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Getting There

Matagalpa's main bus station, COTRAN Sur, 1km (1/2 mile) west of Parque Darío (tel. 505/2782-3809), services routes from Estelí, Jinotega, León, Masaya, and Managua. The Managua buses depart every hour from Mercado Mayoreo in the capital, take 2 1/2 hours to reach Matagalpa, and cost C60.

Small colectivos (minivans) also travel every 30 minutes between Matagalpa and Managua, starting at 5am and ending at 6pm. There are two services daily from the León bus station to Matagalpa. They depart at 5am and 3pm, take 3 hours, and cost C50. The reverse service goes to León at 6am and 3pm.

There is a smaller bus station called COTRAN de Guanaco (no phone) in the north of the city that serves towns farther in the interior such as San Ramón and Río Blanca. The roads to such places are sometimes impassable in the rainy season, however.

Orientation

The heart of the city stretches along the eastern bank of the river, and its epicenter lies between two plazas, Parque Morazán and Parque Rubén Darío, the former of which is alive with people walking, talking, selling, or just admiring the plaza's many trees and birds. Incredibly, there are only two streets with names in the entire city, Avenida José Benito Escobar and Avenida Central Don Bartolomé Martinez.

Visitor Information

Intur, 1 block north of Parque Rubén Darío (tel. 505/8612-7060), is open Monday to Friday from 8am to noon and 1:30 to 5pm.

Matagalpa Tours, half a block east of Banpro (tel. 505/2772-0108; www.matagalpatours.com), is the trekking expert for the area and the best-organized tour company in town. They conduct tours of the coffee farms and arrange overnight stays in nearby ecolodges.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.