Ariving in Managua at 2am. Any cheap hotels nearby? Bus stations?
Replies: 41 - Last Post: Nov 12, 2012 7:52 PM Last Post By: brandeeinflorida
Nov 4, 2012 6:48 AM
That or share a taxi to the coast. At least most of the people coming off a Spirit Airlines flight won't have much luggage! LOL! Anybody know how much it is from Managua to the coast on the bus? Just to a nice beach area with some waves? Is that pretty much the whole Pacific coast?
And the fact that cheap hotels probably don't have any website is another reason to avoid them. At least with a $10-20 hotel they might. Or at least email. Getting a good night's rest once you arrive is just so important otherwise you can be in a haze for days as you adjust to the new environment.
With all the traffic from Spirit Airlines and the fact they always seem to arrive in Managua at night, I'm surprised there isn't a favorite hotel in mind near the airport for people exactly in my situation. I mean, why would someone endure the restrictions, delays and inconveniences of Spirit if you were going to spend gobs of money on a hotel once you arrived? Maybe inexperienced travelers don't know any better.
Nov 4, 2012 8:23 AM
16barrio martha quezada has lots of inexpensive places to stay but not in the best of neighborhoods. i stayed hotel los felipes a number of years back and it was safe and secure with a 10 ft fence, or so it seemed. a ways away from the airport and probably a $10 taxi but not sure on that. as you are coming in late and everything jumps in price after dark.
you sound like maybe you need a guidebook and i recommend "moon nicaragua". you can also go to their website and it is full info also on whatever country that they have a guidebook on.
Nov 4, 2012 10:09 AM
17Yes, I agree with Steve.
As to the OP's question "Why would someone endure the restrictions, delays and inconveniences of Spirit" airlines.....that is something for people who book Spirit to answer. I don't use them. Considering the things they charge extra for that other airlines don't (a carry on bag, a cup of water, printing your boarding pass, etc) and then coming in at 2 am (which makes you have extra costs) they aren't such a sweet deal. Not to mention the fact that when they had a pilot's strike they left so many people in a lurch who couldn't even reach a Spirit agent in India (?). I get good deals on other airlines by booking in advance.
Spirit is like a pizza buffet with a sign out front that reads "$3.99" and when you get inside you find a plate is $10 extra, a fork $2, if you want it cooked $15, etc. I hope people will read over the difficulties in this thread and not use them. But no, they will continue to make money by offering seemingly low prices!
Nov 4, 2012 11:09 AM
18Hi Bob, Maybe you don't understand. There are no hotels near the airport except the $100 one across the street. Going into town that late at night sounds like a nightmare. Once again, the best thing to do is get out of town if you can. If you don't have enough money to insure your safety then you shouldn't be going.
Nov 5, 2012 8:18 AM
19The problems that most people have with Spirit are that they don't realize this is an airline for people with no luggage. I'll have almost nothing with me when I travel. A laptop, a water filter and a few other things that will fit into a 16" x 14" x 12" bag. I plan on wearing most of my clothes on to the plane so they don't take up space in my bag. If you have luggage, simply don't take Spirit. Plan accordingly and you should have no other charges. I never eat on the plane as the food is garbage plus it just makes nausea more likely and its harder to sleep which is the obvious thing to try to do when you're flying. I would never drink any water I haven't purified so I don't need any of their liquids either. As for delays, I know its bad with Spirit and I'll just take a chance. My laptop is there for me to occupy my time. I'll have lots of work to do on it all the time. I thought I'd bring a large, external hard drive packed with music, books and movies. I can bring a library in the space of a paperback.
As for hotels near the airport, I thought I mentioned in my last few postings that taking a cab to a cheap or middle class hotel might be a good option. For a few bucks I should be able to get miles away from the airport and have a choice of lots of hotels.
The point that prices rise at night is very valid but I've found that if you just name your price and ask 10 cabs, you usually get a very good price. I use to do that all the time in Mexico late at night coming back from nightclubs. I would pay 1/3 of the normal daytime fare. You just have to be patient. Hopefully there will be lots of cabs to choose from. And hopefully I'll be able to share a cab with another cheapo backpacker that needs exactly the same thing I do....Sleep!
But something that hasn't been discussed yet is how safe it is taking cabs late at night in Managua. Nobody is considering being a bus rider or pedestrian but what about using a cab at 2am? Is this considered safe? How else to people move around at night without owning a car?
And do cabs ever change US$? If I lose 10% on a few bucks its not a bid deal.
Can I change any money in Miami for a decent rate so I have local currency when I land that will tide me over for a day or so?
And are there good and bad places to change money in Managua? Is the street rate better than the bank rate? Do they do that 7 days a week? If not and I land Saturday night, I need to prepare for that.
Looks like there's a town called San Cristobal a couple miles east of the airport. Does anybody stay there? Is the area directly south of the airport a rich suburb? Sort of looks like it on the map. Finding a hotel outside of the city would be great.
Hope the eventual answers to these issues help a lot of people in the future flying into Managua.
Nov 5, 2012 9:13 AM
20Dollars are pretty widely used Many ATMs give you a choice of dollars or cordobas. Street/bank exchange rate does not vary more than a couple dollars per hundred, if I recall correctly. You'll see lots of guys standing on streetcorners changing money. I'm pretty sure they work Sundays.
You'll have a laptop. Again, my advice is to stay in the airport until daylight. Play a few games of solitaire. There is a nice middle-aged lady who will sell you a cup of coffee out by the pedestrian gate to the street. The airport certainly did not seem noisy to me at that time of night.
On the other hand, I would guess there will be cabs waiting by the exit doors when you land. A cab driver might be able to give you some hotel options. They'd be likely to know of nearby hotels, approximate room prices and whether night clerks are on duty.
