As I am writing this I am at the very nice Oasis Hostel in Granada, Nicaragua.
I arrived 2 days ago from Leon. How did I get here? Believe it or not it was actually relatively painless.
Here is how to get from Leon to Granada, Nicaragua the cheapest way possible.
Yes Your Hostel Has A Shuttle
Look you can easily just take one of the many shuttle services that your hostel will happily offer or arrange for you. And that is perfectly fine. But understand that you are going to pay a premium for this service. Anywhere from 25 to 50 dollars US.
But you are a budget traveler. You need to have a less expensive way to get to Granada from Leon. Every dollar saved is huge.
It All Starts at The Terminal De Bus
The main bus terminal in Leon is a hectic place. And I really liked it. There are chicken buses and shuttles everywhere. People are selling stuff. Men are yelling destinations. THIS is Latin America!! It is awesome. This is why you are here! This is how a lot of Nicaraguan’s travel!
Unfortunately I do not speak Spanish. I would love to know all of the languages our European friends seem to know. But this did not hold me back.
From my hostel in Leon I walked out the door and waved down one of the many taxis that are driving around. They are everywhere. The taxi already had a passenger but this does not matter. They pick up multiple fares. It is just the way it works.
I said ¨terminal de bus?¨ and he waved me into the back seat. He dropped off his first passenger and after a few minutes I was dropped off in the ridicously hectic main market. I paid him 15 Cordoba.
People and cars everywhere. Awesome! After a few minutes of wandering in circles you will find your way to the actual terminal. It is really right there and yet a bit hidden.
You are looking for the UCA (pronounced OOCA) microbuses kind of in the middle of the terminal parking lot. Men are yelling the different destinations. Don´t worry. No one is going to screw you over. You are wanting the microbus that is going to Managua. It will leave when the 15 seats are all full and that happens quickly.
The driver will collect the fare before he leaves. Yesterday it cost me 54 Cordobas. This was posted above the door.
Managua to Granada
This first leg of the journey will take you to the main terminal in Managua. I got off and actually asked someone ¨Granada?¨ and they pointed me to a different minibus. A bit bigger. This shuttle also acts a bus for locals who are just going a few kms so it will stop a few times along the way to pick up and drop off but this happens very quickly. The person who is at the side door helping people on and off will collect your fare after you are almost at your destination. The journey also took about an hour because of the stops. It cost me 26 Cordobas to get from Managua to Granada.
How to Get From Leon to Granada, Nicaragua The Cheapest Way Possible
So the total cost for me yesterday was a whopping 95 Cordoba. This converts to about $3.50 USD. For a 2 hour trip by air conditioned shuttle. You have got to be kidding me!
This is the cheapest way to go from Leon to Granada, Nicaragua. And it is not overly difficult. Believe me if I can do it, you can do it.
So you decide. 25$ to 50$. Or less than 5$.
If you are a budget traveler like me every dollar saved is huge. AND this is a way to experience a slice of Nicaraguan life. I don´t think you should just take the easy way out every time. Maybe take a little step out of your comfort zone and in this way you will have a more authentic travel experience.
I was a bit nervous but it all worked out. I am convinced that you can do this as well!
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¨Change the Code. Change Your Life.¨