International buses are available between Managua and San Jose, Costa Rica also stopping briefly in Rivas and Granada, San Salvador, El Salvador stopping briefly in Leon and Honduras. Some buses will continue to Panama City or Guatemala City. The buses are relatively modern with air conditioning, and make stops for fuel and food along the way. However, if you plan on taking this form of transportation, you should plan ahead. Buses between the major cities can fill up days ahead of departure dates. See following companies: Transnica (http://www.transnica.com/...), Tica Bus (http://www.ticabus.com/in...) and King Quality. Another option is to be picked up in the smaller cities along the route, ask for the local ticket office. There are also cheap but terribly uncomfortable "Chicken buses" a few times a week between Managua and Guatemala City USD20, that stop in major cities like Leon.
An alternative way to travel across the border is take a bus to/from a major city that drops you off at the border. You can then cross the border and board another bus. This is a common strategy for travellers, especially on the Costa Rican/Nicaraguan border. This method takes longer, but is much cheaper and can be done on a moment's notice.
When crossing the border from Choluteca, Honduras to Guasaule, Nicaragua don't be intimidated by the men fighting over your luggage. They will want to take you by bicycle over the border to the bus stop on the other side. Often, if you ask for a price for the ride they will insist it's for a "tip" or "propina". It's not until you reach the other side that they will try to pressure you into paying USD20 or more. Negotiate with them before you agree to a ride and if they still pressure you at the end, just give them what you think is fair and walk away.
This border crossing is also your last chance to exchange your Lempiras for Cordobas and it's best to know what the exchange rate is so that you can bargain for a fair rate.
You will fly into the international airport in Managua. Flights from the USA arrive from Houston, Dallas, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, LAX, and Atlanta. Managua is serviced by American Airlines, Delta, United, Spirit, Aeromexico, Avianca, Copa, and Nature Air.
In July 2010, Nicaragua changed its fee to enter the country from USD5 to USD10. Try to have exact change.
Tourist visas are not issued, instead tourist cards are provided and are valid for three months for US citizens as well as for people from the EU and Canada. There will be taxis right outside, these are relatively expensive USD15 for the 20km trip to Managua centre, or you can walk out to the road and try to flag down a regular cab. Some taxi drivers may try to overcharge, particularly seeing a foreign face, and may start with USD20 or more, but a price around USD4-6 or 100-150 cordobas is appropriate from the airport. You can also arrange a shuttle pickup to take you to nearby cities like Granada, a popular option for tourists who do not want to spend a night in Managua. It is recommended to have your hotel or language school arrange a shuttle when possible. There are also private services such as Mana-Ahuac Hoy.
You can also fly into the tiny Granada airstrip from San Jose.
Citizens of the following countries/territories can enter Nicaragua without a visa: Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Holy See, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Panama, Poland, Portugal,Romania,Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Helena, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu, the Vatican City Holy See and Venezuela.
Other tourists can obtain a Tourist Card for USD10 valid for 1 month to 3 months depending on citizenship - Canada and USA are allowed 90 days upon arrival, provided with a valid passport with at least six months to run. There is also a USD32 departure tax which is included in airfares with major airlines American, Continental, COPA and TACA definitely. The tourist card is valid in the other CA-4 countries, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, although it sometimes requires a discussion with immigration officials that this accord is in effect, since they are quite compelled to sell more tourist cards.
There are two border crossings to Costa Rica, Penas Blancas west of Lake Nicaragua and Los Chiles east of it. You have to take an USD10 boat to cross at Los Chiles. It is actually not possible to cross into Nicaragua via Los Chiles by car.There are three major border crossings to Honduras. Las Manos is on the shortest route to Tegucigalpa, the other ones are on the Panamerican Highway north of Leon.
Foreigners have to pay USD12 to enter any land border. This applies even to those with CA-4 visas from Honduras, in spite of the national treaties. Time allotted is only the remaining time on the original CA-4 entry.