Managua – UCA Microbus Terminal

The first thing you need to know about this the UCA Microbus Terminal聽is that UCA is pronounced “ooka”. Learn this and every taxi driver in Managua will know where you want to go. The second thing to learn is that travelling by microbus is significantly more comfortable than travelling by an ordinary bus.聽They are faster and overall more comfortable for only a small price difference – although slightly less adventurous 馃槈

 

Looking for聽Pe帽as Blancas, Rivas or聽聽San Jan del Sur? You need to head to the Mercado Roberto Huembes聽.

 

This UCA microbus Terminal in Managua is essentially just a line up of small passenger vans with clear signage of who is going where. The drivers are generally quite friendly. The busses leave when they are full and so if there are a lot of people聽in line you may have to wait a bit – although unlikely very long. On average they leave about every 20 minutes.

 

If you arrive and you need a taxi – they pull up regularly here to drop people off so one is not hard to find. I am pretty sure that every time I arrive here I am quoted some astronomically high fare by the taxi drivers. The last one wanted $10 USD for 2km because聽I had a surfboard. Nope! I don’t tend to haggle on price too hard, if it is within 20-30C$聽I am ok with it, but if you feel like everyone is trying to rip you off by too much, try crossing the street and getting a taxi from there. There are definitely honest drivers out there in the city.

 

I have just recently been to the station (May 2017) to update the prices and spoke to each driver. They are as follows.

 

Managua UCA to Granada

Microbuses to Granada leave聽when full cost 29C$ and take 1hr 20min – 1hr 3omin depending on number of stops. Hours of operation are聽5am to 9pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 5:30am to 8pm and Sunday 6am to 7pm.

 

Managua to Masaya

Microbuses to Masaya leave when full and they cost 19C$. The trip takes just under 1hr. 聽Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 6am – 7pm, Saturday and Sunday from 6am to 6pm.聽Halfway through the trip the bus will pass the entrance to the Parque Nacional Volcan Masaya so if you’re getting off here try to sit close to the front.

 

Managua to Le贸n

Microbuses to Le贸n聽leave聽when full, cost 61C$ and take between聽1.5 hrs and 2hrs depending on how many stops you take. 聽Hours of operation are 4am to 8pm Monday to Sunday.

 

Managua to Jinotepe

To Jinotepe microbuses leave when full, cost 33C$ and take a little more than 1hr. Hours of operation are 5am until 9pm Monday to Saturday and 6am to 7pm on Sunday.

 

Hustle

Don’t be shocked if you are almost accosted by the guys working for competing shuttles. The last time I did this I was literally pulled in two directions by two different people. I thought that this was because I was obviously a tourist, but I soon realized they do this to pretty much everyone. Even little old ladies. It is definitely annoying, but rest assured it isn’t dangerous – some even laugh a their game. 聽The drivers of these microbuses are definitely hustlers. Not in the sense that they will rip you off, but in that they will do everything they can to maximize their profit by getting as many people on the bus as possible.

 

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!

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FINE PRINT

We do not 100% guarantee that all schedules, times and prices are exact. The information in this website is based on personal experience. Information has been gathered from station schedules, station managers, bus drivers and driver helpers. We have done our best to get as much accurate up to date information as possible, but prices and times change. Also, remember that you are responsible for your own health and safety. Travel safe and travel smart - and have fun!

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51 travel tips for Managua – UCA Microbus Terminal - share your tips below!

  1. Nina

    We took the micro bus from Managua today and the bus station has changed. It is a temporary thing as there are riots going on all over Managua. It is now on the pista Juan pablo II. I can send a screenshot with a pin on the map.

  2. Elizabeth

    Hello, Thanks for all of the tips!

    I will be traveling from the airport at Managua to Choluteca, Honduras near the border. Do you know if any microbuses go that way? I was looking at King Quality, but I feel a microbus is way less expensive and safer than a public bus.

    Gracias!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Elizabeth, I’m sorry I don’t have any advice for you for microbuses. You could also try a shuttle service, there are a few that go from Leon to El Salvador, perhaps they could drop you along the way.

