The first thing you need to know about this the UCA Microbus Terminal 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. They are faster and overall more comfortable for only a small price difference – although slightly less adventurous 😉
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 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 $10 USD for 2km because I had a surfboard. Nope! I don’t tend to haggle on price too hard, if it is within 20-30C$ 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 when full cost 29C$ and take 1hr 20min – 1hr 3omin depending on number of stops. Hours of operation are 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$. The trip takes just under 1hr. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 6am – 7pm, Saturday and Sunday from 6am to 6pm. Halfway through the trip the bus will pass the entrance to the Parque Nacional Volcan Masaya so if you’re getting off here try to sit close to the front.
Managua to León
Microbuses to León leave when full, cost 61C$ and take between 1.5 hrs and 2hrs depending on how many stops you take. 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.
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. 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!