On a recent trip to Nicaragua, I booked two nights to start my adventure at Managua Backpackers. It is located relatively close to the airport, so it is the perfect place to begin or end your trip.
Managua Backpackers features
The first stressful connection in travel after clearing customs and immigration is from the airport to your hotel/hostel. Managua Backpackers makes this ordeal easy. They provide 24/7 shuttle service to the airport for $15.00 for solo travelers and $10.00 per person for groups of two or more. It is necessary to book this service in advance.
I arrived at midnight. It took a little over an hour to get my bags and clear customs and immigration. Once I stepped out into the warm Nicaraguan night, a young man greeted me with a sign with my name on it. In twenty minutes, I was at the hostel and checked in. It was super easy.
Managua not much of a tourist destination
Managua is the capital of Nicaragua and home to the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport. Most visitors arrive and depart the country from here. Other than that, there is not much reason to stick around the capital. Many secure an immediate shuttle to Granada, León, or San Juan Del Sur. If you decide to stay a night or two in Managua, Managua Backpackers is recommended.
Great place to get travel information
Since most people who stay here are either leaving or entering the country, it is a great place to get travel information from other travelers. The first question I asked other people staying here was where are you from and the second question was are you leaving Nicaragua or entering? If they replied in the former, I then asked about their trip. The staff is also helpful in providing onward travel information.
The number one amenity at Managua Backpackers was their nice outdoor pool. I walked down to the lakefront in Managua and checked out the Malecón and the Old Managua Cathedral. It was 90 degrees and humid, so I was drenched in sweat after a few hours in the hot afternoon weather. I took a cab back and immediately headed for the pool.
The pool area is also a great spot to hang out. They have several hammocks and chairs surrounding the pool. The front desk offers $1.00 Tona (the local beer) as well as water and other drinks.
Good Wi-Fi connection and shared computers
If you do need to work or just want to stay connected, the Wi-Fi was solid. I wrote my first blog post for this website in a chair poolside. They also have shared computers as well.
Managua Backpackers offers free pancakes in the kitchen area by the pool. The first morning I woke up at 9 a.m., which is the time they stop serving. I was crushed. Fortunately, it was actually earlier as my phone clock had not adjusted to local time as I still had it set on airplane mode.
I was delighted to find coffee and pancakes still being served when I finally walked out to daylight to hang out by the pool. Free pancakes cannot be beat for a great start to the morning.
Well ventilated rooms
There is no air-conditioning in the dorm rooms, but there are fans and the rooms are well ventilated. The first night was kind of breezy, so it felt cool. The second night was more stuffy at first until it cooled off a little later. It is best to grab a lower bed if you can manage. Private rooms do come with air-conditioning, so if coolness is a concern, then book a private room.
Easy access to bus station to Granada
The bus station to Granada is about a quarter of a mile walk. I got halfway there and a bus came around the corner with the bus concierge dude yelling Granada, Granada, Granada, so I did not even have to walk that far. The hostel also offers shuttles to other bus stations.
Masaya Volcano Tours
Managua Backpackers offers tours of Masaya Volcano. I emailed them in advance to inquire about it, but they never replied. Once I got there, I decided to do this tour in Granada. I am sure I could have booked this when I got to the hostel, but I decided to do this tour later.
Inside the hostel is a TV room that offers cable TV and free access to Netflix. There is a couple of couches and chairs, so it is another area of the hostel which is great to socialize with other travelers.
Lockers and storage
Be sure to bring your own lock, especially if you are staying in the dorm rooms. They have locker rooms for storage of valuable items you do not want to leave in the common areas. They also can store backpacks for a longer period if you are taking a tour outside the city and do not want to bring all your luggage.
The hostel is located in a generally safe area of Managua called the Colonial Los Robles with several restaurants and bars nearby. There is also the Metrocenter Shopping Mall within a five minute walk. I had no problem finding a bank in the Metrocenter Area. They even have a McDonalds close by if you want familiar food at the start or end of your trip.
Enjoyed my stay
Managua Backpackers checks all the boxes for amenities that make life easier for travelers. I enjoyed my stay and would not hesitate to stay again the next time I enter or leave Nicaragua. Check their website for more information.
The author paid for his stay at Managua Backpackers.