And--you are correct in that if you find out anything useful, others might benefit. The "late arrival in Managua" topic arises fairly frequently here on the board.
Nov 5, 2012 9:13 AM
Nov 5, 2012 2:16 PM
I would only do that if most people consider taxis safe in Managua at night. I've traveled for several months in Mexico several years ago and never, ever, did taxis seem dangerous in the slightest at night. But I don't know Nicaragua or Managua and crime is worse now. Hence the query.
Hey 2368, those are some very pragmatic suggestions! There must be ATM's all over the city. Of course I'll have a debit card with me. Hopefully I won't get mugged the second the cash is spit out!
If the airport isn't noisy I should be able to curl up in a corner wrapped around my bag and get a couple hours of sleep. That would be just wonderful. Then hop a taxi to a bus station and straight to the coast. By late morning I should be in a hotel at the beach. Sounds heavenly.
And you're so right about the taxis. Of course they know the price ranges and amenities of various hotels and their locations. I better brush up on my rudimentary Tarzan (all present tense) Spanish!
Yeah, thanks to crazy airlines flying at horrific times, this is going to be more and more of an issue. Especially as so many people spend almost no time in the lovely metropolis of Managua. Somebody with a house near the airport could make a comfortable living offering a shuttle service and bed and breakfast at reasonable rates! They could also throw in a ride to the bus station for the inevitable trip out of the city. I wonder if anybody has thought of this. A very cheap house could probably pull in $40-60 a bedroom per night. After all, we pretty much expect to get a little hosed doing anything near an airport. :)
Nov 5, 2012 2:18 PM
23Found this place with $10 dorm rooms and $23 private rooms. Its about a $10 taxi ride from the airport and they take people in at all hours of the night.
They are near the center of the city. Now what would be great is to find similar accommodations closer to the airport and close to a bus station.
Nov 5, 2012 5:15 PM
24The website looks good and they mention airport shuttle (all night?) . Anyway, it looks like you found a place even if it isn't near the airport. Good luck to you.
The suggestions the others are making are very sound, in my opinion. Made out of concern for you and others who might be reading this. As for your question about taxis being safe in Managua late at night, I have this to say: Nothing terrible ever happened to me in Managua and I want to keep it that way while still living my life. I don't go out that late in Central America's cities. Managua is a place where alot can and does happen, many people with nothing to lose in a very lonely desolate suburban landscape. Night would be the highest danger time. It's safe till it isn't, I guess. Risk is a personal thing. But since you are new to Managua, it is only fair people tell you that it isn't like central Canada. The last time I took a colectivo taxi in Managua ( in the afternoon) the driver insisted on not letting me off at the front entrance to Metro Centro Mall where he said people getting out of taxis are followed. He knew where to let me off where security was best. I hope you get a cab driver like that.
PS- using an ATM in Managua late at night (except at the airport) would be very high on the risk level list, in my opinion. But maybe I shouldn't talk cause I use the local bus (in the daytime) and that is dangerous.
Nov 5, 2012 8:39 PM
25Yeah, you're right about ATM's at night. Unless you're hidden from view and you're inside that is. But late at night, there's not likely going to be anything open allowing access to an ATM unless its in a hotel. Hey....are there typically ATM machines in nice hotels? Surely there are ATM's at the airport?
Nov 5, 2012 8:42 PM
Nov 5, 2012 8:55 PM
27Its not recommended you travel late night in Nicaragua, Managua or otherwise. Make sure the hotel knows your coming, at 2am you might want the taxi man to wait until you get in the gate/door, so you are not stranded. But by the time you get off the plane and clear Immigration, it could be 1.5 hours later, I would stay at the airport until first light, then bust a move....
Spirit now charges for a carryon bag BTW....but maybe you bought your flight before the new rules...
Nov 6, 2012 7:00 AM
90 minutes? Why so long? That changes a lot. It would be about 3:30 by the time I'm through and doesn't the sun rise around 5:30 am in the winter? And first thing in the morning should be an excellent time to travel with a minimum of street crime.
You're allowed one item: 16" x 14" x 12". They don't specify the weight but my stuff isn't made out of lead so it shouldn't be a problem. Here's the page from their website:
"Remember, we always provide one personal item free of charge per customer. Personal items (e.g. purse, small backpack, briefcase, etc.) must fit underneath the seat, so the dimensions must not exceed 16 x 14 x 12 inches (40 x 35 x 30 cm).
Additionally, the following carry-on items are not counted towards a customer's carry-on bag allowance and can be brought with you on all flights free of charge - umbrella, camera, infant diaper bag, assistive devices, outer garments (e.g. coats, hats, and wraps), stroller, reading material, and food for the flight."
So if you have a big, long trench coat, sew on some huge, inside pockets and fill'em up! Actually there are people selling specially made coats for Spirit and other cheapo airlines! Wear your heavier clothes on to the plane. Its only for a few hours. Unless you make over $50 an hour its probably worth it. Or put the money saved to good use with a Nicaraguan charity upon arrival.
Has anyone flown on other airlines from the US to Managua for less than $150? I'm checking Jetblue's website now but its not working. They seem to fly to Liberia, Costa Rica which is pretty close to the NIcaraguan border.
Nov 6, 2012 10:19 AM
29i have flown into managua twice in the past year, it was around 30 minutes to clear everything and be on your way. when did you fly in, timbo, to get your information?
i don't think i would fly on spirit if there was any other option, getting into someplace in the middle of the night doesn't appeal to me. look at all the anxiety it has caused the original poster to save a few bucks.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$299.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$199.00 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$25.00 per night