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Local infrastructures in the remote countryside of Nicaragua

by Los Clavos 02 nov. 2016


Nicaragua is one of the safest country in the area and probably the country where people is the kindest. However, it’s still a poor country suffering from a lack of investment in infrastructures, particularly in rural areas, although the government undertook different measures to develop tourism. We’d like to share with you the experience we’ve had of those existing (or non existing) infrastructures.


When you arrive in Nicaragua by air, you land in the International Airport of Managua. It’s a small airport, consequently you don’t have to wait for your luggage for too long, and going through customs is rather an easy process. You can’t get lost on the way out: rental agencies, taxis, telephone retailers and ATM are all right at the exit. And when you leave the country, check-in, customs, security checks and access to your boarding gate is most of the time very quick. 


However, things get more complicated when you leave the airport. The road network in Nicaragua is pretty simple, goes around natural obstacles as volcanoes, mountains or river mouths. There are a few main roads crossing the country (I mean, the West part of Nicaragua as you’ll quickly notice the East is pretty isolated and really remote area). Once you know where you go and what way you should take, it’s pretty easy. But for a freshly arrived tourist, you’d rather have a map, a GPS or patience and good spanish skills to be able to ask for directions. There is practically no direction signs in Nicaragua and no established address system (see below Post for more detail on this). 
However, after you left the capital city of Managua and heat the Panamerican, you’ll be astonished by the quality of roads. Most of the time you have to share them with local tractors, or even horses carriages (so please be careful when driving), but potholes or bumps in the roads are scarce. Moreover, the drainage system is well designed and well maintained to face tropical rains. Although the quality of paved roads is worth mentioning, paved roads are far from leading you everywhere, particularly in rural areas where most of the people have at most a motorcycle, not a car. For example, Los Clavos Surf Camp is located 6 km from the paved road. Then a dirt road leads you to the beach and to the surf camp.

Public transportation

As explained above, most of people don’t have a car. Consequently, the public transportation system (bus system I should say as there is no train, metro or tramway in the country) is rather intense. But once again, buses don’t go on each dirt road and people hitchhike a lot. That’s why you’ll see so many people packed in pick-ups. A curiosity we observed is the extension of cycle lanes in the surroundings of big cities like Chinandega and Leon. At the end of the day horses carriages and cattle will use them as much as bikes, but it’s a good thing! 
Have a safe trip and see you soon, 


Rent pick up NicaraguaDriving in Nicaragua

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