Welcome to Nicaragua!
Sure, you’ll save a few bucks on your international flights, but remember you’ll be getting exactly what you paid for and that’s about it.
$3 small bottles of water onboard? How bout those leather seats that used to be slate gray but are now covered in black spots? Comfortable? Far from it.
Trust me, I’m not complaining about this, I’ve flown a trillion airlines over the course of the last three years and Spirit is far worse than any other airline I’ve ever flown. RyanAir’s got nothing on Spirit!
Oh, and do DOGS fly free with Spirit? We had a screeching poodle sitting in first class (well, Spirits version of first class that is) and it wasn’t pleasant. As a matter of fact, by the end of the flight from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, people onboard were pissed! As usual one person yells out something and it gives the rest of the people on board a reason to tell the lady with the poodle to either put the dog under the seat or put the dog down (a little rough, I know).
Rob and I chatted about our plans for Nicaragua on and off through out the flight. Once we got to Fort Lauderdale we charged up our electronics and waited for our next flight from FLL to MGA (Managua, Nicaragua).
Once we boarded our second and final flight we both pretty much fell right to sleep. As we awoke we were handed customs and immigration forms that we needed to fill out before leaving the aircraft. Before we disembarked Rob got to chatting with a Nicaraguan guy in the row behind us. He says, where you guys headed? Rob says we think we will go to Granada in the morning. He says, “Ok, good. I’m from Managua, don’t stay here. It’s very dangerous.”
Well, if a local himself is telling you how dangerous his own city is, nine times out of ten you should do your best to heed his advice. That we did.
Welcome to Managua!
Our plan for Nicaragua was to have no plans. We literally passed through customs like a breeze before finding a small spot on the floor of the airport. It was now 2AM and there was no way we were walking outside of this airport to take a taxi anywhere! We propped up our bags next to an ATM machine and both passed out on the tile floor. It was one of those half sleeping/half awake type of scenarios. Every 10 or 20 minutes I would crack my eyes open to see if anyone was around acting suspicious. But wait, we were in the airport? After reminding myself that it was highly unlikely that anybody would bother us in the airport I completely passed out.
The Best Way to Score a Safe and Reliable Taxi
6AM rolled around fairly quickly and before we knew it we were both looking at each other like “Let’s do this”. Now that it was light out we felt as if we would be more comfortable grabbing a taxi to Granada. For those who are headed to Nicaragua and want to get the hell out of Managua as soon as possible, here’s a great tip for scoring yourself a SAFE and RELIABLE taxi…
Walk outside of the airport and cross the busy main road ahead of you. You’ll see a Best Western Hotel directly across the street. Every now and then an “official taxi” with a red striped license plate will pull up. Most of the time people say to ONLY take taxis with official red plates, BUT in this situation we decided to try something a little different. We walked into the grounds of the Best Western, inside we found a taxi driver. At first glance we noticed that he did not have an “official license plate”, this was a little sketchy. Rob asked him why he does not have an official plate and he replied because this is not an official city taxi, I work for Best Western. Long story short, we hesitate and then finally agree to dive in head first into our first taxi in Nicaragua. Along the way, I ask the driver if we will be picking anyone else up along the way, and he says No, just you. Perfect!
Forty five minutes later we arrive in Granada, along the way we chatted with our driver Daniel about things to do and what to avoid when in Nica. If you’re looking for a really great driver head on over to the Best Western and ask for Daniel. He was really friendly and dropped us off exactly where we were wanted in the center of Granada.
…and the Search for Accommodations Begins!
Since we had no prior reservations we walked around and checked out 4 or 5 different hostels/hotels before arriving at our choice for the next two nights. We chose Oasis Hostel here in Granada. We were able to secure a private room with two single beds for $20 (yes, that’s $10/each per night).
Oasis has a large lounge area with tons of tables, chairs and hammocks.
Half of it is open air and the sun is beaming down through into the little courtyard as I sit here typing. We just finished up eating breakfast by the pool here…
It’s hot, (84F) but I’m loving every minute of it so far. Rob is really liking it here as well. We did a little exploring after checking into our hostel but not too much as of yet. Here’s a quick look at the streets of Granada. More coming soon!
Off to explore some more of Granada. Feel free to leave a comment below with some tips and things to see/do in or around Granada!