  3. tricia

    Hello! I’m currently planning a trip to Nicaragua for 7 days and plan to travel around quite a bit. I will be traveling with a well-trained tiny dog (5 pounds.) She’s travelled with us all over Guatemala in microbuses and chicken buses. I’d like to know if dogs are prohibited on the microbuses in Nicaragua, or if I just might need to do some convincing at times, as in Guatemala. Please let me know if you have any information/experience that will help me plan!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Tricia, I don’t have any experience with travelling with animals on microbuses. I have been on a ton and I have never seen a local bring a dog with them. I don’t know if they are officially prohibited or not. I suspect it will be a mix of reactions and rules where some will say no and others will reluctantly say yes for a fee. I’d think the regular chicken buses will be less of an issue with a small dog. Have a great trip!

  4. Paul

    Hello, does anyone know if there will be busses running during Semana Santa ? More precisely on Thursday March, 29 th ?
    I’d like to travel from Masaya to Le贸n (with a change in Managua, I guess).
    I asked my hotel in Le贸n but they don’t know.
    Thank you !

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Paul! this is one of those questions that every year nobody knows the answer to. I would guess that there is a good chance they will run on the 29th and likely not on the following 3 days (all or some of them). I can’t guarantee anything though.

      • Paul

        Thank you very much.
        On the page of L茅on on this site there’s an add of NICATIME shuttle saying they’re operating from L茅on.
        Do you think I could also find a shuttle in Masaya or in Managua ?

        • centrocoasting

          You could try contacting Nicatime and see what their shuttles are between Leon and Masaya. Also try googling Nicaragua shuttle services. I am not familiar with all for the shuttles in Nica, only buses! 馃檪

          • Paul

            Thank you very much !

  5. Rooksana

    We just returned from 3 weeks in Nicaragua and thanks to all the information on this website we had successful travels. Awesome information and so grateful that all this compiled information helped us to navigate our way through Nicaragua with limited Spanish. My only advice to fellow travellers is to make sure that if arriving at the bus terminal by taxi to pay the taxi driver before you leave the vehicle (and before any doors are opened!!) as you will be swarmed by aggressive bus persons grabbing your luggage, shouting at you in Spanish and demanding money. Thanks again centrocoasting.

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Rooksana! Thanks so much for the really nice comments. Great tip on the taxi payment.

  6. Cairo Pineda-Pavon

    Hi there,

    I want to start by saying thank you for this fantastic website!! My wife and I used it last year when we came to Nicaragua and it was a tonne of help. We came back this year with our two kids and have traveled to Ometepe, Rivas, Granada and now Leon with very little hassle and the information here has been bang on. Thanks again for all the information, it has been extremely helpful. On our trip to Leon from Granada we went to UCA and then to Leon. Prices were as posted on the site. The only odd thing was that at UCA they charged me $30 cordobas for my back pack, which was stowed under the last row of seats on the Microbus. I don’t know if this is the standard now but it is something to keep in mind. We’ll see if the same happens when we leave. Also, the taxis from the station seem to be anywhere between $25-$30 cordobas per person to the Cathedral.

    Cheers and keep up the great work!

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks so much for the positive vibes, Cairo! It makes me happy to know that I am helping 馃檪 That bag charge is a new thing that seems to be happening more and more. I’d understand if a bag takes up a seat, but doesn’t seem fair if the bag is out of the way. Just another tourist cash grab I guess. Thanks for all the tips and help and info, glad you had a great trip!

  7. Freek

    How do I get from UCA (Managua) to Granada? How much should it cost and how long will it take? Thanks in advance.

    • centrocoasting

      Have a look above at the section titled “Managua UCA to Granada”. All the info is there.

  8. Alexia

    Hi there!
    My friend and i are in Managua and want to go to San Juan del sur. We know you must take the bus a mercado roberto huembes however is there a bus that goes directly to sanjuan or do they all pass by rivas? thank you

  9. julie l茅tourneau

    Hi!
    We are in Nica right now. We wanna go to Ometepe. From the Managua airport we’ll take a taxi then the bus at UCA. Is it possible ? Because you didn’t mention the prize…. and is it direct? Do we have to take an other bus or do a transfer? This buses leaves about 20 minutes too?
    Thanks a lot for your help!
    Julie

      • julie l茅tourneau

        Thanks you!! We will do this tomorrow!!
        Gracias!!

