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Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

San Francisco...
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Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

We have an upcoming trip to Managua with our flight on TACA arriving at 8:05pm (2 adults & a 5 year old). We plan to stay in Managua at the Intercontinental. We thought we'd either have the hotel arrange a car for us. Now I came across this travel warning from the US State Dept website. Do any travellers have thoughts about this warning? Is it valid ? Should we change our flight to arrive in the daytime? Thanks.

U.S. citizens are increasingly targeted shortly after arriving in the country by criminals posing as Nicaraguan police officers who pull their vehicles – including those operated by reputable hotels -- over for inspection. In each case, the incidents happened after dark and involved gun-wielding assailants who robbed passengers of all valuables and drove them to remote locations where they were left to fend for themselves. Some assailants employed threats of physical violence. While the traditional scene of these attacks has been the Tipitapa-Masaya Highway, this activity has recently spread to the Managua-Leon Highway. The U.S. Embassy warns U.S. citizens to exercise extreme caution when driving at night from Managua’s International Airport and to avoid traveling the Tipitapa-Masaya Highway at night.

Phoenix
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1. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

No, do not change your flights. Nicaragua remains one of the safest countries in Latin America. The route from airport to Intercontinental is all on main streets in downtown Managua that are very well traveled and you should have no difficulty. Yes, arrange ahead to have someone from Intercontinental waiting for you at airport. Probably will be about $ 20. As soon as you pass thru immigration to baggage area, the guy holding an Intercontinental sign will be greeting you.

Have fun !

You may contact me by private message directly if you have other concerns.

Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

I would generally agree with the other poster. Have the hotel arrange service for you and go. I have read some of the State Dept's info and, while I don't doubt validity, sometimes seemed to go a little overboard. I suppose their job is to do everything they can to keep citizens safe, thus erring on the side of too much safety.

That said, if it really concerns you and you can change conveniently and without expense, change it to daytime. There's no reason to start your trip out on a worried note - though I expect you'll be fine anyway even if you don't change it. However, I don't know if I'd start paying $100 (or more) change fees per ticket for it.

Nicaragua, Central...
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3. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

Dear SFOnorth,

Great question. It used to be my question several years ago. Now I live in Nicaragua. Presuming I am not certifiably insane, I would not have changed my home in Eugene, Oregon to live and work here, if it were dangerous for myself or my children. Nicaragua has an excellent record for safety, not only compared to the rest of Latin America, but also compared to any large US city. I wrote a travel blog a few months ago about security issues in Nicaragua. You might find it helpful.

<a href=" http://www.travelblog.org/Central-America-Caribbean/Nicaragua/blog-335172.html"> Nicaragua Security Article</a>

The best option has already been advised by the previous posters here: arrange for the Intercontinental to have a car/van waiting for you. You probably won't be the only person being picked up at the airport in the same car/van.

I hope this is helpful.

Saludes

Norfolk Virginia
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4. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

The State Department is usually quite conservative and err on the side of caution in there warnings, when I traveled to Little Corn Island in February there was a pretty strongly worded caution about the Corn Islands in the State Dept website and the first group we met at the Casa Iguana bar was 6 State Department staff members on a dive trip so take it all with a grain of salt, be careful and enjoy the chaos Managua is awesome.

Buenas

R

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5. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

We will be landing in Managua on 11/26/09 and then traveling on to Granada that evening. We are scheduled to land at 8:40 p.m. We will have a driver waiting for us and this is our 4th trip using the same company so we feel comfortable that they will be waiting there for us. The driver will have all our vouchers for the remainder of the trip so someone better be there. We are staying at the Colonial in Granada and I was wondering if we would be considered a late arrival? I'm not sure how long it will take us to get our bags and drive there and it seems some businesses in Central America get pretty quiet once the sun has been down for a few hours. Should we relax and assume that the desk at the Colonial will remain open until all guests are accounted for, are they probably open 24 hrs to assist guests anyway or should we touch base with our agent to clarify that our hotel has been notified that we will be arriving somewhat late? Just curious what the general policies usually are. Is the stretch of road we will be traveling (to Granada) of particular concern after dark?

What do you think of carrying a body alarm while in Nicaragua? Seems like there would be more advantages than disadvantages, but I'm probably not considering everything involved and I certainly don't know much about how their LE operates other than hearing they don't do much even when issues are reported. We don't plan to wander around at night, but I thought it might be a good idea to be able to signal trouble (before it actually gets started) if someone were to get aggressive. Sometimes panhandlers and druggies are bigger babies than we think if we can keep the upper hand. Might my thoughts on this just get me in trouble? Not looking for a confrontation, but we would like to be able to try out a few restaurants and such in the evening. Is there such a thing as an official taxi in Nicaragua? We typically have our hotel make the arrangement for the trip there but unless you know your exact return time, you often have to figure something out for the trip back. Maybe if we choose a larger restaurant they would hook us up with a safe ride back to the hotel when we are ready to leave? Our Spanish isn't good but I keep a computer printout or brochure of the hotel on me so we can point if nothing else is working.

Thank you for any information you might be able to offer.

Miami
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6. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

I read your reply as well as the others stating that a good idea is to stay at the Intercontinental and take their shuttle. I am a single female traveler arriving at 8 PM as well. I travel a lot in Central America and was planning originally on taking a taxi or shuttle to a hostel in the neighborhood Las Robles. The hostel has their own shuttle, but it is a 30 minute ride. I am willing to shell out the extra money if it is in my best interest to stay at the Intercontinental and take their transport.

What do you think? Thanks!

Nicaragua
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7. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

Fifteen minutes more and you will be in Granada for US$37.00 and you can get a very good hotel for less that what you are going to pay at the Intercontinental.

MA
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8. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

We arrived at around 10pm on Chirstmas eve last year and took a taxi down to Granada without any issues. Now we were a little bit worried when the drivers of the two taxis hotwired the cars to start them but I think that is kind of standard down there. That being said I would not do it if I were alone and female.... we were a group of 6 (3 couples) you should arrange for a pick up at the airport. I think Paxeos is a good company down there. I might nto be correct

Denver, Colorado
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9. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

If you have not arranged for an airport pickup (e.g., Oro Travel or Paxeos to Granada), I would not hire a cab at the airport outside the exit door. One of you can walk directly across the highway from the terminal (watch the traffic) to the Best Western and hire a cab there with help from the desk clerk while the other(s) guard your luggage. Or take the luggage with you..

NY
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10. Re: Managua Airport -> Taxi Safety?

DO not change your flight dude, NICARAGUA IS THE SAFEST COUNTRY IN CENTRAL AMERICA!, check this website and read the information about the cuntry here, i took a lot of day trips with them and they were awsome.

Enjoy ur stay!

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