into the taxi at a stoplight and make the helpless passenger withdraw money from all the local ATMs until their account is exhausted.


Managua was not designed as a walking city; major monuments (with the exception of the historic center) are spread widely apart and the heat is enough to deter most wandering. If you do head off on foot, stick to populated areas such as Zona Hippa and take a cab at night.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Managua: Safety in Managua, Managua Services, When to go to Managua and Tour operators in Managua.

By Rachael Hanley
A sometime newspaper journalist with a heavy side of wanderlust, Rachael moved to Quito in November to work on the V!VA staff. She is currently...
23 Jun 2009

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