Transportation to San Juan del Sur
If you do not wish to rent a car in Managua, a great option for safe, reliable, and comfortable transportation between the Managua International Airport and San Juan del Sur is with an airport shuttle service. Check out one of our favorite providers Adelante Express.
Rental cars are a popular option for many travelers who want the freedom to explore areas outside of San Juan del Sur. We recommend renting a 4×4 as many of the roads leading to beaches and other activities are not paved. The majority of autos available for rent are with standard transmission. Alamo Rent a Car has a local office in San Juan del Sur, providing you with the convenience to take the airport shuttle from Managua and rent a car for only the days you need one. A good number of International rental car companies offer service at the Managua International Airport, including: Budget, Alamo, Dollar, Avis, and Hertz. Local, reputable rental car companies include Targa and Lugo, which also have offices at the Managua International Airport.
Nicaragua Driving Tips
Do your best to avoid driving on highways at night. There are many unmarked and obscured obstacles, including potholes in the road, large animals, and people riding bicycles that most likely do not have reflectors or lights. If you must drive the Pan American highway at night, drive at a reasonable speed, as some vehicles to not have working tail lights. Foreigners can drive in Nicaragua for up to 30 days with a valid driver’s license and a passport. Turning right on a red light is NOT permitted. Seatbelts must be worn at all times. It is against the law to talk on a cell phone while driving. Do not change lanes in the middle of a rotunda (roundabout). Print these tips to bring with you on your trip by downloading our Free Travel Guide.
Riding the Bus
Chicken buses are the most economical, but slowest way to get around Nicaragua. They can also be rather crowded. Most public buses in Nicaragua are converted school buses from the United States which have been re-painted and equipped with roof racks. Public Buses will get you where you need to go local style. The bus stop in San Juan del Sur is in front of the market, and will get you on a bus to Rivas, Ostional, and many other local destinations.
Express Buses are the most efficient and cost effective option for traveling to Managua. These buses are equipped with air conditioning, sometimes television, and individual seats. Express buses make much less stops en route compared to the local buses. Express buses will take you to the bus station at the Mercado El Huembes in Managua, where you can hire a taxi to the airport.
International Buses are a safe, comfortable, affordable and relatively fast way of getting from other Central American countries to Nicaragua. There are two international bus companies that offer daily service throughout Nicaragua and to bordering countries: Tica Bus and Transnica.