We are not early morning people and the flights from San Jose to Managua had two schedules. Depart at 5:00 am and arrive in Managua at 8:15 am with one short stop or depart at 4:45 pm, stop over in San Salvador for four hours, fly 50 minutes and arrive in Managua at 10:45pm. Both require that you be at the airport 3 hours before departure. We were not going to be at SJO airport at 3:00 am so we chose the late afternoon flight. All in, from leaving our hotel in San Jose to arriving at our hotel in Managua was a total of 11 hours.
Total driving time from San Jose to Managua is 390 km. About 7 hours of driving. Hmmm.
We were really apprehensive during the taxi ride from the airport to our Hotel/B & B. The roads were very dark, cars slowed at red lights but didn’t always stop. When they did stop it was because there was police at the intersection. The further we drove the more we noticed the police presence. They were at most intersections, hidden behind trees or sitting slightly out of sight on a road curb. They just seemed to be lurking everywhere. And there were very few street lights so it made the whole experience kind of surreal, like a police state.
We pulled up to a wall with doors and barbed wire lining the top of the walls in what looked like dingy area in the darkness. Everywhere was dark so it was hard to discern what the area looked like. At first glance, it didn’t look good.
One of the doors opened and we were met by a very nice man named Rodrigo. We entered through the doors to a completely different scene.
Gardens and patio furniture and walkways. This definitely looked better than the outside and when we were shown our room, we were very happy. Lots of room, a small kitchen with fridge, two big beds if we so chose and lots of storage room and a quiet air conditioner.
It was past midnight when we arrived and as an added bonus, the bed and pillows were fantastic. Sweet dreams.