The main terminal in León is a classic busy bus station. All of the regular buses line up in one area and microbuses each have their own zone. Buses are constantly coming and going as are regular and pedal taxis. Much of the streets surrounding the terminal are clogged with little market shops and traffic.
The terminal is about a 15minute walk from the city centre touristy zone. A taxi should cost you about 20C$. I don’t know why I do it to myself, but every time I have just walked it … and then half way through I am trying to remember why I am. It’s not a horrible walk, but León is hot and a taxi is pretty cheap. Treat yourself! If you are leaving from the station by taxi see if you have the address of your hotel available. There are so many hotels and hostels don’t be surprised if you taxi driver isn’t familiar with a lesser known one.
León to Managua
Microbuses arrive at the UCA.
Expreso (bus) every 30minutes, takes 2.5hrs and costs 52C$.
(microbus) leaves when full, operates between 4am and 7pm, takes about 2hr and costs 61C$
León to Chinandega
Buses arrive at the Mercado Bisne.
(microbus) leaves when full, 31C$, about 45min (4:30am – 8pm)
(bus) every 20 minutes, ~18C$, 1.5hr (4:30am – 6pm)
León to Matagalpa
From León there are 3 express buses per day to Matagalpa. I’d arrive early just in case. The schedule according to the driver is 4:20am, 7:30am, 2:45pm, 88C$, 2.5-3hrs. We are told there are also microbuses that make the trip but we don’t have any info at the moment.
León to Estelí
The trip takes about 2.5hrs and costs 95$C. Have a read through the comment below for some great trip info! There are mini buses to Estelí in the morning but another option is to route through san Isidro and link up to another bus headed to to Estelí or Matagalpa.
León to Las Peñitas
Here is some advice from a fellow travellers. Thanks, Melanie!:
“We took a bus from Leon to Las Penitas. It should leave at every hour but honestly it just goes when full, which in our case was 30min later. It is really cheap, around NIC10 and even though there are shuttle services from Leon to this lovely beach for around US $4, If you are on a budget the local bus is a nice experience and it didn’t even take much longer than the shuttle (about 30min). Note: the bus first goes to Poneloya, but if you want to go to the Las Penitas just stay in the bus, it will turn around to stop in front of Barca de Oro (bigger hotel) and some other stops in Law Penitas too”.
León to Rota (Cerro Negro)
5:50am, 11am, 3:30pm, 2.5hrs, ~40C$
*I need to double check this one – let us know if you have taken this bus.
León to Granada
To get to Granada you route through Managua. It’s very easy and door to door you are looking at about 3.5hrs and a total cost of 79C$ (2016) when going by microbus. First head to the Main Terminal in Leon and get the microbus going to Managua. You will arrive and depart from the UCA terminal in Managua so it’s easy!
León to Masaya
Same as above, you need to route through Managua, but when you get to the UCA look for the microbus headed to Masaya. Microbuses leave when full from 6am to 9pm. From Managua to Masaya they cost 24C$ and the trip takes 0.5hr
You can now finally purchase your tickets online with Tica Bus! Or you can buy your ticket from a very nice and helpful travel agency in town called Benitours (505-2315-2349) see map. Be aware that you need to get to the highway on the outside of town to catch the bus. If you don’t speak Spanish then best to have the travel agent at Benitours write the location of the Tica Bus stop on a piece of paper which you can then give to the taxi driver. I met one traveller who missed her bus in the morning after the taxi took her to the wrong spot, so it’s good to have this info just in case! The bus stop where the Tica Bus will pass is indicated on the map above but you can also find it by using the landmark: El Restaurante Caña Brava (google maps). The bus will stop about 50 meters north from here. It will stop in en frente de la entrada de la Ceiba.
San Isidro (46C$), Nagarote, Salinas Grandes (20C$, 1.5hrs – see comments below for more info).
If you have taken these buses, share your information below!
Help your fellow traveller
If you have taken any of the buses on this page, please drop us a comment below about how the trip went, what time you left, how long it took and what it cost. And, definitely let us know if we have anything wrong.
Lets help each other in our travels!