Managua to Granada by night
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 31, 2012 9:54 PM Last Post By: Etufft
Aug 21, 2012 11:57 AM
Aug 21, 2012 12:51 PM
1Did the same from the airport by taxi to Matagalpa, which is more remote. But prefer staying in the Best Western after a long flight and have some luxury, not for safety reasons......have fun..
Aug 21, 2012 2:30 PM
2You will be ok. Ask the hotel for the guy's name and phone number.
From the airport to Granada, you won't drive through Managua anyway.
Aug 21, 2012 4:34 PM
3I agree with NYC....completely safe. I've stayed at the Best Western...but only for an early morning flight out of Nicaragua. Nice place, but Granada is only 1 1/2 hours away...maybe less, so don't worry.
Aug 21, 2012 5:06 PM
4The basis for the controversy is how safe is the Tipitapa-Masaya highway after dark. Since the airport is close to Tipitapa, it is much shorter to avoid Managua and go north on the Panamerican Highway a couple miles and quickly cut down to Masaya on this rural bypass road. It is good straight road and in about twenty minutes one is at the Masaya highway and back on crowded/busy roads. During daylight hours there is no question that this is the route to take to Masaya/Granada. Unfortunately, after dark and at least in past years there have been incidents on this bypass and the U.S. Embassy on its website states the following:
"In the past, some U.S. citizens were targeted shortly after arriving in the country by criminals posing as Nicaraguan police officers who pull over their vehicles – including those operated by reputable hotels – for inspection. In each case, the incidents happened after dark and involved gun-wielding assailants who robbed passengers of all valuables and abandoned them in remote locations. Some assailants employed threats of physical violence. While the traditional scene of these attacks has been the Tipitapa-Masaya Highway, this activity has also spread to the Managua-Leon Highway. The U.S. Embassy warns U.S. citizens to exercise extreme caution when driving at night from Managua’s International Airport and to avoid traveling the Tipitapa-Masaya Highway at night. There has also been an increase in armed robbery attempts by masked individuals along roadsides leading to popular tourist destinations. Assailants will step out of roadside vegetation with weapons in an attempt to stop the vehicle and rob passengers. "
I am aware what the U.S. Embassy states on its website but that does not mean I agree with it all. I have driven this route by myself after dark various times (even when it was gravel) and never have had a suggestion of a problem, but it is a lonely road at night. Two years ago, I was driving with my daughter from Esteli to Granada and we got behind schedule and reached Tipitapa when it was now dark. Due to my daughter being with me, I decided to go through Managua. It took a 1 1/2 hours longer and was a typical Managua confused mad traffic/chaotic experience she will never forget, especially in a rain. One can argue that I put my daughter in more physical harm going through Managua traffic than she would have faced on the Tipitapa-Masaya bypass. I am responding because you sound like you want more rather than less information, but I do not know if this info is really helpful. FYI, I asked a gas station attendant at the south end of the Tipitapa-Masaya cutoff if he thought there was any security problem on this road after dark and he acted like he did not know what I was talking about. Since I mostly stay around Esteli, I do not know. Probably, if I were you, I would stay at the Best Western that night just to wait to see the daytime travel scenery (not that it is a perfect hotel). If your Granada hotel says that your driver will take you the long way through Managua or is convincing that there is no problem and argues that U. S. Embassy website is crazy, out of date and paranoid, then you will have to make your decision.
Aug 21, 2012 5:30 PM
5Usually nighttime travel is not recommended in all the region, not just Nicaragua. There have been no reports of issues on this forum of hold ups, bandits or police impersonations and traffic stops to Granada at night. Is there reports of this on Trip Advisor?
Arriving at MGA at 9pm, deboardinng, clearing Immigration/Customs can take 1 hour. Its now 10pm. The roads will be desolate at that hour. You will be getting Granada at 11pm, everything will be closed.
I would spend the night at Best Western and relax, have access to food/cafe and get a nice nights sleep. Get a Paxeo in moring to Granada.
Aug 23, 2012 1:29 PM
64 people with Paxeos is going to cost as much as a cab, or very close, and be nowhere near as convienent.
The cab driver is going to have no interest in getting robbed, carjacked, or any other foolishness. He may not care much about his passengers but rest assured he will be concerned about his own well being, and getting paid for his time, he is not going to steer you into an area he believes is dangerous.
The hotel has a vested interest in you arriving safe and sound, they are unlikely to send a jakeleg driver to pick you up.
Would I make the trip in a rental car at night? Probably Not. Would I do it in a taxi? Have, many times. That said I have also walked across the street to the Best Western (with a carry-on it is actually quicker to walk than take the shuttle), many, many, times.
Follow your gut, if you are not comfortable don't do it.
Paxeos meets almost all of the international arrivals, day and night, have you emailed them for info?
Aug 23, 2012 5:11 PM
Sep 8, 2012 9:52 PM
8We are arriving at the Managua airport on X-mas eve at 10:15pm, can we get a shuttle to Granada right away even if late at night? That hour and a half may be easier than waiting through X-mas in Managua for lack of transportation...
Sep 24, 2012 1:13 PM
9I can't attest to safety of the roads, but in case you are wondering the Best Western across from the airport is the nicest Best Western (or Holiday Inn or Red Roof Inn, you name it) I've been ANYWHERE. Highly recommended.
Oct 22, 2012 6:33 AM
10The serious transportation companies do not use the Tipitapa road at night, allthough should not be any safety risks involved. I have used Paxeos several times, and at night the go through Managua, and I believe it is just because it is not a lonely road.
Oct 31, 2012 9:54 PM
11I've reserved Paxeos for two at 10:15 pm (2 seats in shared vehicle is $52). How long will this trip take from the Managua airport to Granada? Also, I want recommendations for hotels in Granada. We will arrive on X-mas eve at night and depart on 12/28 mid day on a flight to San Carlos. That's 3 full days in between. Will Granada get boring after two days? We don't like to lounge around a lot and only have 12 days total in the country.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$85.34 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$166.94 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$73.33 per night