If you’re ready to trade in the rugged beauty that is León for the more Gringo-ready Granada (as we like to call it) and would prefer not to pay for the overly priced shuttle bus (€15) then welcome.
Pull up a pew and enjoy our simple guide on how you can commute between the two for less than €4.50.
OK, so it means taking two buses and a stop off in Managua, but think of how much that saved €10 will stretch.
Plus, you get to accompany the locals and enjoy the sights and scenes the local bus has to offer.
León City Centre to Bus Terminal:
León’s bus terminal, called Terminal de Autobuses, is a little lost within a large market. Search 6ta Calle NE on Google Maps, or ask your hostel for directions.
You can easily take a cab or grab a tuc tuc but the 20 minute walk from “backpacker” street isn’t so bad, even with our big ass backpacks and during the midday sun. It’s a nice easy ramble through a number of neighbourhoods, and we had a right laugh chuckling along with the locals as they watched us carry our life on our back; in awe, or dismay. We’re not entirely sure.
If using Google Maps; as you get closer, you’ll notice the umpteen buses pulling into a badly laid out carpark, follow them. Or ask any vendor for the bus station.
León to Managua:
When you arrive at the car park, eh, we mean bus station; straight ahead on the right hand side, you’ll see a sign for UCA Managua.
The air conditioned minivans leave every 15 minutes or whenever full, and cost 54 Cordobas (€1.50) per person. The drive to Managua takes 1.5hours.
Managua to Granada:
The minivan will pull into a small open-aired garage next to UCA university. Not exactly the nicest part of town, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend hanging around here after dark.
As you leave the garage, take a left and you will find the buses for Granada. All buses have the destination displayed on the front, so keep an eye out.
We were charged 100 cordobas (€2.80) each, and we’re pretty sure we were ripped off here. We can only assume there was an additional charge for our bags. At least you now know not to pay any more than 100 cordobas.
Unlike the first mode of transport, this one is a public bus so it will make stops along the way but shouldn’t take any more than an hour.
The final stop being the small bus station near the centre square in Granada. Similar to León, Granada city centre isn’t huge so wherever you are staying, it should be within walking distance from the bus terminal.
So if you’re still debating on whether to book the shuttle or jump the bus, we’ll happily convince you to bus it. This 3.5hour and $4.20 easy peasy drive just isn’t worth €20 and sure the majority of the journey is in a minivan so you’ll be comfortable!
And hey, at least this way you can practise your Spanish!