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Chinandega is the capital of the Chinandega department in the Northern Pacific Coast region of Nicaragua.

Get in[edit]

You can get to Chinandega from Managua on a micro-bus or chicken bus from Mercado Israel Lewites; they run frequently all day. The microbus costs 80C and takes 1.5-2 hours and is often airconditioned. The chicken bus will take an extra hour but cost probably half. [Apr 2016]

If you're near the UCA bus station in Managua you could take a micro bus first to Leon then transfer to Chinandega. All micro/chicken buses from Leon leave from the "Terminal de bus" frequently. This costs 23 cordobas (1$), and takes about an hour.

Note all buses going or arriving from the east go to the bus terminal at mercado "El Bisne" in the south-east corner of town. All buses going or arriving from the smaller towns like Jiquilillo to the west leave from 'El Mercadito' in the north-west corner. The distance walking between them is 2km, or take a taxi for ~25C.

Hitchiking is an option, as is renting a car.

Chinandega is past Leon. Refer to ViaNica for more directions [2]

Get around[edit]

Local buses run between the Parque Central, Bisne (the large peripheral market), the old market, and other points. Taxis are abundant. If driving, take into account the fact that most streets in town are one-way.

In Chinandega city you can either

  • Walk
  • Take a taxi (10 cordobas)
  • Take a bike taxi (7 cordobas)

There are school buses that leave from "El Mercadito" to go to other parts of Chinandega province, such as the town of El Viejo, where the rosquillas (cheese crackers) are famous.

See[edit][add listing]

The town itself is not terribly alluring, and it can be a hot, still place full of traffic, but at night it cools down and comes alive. The Parque Central area fills with strolling families taking their kids to the well-lit play areas, and a row of food kiosks sells food and fruit shakes at good prices.

There are many sights that make Chinandega a great place to come:

  • Large churches in town
  • Great park in the middle of town
  • Friendly, real people

Going to the central park is a good past time. There are many carts selling hamburguers and milkshakes. You can also take the famous "bus pelon" for a ride around the town - for just 3 cordobas. It is a way to enjoy the cool night air.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Dilectus is the major night club in Chinandega. There is a 50 cordoba cover. Everyone is very dressed up here. They play a mix of salsa, merengue, reggeaton and hip hop. The crowd ranges from 14 year olds to 40 year olds - the majority in their mid-late twenties.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

The best food is either at the Parque or in the restaurants nearby.

You can satisfy your need for USA-style food from

  • Subway
  • Tip Top
  • RostiPollo
  • On The Run
  • Hotel de los Volcanes
  • La Union grocery store
  • Pizza Maria (Best in Chinandega by far)
  • SportBurger (better than American Burgers, and the service is great)

There is also great food from the many fritangas on the side of the road.

Also, do not forget to try TONCUA! It is the most delilious fruit ever. Ask street vendors if they know anyone who is selling Tonqua.

The best pizza in Nicaragua comes from Pizza HOT... love the name, but love the pizza more. There are 2 Pizza Hots in Chinandega!

If you want gourmet food, check out Jack's, which is on main street.

Just ask everyone for directions to these various places because they will know.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are many types of beers, both foreign and domestic to try out. A favorite is Tona which you can buy at any local pub for about 18 cordoba

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Cosiguina. has A/C rooms with wireless internet and a secured parking lot. Also has its own restaurant "Fumarolas" with room service available. Nice friendly hotel. Located in the center of town within short walking distance of all area attractions. for $40/night.  edit
  • Los Volcanes Hotel, Km. 129 1/2, Carretera a Chinandega, Nicaragua (Go to Chinandega. From Chinandega hire a taxi to take you to the hotel. They will know where it is.), 505-341-1000, [1]. A high quality hotel in Chinandega. Nice food. You can relax here. $46-93.  edit


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Get out[edit]

This is a jumping-off point for volcano hikes and the beach at Jiquilillo. To reach there, take chicken bus from 'El Mercadito' for 25C [April 2016]. It leaves daily at 7:00, 10:00, 11:30, 15:00, and 16:30. Trip takes 1.5-2hours. You can also take a taxi for $20 which will take 45 minutes.

  • Volcanoes - see them from the Hotel los Volcanes
  • Playa Venetia - accessible with rental car, or even better, hire a taxi driver
  • Puerto de Corinto - accessible with rental car, or even better, hire a taxi driver
  • Playa Aposintillo / Aserradores: beautiful area and great surfing beaches about 30 min by taxi or 1-½ by bus. For budget travelers there is a cool, rustic cabin to stay in near both beaches: [3]Create category
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