The public bus from Granada to Leon is simple. Even for those who don’t speak Spanish. And it’s cheap. You can easily take a public bus from Granada to Managua. Then, it’s a second bus ride from Managua to Leon. There’s no need to book a US$15 Granada to Leon shuttle that gets your door to door (unless you want to of course). If you do want to aThe trip from Granada to Managua and then from Managua to Leon can be undertaken in half a day on public transport for around US$3.
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Granada to Leon Bus Trip
The bus from Granad to Leon is in two parts. First, you get from Granada to Managua. Then from Managua to Leon. The bus interchange in Managua is the same place, literally steps from getting off your first bus.
Follow these easy steps to to take the Granada Leon route on a budget.
Granada to Managua
First get to the micro bus station in Granada. It’s REALLY easy to find. It’s a block south of Central Park. Find Lucy’s Hostel and Restaurant on Google maps and its opposite there. We walked from our great room at Hostal Casa Aryen in just a few minutes. Check out accommmodation prices and availability in Granada NOW!
Map of Granada Micro Bus Station Location
It looks like a parking lot with micro buses in. The bus from Granada to Leon starts at 0430 and run until 1930.
Finding the Right Bus from Granada to Leon
As soon as you walk in, someone will point you to the right bus. It will be obvious if you’re not the first people to the bus, as it will be the only one with people on. If you have a backpack, one of the helpers will offer to take it off you and put it at the front, on the dash, under the driver’s seat, wherever there is room.
These minibuses also have fold down seats in the aisle, so if you don’t like the comfort that you’re getting, just wait until the next us goes. As usual the buses go when full, or nearly full, or when the driver feels like it.
Granada to Leon Bus – No A/C
All the buses in this “station” were of the natural air conditioning variety – i.e. they have windows that open and curtains.
Granada to Managua – Bus Cost
A ticket from Granda to Manague will cost you 25 cordobas. We were also charged 25 cordobas for two 40 litre backpacks that sat on the dashboard while we travelled. WAY more comfortable than sitting on our laps. The fare is displayed on the bus, up in front of the driver
This bus journey between Granada and Managua takes about 60 minutes and takes you into the UCA (pronounced ooka) station in Managua.
Managua to Leon Bus
As you get off your microbus from Granada in the Managua UCA “station”. There are different Managua bus stations depending on where you are going. If you’re looking on a map you need Managua UCA – (which is more like a layby with food stalls and covered areas for other buses), just keep walking in the direction that the bus was going. Within 10 feet or so you’ll see signs above and to the right for Managua to Leon Nicaragua. These buses run from around 5am until around 8pm.
This bus station is a location for other cities as well. It took us less than 15 seconds to spot the Managua to Leon buses. Again they’re mini/microbuses. However, these ones have AIR CONDITIONING. It may be because Leon is Nicaragua’s second hottest city (it was 36 degrees when we arrived!), but it will be welcome anyways.
These micro buses do NOT have specific backpack storage areas. So you’ll want to try and get the FRONT SEATS, where there’s a little more legroom. Or pay for a seat for your bags. We didn’t. Our 40-litre Ospreys go on our laps (albeit somewhat uncomfortably when we’re on the back seat of the bus again). Tickets on this bus cost 54 Cordobas. The trip from Managua to Leon took about 90 minutes. We then walked to our hotel from the bus station. You can get off before the bus station.
We ended up in the back seat between Managua and Leon. Where the air con reached us. Almost.
Managua to Leon Payment
You won’t be charged for your ticket until you are WAY into the journey. Our bus stopped at LA PAZ CENTRO, and the driver opened the back door to get the fees from us folks at the back.
Leon to Granada Bus Station
The bus stops at the Terminal de Bus in Leon. This is where you catch the bus from Leon to Granada or from Leon to Managua. It’s about 2 kilometres from the Central Park and Cathedral. It’s an EASY walk, the many, many taxi drivers who will bug you to take a ride because it is MUY LARGO (very far), but who will give you directions in the end. Google also works well. Maps.me is also well worth downloading before your trip. We were offered a trip to the Central Park for US$2 each but chose to walk.
Leon Bus Station Map
It was slightly disconcerting as we arrived in Leon seeing the tricycle and taxi drivers looking through the window of our microbus, obviously trying to figure out from baggage who might want a ride, it also looked like they were scouting out who had expensive possessions. It’s a welcome reminder to hold onto all your bags in any situation. We also carry pacsafes and lock our expensive belongings inside them too.
We try to walk when we first arrive in a new place, to get a sense for it. To see what the area is like and to also understand the geography. This was a flat walk, albeit rather warm (it was 36 degrees when we arrived, but there was cloud cover). Find out how we spent the next 3 days in Leon.
The Granada to Leon bus trip is an easy trip. Very little to no Spanish is required if you’re observant and prepared to step out of an air-conditioned shuttle bus.
- Our guide book in Nicaragua was the Lonely Planet Nicaragua
- We used a Spanish Phrasebook
- We carried a Spanish Dictionary
- Our hotel in Granada was the Hostal Casa Aryen < Get prices here for this lovely spot.
- Our hotel in Leon was the Leo y Pinata < but we didn’t like it (WAY too noisy) – we moved to the fab Via Via Hostel in the centre of town for our final night in Leon – Get availability NOW!
- We drank tap water while in Nicaragua – saving the environment and money < read about how
- Consider learning Spanish to enhance your visit to Nicaragua – we did this in Guatemala