  10. Janelle

    Hi! This is a great site, thanks for your hard work. We’re wondering if there is an UCA microbus from Managua to Matagalpa? We will be travelling with 2 young children and a bit of luggage. We’re weighing the benefits of being a more comfortable, quicker trip against the potential of having to sit for 3 hours with our luggage on our laps.
    Thanks!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Janelle, I only know of buses going from the Mercado Mayorero https://centrocoasting.com/nicaragua/managua-terminal-mayorero/. There are regular and express service buses. Most buses are your standard chicken bus, though there may be other options that I am not aware of. I don’t believe there are microbuses going to Matagalpa from anywhere in Managua. Have a great trip!

  11. Traveler_Noob

    Hi there!

    Do you think Microbuses run on Dec 25th (Christmas)? Arriving at MGA airport super early on the 25th and need to take one to Leon.

    Also, 61 Cordoba = ~2 USD, right? Is that the cost of the bus ride to Leon or is my math/google wrong? 馃檪

    Thank you!

    • centrocoasting

      Hey there, Travler_Noob, I am not sure if the buses will run normally on Christmas or not. There is a chance that service is stopped completely on that day, but also a good chance that they will run but on a slightly different schedule. Sorry that I can’t offer better information or not as I am not in Nica at the moment. If you already have a reservation in Leon, then you could ask the hostel as they may be able to find out for sure. And yes, 61 Cordobas is about 2USD! If you could… can you come back here and leave a comment about your xmas travels, that way other travellers can benefit from your knowledge! Thanks!

  12. Philippa Bouliane

    Does anyone know where to catch the bus from Managua ( ideally the airport) to San Carlos? I don’t really want to take a chicken bus. I have a tentative flight arriving at noon on a Saturday. Flights to San Carlos don’t operate on Saturdays which means spending a night in Managua as another option

  13. jim

    Hi
    Is that a typo 100$ is expensive

    • centrocoasting

      Oops, yes, 100$C it should be. Thanks, Jim.

  14. Mike

    Hi,

    Thought I’d share something of interest about going to Le贸n. My partner and I took the UCA bus, quick journey with A/C which was nice. However at the end, the bus driver stopped at a fuel station at what looked like the edge of town.

    As we and some other backpackers (no locals) were ushered off, a swarm of harassing taxi drivers approached us to the point of trying to take our bags. We went with one guy who said 60Cors. Half way along the journey he stopped and tried to sell us more stuff like trips. When he dropped us off, he was actually expecting 60Cors EACH! Normally we have been quite good at avoiding being ripped off like this. Lyne I’m a cynic but it seemed like it was a deal between bus driver and taxi drivers to go for tourists.

    I would suggest insisting you go all the way to the terminal or maybe walking away from the taxi rank and hailing another down, there are plenty about.

    • centrocoasting

      That’s a pretty frustrating experience! Thank you for sharing so that other travellers can get a heads up and be extra cautious with taxis!! I have taken the UCA to Le贸n many times and we always arrive at the station so it is good to know that they may try to drop you at the gas station instead. It is just as hectic in the station with taxi drivers though. They are quite intense. But I agree its better to be dropped there. I have heard more and more reports from travellers about things like extra bag charges. Now this, which does sounds like a tourist type scam for sure. And I completely agree with just walking away from the first taxi drivers that approach you and go and you find one to approach. Hope the rest of your trip rolls smooth!

  15. Patricia Frey Meierhans

    hi i will like to know if there is a bus direct from the managua airport to granada? or i have to go from managua airport to the bus station ucla? how i get there? with a taxi? how much it will be?
    thx
    br
    pat

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Patricia! There is no direct bus from the airport to Granada. You will need to get to the UCA station. You can do this by taxi or by bus. Have a look at the airport page https://centrocoasting.com/nicaragua/managua-airport/ for more info. Basically you need the Tipitapa bus to the Mercado Roberto Huembes station and then another bus, 110, to the UCA. It saves you a few dollars but it is a longer trip. I personally would just take a taxi to the UCA since its not too expensive and about a 20 minute taxi ride. A Taxi to the UCA should cost around $100. Have a great trip!

