Getting There & Departing
By Bus -- The city's market bus station is known as COTRAN Sur, 15 blocks south of Parque Central (tel. 505/2713-6162), and it serves major cities such as Managua, León, and Matagalpa. There are hourly buses for the capital that take 3 hours and cost C60. The last bus for Estelí from Managua is at 5:45pm. Matagalpa-bound buses leave from Estelí every 30 minutes, with the last bus leaving at 4:20pm. This trip takes 2 hours and costs C40. There are only two services a day between León and Estelí. These buses leave León at 6:30am and 3pm and Estelí at 6:45am and 3:10pm. The journey takes 3 hours and costs C60.There are also numerous microbuses that serve these routes regularly.
By Car -- To drive from Managua, you must take the airport road east to Tipitapa, and then go north via Sebaco. The road then forks, with Matagalpa to the northeast and Estelí to the northwest. Budget Rent a Car (tel. 505/2713-2584; firstname.lastname@example.org) is located 20m (66 ft.) south of the Monumento Centenario on the Panamericana. Dollar Rent A Car (tel. 505/2713-3060) is on the Panamericana at Km 1140.
There's a small Intur, a half-block south of Parque Central on Avenida Central (tel. 505/2713-6799), but it's pretty useless. It is open weekdays from 7am to 2pm. Many of the city's Spanish schools are good sources of information concerning where to go in the area, as well. Agencia de Viajes Aries (tel. 505/2713-3369) is a conventional agency offering transport bookings and tours of the area. It is located 1 block west and half a block south of the Enitel building on Avenida Principal. Hospedaje Luna, (1 block north, behind cathedral; tel. 505/8441-8466; www.cafeluzyluna.com) is a great source of local information, and the English owner will even help organize tours such as seeing the towns murals or visiting the thriving cigar factories.
Spanish Language Schools in Estelí
Estelí is a great place to stop and brush up on your Spanish, since it is home to a number of language schools. Asociación de Madres de Héroes (tel. 505/2713-3753; email@example.com) is a good place to start. It is located in the Galería de Héroes y Mártires, listed above. Cenac Spanish School (tel. 505/2713-2025; www.spanishschoolcenac.com) offers homestays and intensive courses. It is located on the Panamericana, close to Calle 7a SE. Hijos del Maíz (tel. 505/2713-4819; www.hijosdelmaiz.net) is a community-based initiative that offers homestays in a village called El Lagartillo, 1 hour by bus from Estelí.
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.