Atlantic Airlines and La Costeña both serve the Managua routes than run daily to Bluefields, Puerto Cabezas and Corn Island. La Costeña also flies to the Río San Juan capital of San Carlos and other destinations in the northeastern Nicaraguan interior. Flights can be booked full and early arrival is important as no seat assignments are provided on most flights.
The most common form of transport in Nicaragua is bus travel. All areas of the country have bus service. The further from Managua, the less frequent the service. Most destinations have express service, which costs only a fraction more and is often 30-40% quicker. Generally buses leave every half-hour to hour for major destinations. See individual chapters for major routes.
In a country with two oceans, two massive lakes, numerous lagoons, estuaries and rivers, boat travel is heavily used. There is regular travel between the two Corn Islands in the Caribbean and many boats running the Rio San Juan and Rio Escondido. Pearl Lagoon and Bluefields Bay also have boat service. In Lake Nicaragua there are many options from big ferries to old wooden models. It is also possible to hire private motor boats, which not only are quicker, but much better for nature and culture touring.
The main roads in the western part of Nicaragua can be accessed by normal economy cars. Four-wheel drive is not necessary, but it will allow access to small villages, volcanoes and nature spots with unpaved roads. A large range of rental cars and 4x4’s are available from numerous agencies in Managua.
The Nicaraguan telephone company is CLARO and MOVISTAR, and it has offices all cities and most towns and often the only telephone in a village will be the ENITEL office. Calls can be placed to local or international destinations. Public phones are not common and all use phone cards, which can be purchased at gas station convenience stores.
When dialing a number just dial the 8-digit number. For calls outside of Nicaragua dial 00 and then the country code. Nicaragua’s country code is 505. You need not dial zero for calls into Nicaragua, just your international access + 505 and the 8-digit number. All cellular telephones start with 8, but if calling from another cellular you need not dial the zero first and the same holds true for international calls made to a cellular telephone in Nicaragua.