This is an informative post for those of you thinking of traveling in Northern Nicaragua.
The bus from Leon to Matagalpa leaves Leon at 7:30AM and 2:30PM and costs C$60. It should take you roughly 2 hours and the only available option that I saw was the lowly chicken bus. Do get there early or you’ll be standing, I’d never stand on one of those FYI – watch your pockets…
The bus from Matagalpa to Esteli runs all the time and it will cost you C$25 and takes roughly 2 hours as well. We arrived and it was standing room only, just waited 30 minutes and got a good seat. Again, always recommend get a seat or wait for the next one if possible.
The bus from Esteli to Leon was a micro bus and it cost C$60. They also have the large, slow chicken buses but didn’t even bother to find the times. The micro bus leaves at 8:30AM and believe 3:30PM. They leave when they get full so can be quick or you may have to wait a while. The bus took roughly 2 hours and was infinitely more pleasant than the chicken bus.
FYI – Esteli was not so much an interesting city as well there was nothing really happening. The wealth from the area is from tobacco farmers and lots of wealthy Cubans who came over when things got heated in Cuba. They brought their tobacco plants and now Nicaragua has some of the best cigars called “Nicaraguan Cubans”.
Met several people living there and one group was paying $125US for a very nice house. It also had a kitchen that blew me away. The thing is, not a lot going on up there so a great place to work but when boredom strikes … What will you do to alleviate it? That said, they did have an incredible gym for a startling $8 a month.
If in town, find the Mexican Taco place.