The small, modern Augusto C Sandino International Airport (MGA; tel. 505/2233-1624; www.eaai.com.ni), is 11km (6 3/4 miles) east of Managua. A taxi from the airport to the city center costs C400, though you can save some money by walking across the roadway in front and hailing an ordinary city cab, which should cost C200. Always negotiate before jumping in. Laden with luggage and in the midday sun, it is easier and safer to pay the premium for the official airport taxis. Frequent city-bound buses pass in front of the airport, but again, you must cross the busy street to hail one, as none enter the airport grounds.
By International Bus
Managua has no central bus station, and each international bus company has its own departure points in Barrio Martha Quezada. Tica Bus, 2 blocks east of the Antiguo Cine Dorado (tel. 505/2222-6094 or 505/2222-3031; www.ticabus.com), has the most intercity routes and goes as far as Mexico City.
King Quality/Cruceros del Golfo, opposite Tica Bus (tel. 505/2228-1454; www.kingqualityca.com), has a reputation for being more comfortable and also provides meals.
Trans Nica, 300m (984 ft.) north of Rotonda Metrocentro (tel. 505/2277-2104; www.transnica.com), services El Salvador and Costa Rica. Central Line, (tel. 505/2254-5431) next to King Quality goes south to San José in Costa Rica
By Domestic Bus
To travel from Managua to other Nicaraguan cities, you must first get your head around the multiple stations, markets, and meeting points that dot each city, each serving as a transport hub for a particular direction.
Mercado Roberto Huembes (no phone) serves the south, primarily Masaya, Granada, Rivas, San Juan del Sur, and the Cost Rican border. It is in the southeast of the city, on Pista Portezuelo, halfway between Rotonda Centroamérica and Semáforos de Rubenia. A taxi to this terminal from the Metrocentro should not cost more than C120. Huembes is the biggest and busiest terminal in the city. Make sure you get off at the bus-stop side of the market, known as parada de los buses. Be aware that you will be swamped by touts as soon as you get out of your taxi, and it is normal for them to grab your stuff and run to whatever bus they want to put you on. Always check that the one you get put on truly is the next one leaving or the expreso (an express service with fewer stops) by asking around.
Buses to the north and east depart from Mercado Mayoreo (tel. 505/2233-4729) in the far eastern fringes of the city, on Avenida de Circunvalación Mercado Mayor. Here, you can get buses to Estelí, Matagalpa, Jinotega, and San Carlos. A taxi to the market should not cost more than C160 from the city center, or you can take the urban bus Ruta 102 from Barrio Martha Quezada. Expresos del Norte (tel. 505/2233-4729) is one of the better bus companies, with a punctual schedule and good-condition expreso buses that service the northern part of the country.
Mercado Israel Lewites (tel. 505/2265-2152), sometimes referred to as El Boer, takes you west and northwest to León, Chinandega, and the Honduran border. This chaotic place is located in the western outskirts of the city on Avenida Heroes de Batahola, 1km (1/2 mile) south of the American embassy. A taxi to the market should not cost more than C100 from the city center.
The UCA is the city's biggest university and also a convenient spot to jump on an express minibus or microbus to Masaya and Granada. It is located 1 block from the Rotonda Metro Centro. Microbuses depart when full (every 20 minutes or so), from 6 am to 9pm.
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.