  16. Patricia Acosta

    HI i wil like to know how i get from managua airport direct to granada? or i have to go first to bus station ucla? how i get from managua airport to the bus station ucla? thx

  17. Patricia Acosta

    hi i will like to know how i get from managua airport direct to granada? Or how i get from the managua airport to UCLA? THX pat

  18. Anni

    Hi there!
    I just wanted to post an update on the price from Managua to Le贸n. We have taken the microbus both to Leon and back to Managua and paid 61C$ each way.
    Our drive back from Leon felt surprisingly short, probably because the next trip to Granada took longer than expected (because of the multiple stops on the way to pick up/drop off people). Unfortunately, we didn’t check the time, but I think it matches your and Valentina’s accounts.

    • Jessica

      Is it easy to travel with luggage on this route. I have an average size suitcase and want to know if it will fit.

      • centrocoasting

        Jessica, yes it is easy to travel with luggage. They often charge for bags these days if they take up an area where someone could be sitting. We have been getting reports from travellers that they are charging more often for luggage even if it isn’t taking up an extra space. The driver and helper will make it work but you may have to pay an extra 20$+ . Have a great trip!

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Anni! So cool of you to take the time to help out. I have updated the prices. 馃檪

  19. Valentina

    I’m in Managua right now and took a van to Granada and another to Le贸n.
    Price are 29 and 34 c贸rdobas each route, but the time it took to get to both cities was a bit longer.
    To Granada (45km); 1,5 hours (leaving Managua 8.00 AM) because of the several stops they do on the road to drop/pick people.
    To Le贸n (80km), the trip was almost 2h; in the morning and a bit more in the afternoon, but this route is w/o stops on the road.

    • centrocoasting

      Thank you, Valentina! I altered the times above so that travellers know if there are extra stops the trip may take a bit more time. I am going to leave the Leon price at 54C$ since I took it twice and it was that price. Maybe you got lucky and got a discount! Happy travels and if you see any other missing info, please let us know. Thank you for helping your fellow travellers!

  20. Michael Glatfelter

    Is there a bus from Managua to Sahsa? (end of August) Any idea of the cost? Thanks

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Michael, I am not sure I know where Sahsa is. Sorry!

  21. Maples

    -Big Bag Charge-

    I took a micro bus from UCA to Leon about a week ago, and they charged me about C$30 more to bring my 70 liter backpack. Just thought I’d share.

    • centrocoasting

      Hey Maples, thanks for sharing. That’s pretty lame about the bag charge – did it take up a seat or room where someone would sit? My last UCA from Leon they charged me double b/c I had a surfboard. My board fit in the hatch and didnt take up any room. I will make a note above to give travelers the heads up.

  22. jose rivera

    cuanto vale viajar de managua a matagarpa en micro

    • centrocoasting

      Hola Jose, lo siento, no tenemos informacion sobre los buses desde UCA a Matagalpa. Hay buses de Managua a Matagalpa del Mercado Mayoreo. Cuesta aproximatamente 20-30 cordobas con bus ordinario. Tendremos mas informacion pronto.

  23. Merrill Smith

    How do I get from UCA to the airport? How much should it cost and how long would it take? Thanks!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Merrill, your two choices are taxi and local city bus. Unfortunately, I don’t have the details for how to get between the two on local bus. A taxi should cost you around somewhere around 100-150 Cordobas.

  24. Rebecca

    I will be coming from Granada to the US embassy then need to get Mayoreo for the last express bus at 4 pm to Jinotega. Is it true also I need to purchase the ticket earlier in the day for that last express bus or I may not get on? Any help will be appreciated

  25. Madeleine

    Can you get to RIVAS, using the UCA microbuses?

    Thanks!

    • centrocoasting

      Hello Madeline! Unfortunately you can not get to Rivas from the UCA station. You will need to go to the Mercado Roberto Huembes bus station. From there you can find two options: express bus to San Juan del Sur, as well as regular and express service to Rivas. I have not checked the schedule for the SJDS bus since January of this year, but previous the bus left twice a day to San Juan del Sur at 9:30am and 4pm. There is also a bus to Rivas that leaves left more frequently 鈥 several times per day. These 鈥渃hicken buses鈥 are not as nice and comfortable as the buses from the UCA station but be sure to ask for the 鈥渆xpress鈥 bus when you arrive at the Mercado Roberto Humebes station for a faster service to Rivas. Good luck and have a great trip!

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