MGA International Airport
What to Expect and
What You Will Need
The following information is literally a step-by-step walk through of what to expect from the time of landing to meeting your chauffeur. Compared to the U.K., Canada, or even Costa Rica, going through Border Control in Nicaragua . Regardless,nearly as simple as making a withdrawal at a bank. if you have yet to visit, reading this will make it feel as if you have done it a dozen times and add to the comfort and safety we guarantee to our customers.
As far as safety concerns whilst visiting Nicaragua, *The Global Peace Index ranks Nicaragua as the 76th safest country in the world, whereas The United States is 114th safest country.
Although Nicaragua is still one of the safest countries in both North and South America, there are still corrupt people here, as there are with every country. Therefore, with respect to our company's main mission (as stated in "About Us"), NTS has found it to be pertinent to break down the entire process of getting in and around Nicaragua for those who are visiting for the first time.
Once your plane lands, deboarding begins, and you set about walking through the Jet Bridge, the vibrancy of joy that is so overly abundant and seemingly innate in Nicaraguans begins forthwith. You will immediately be greeted with smiling faces accompanied by "Hola!", or "Buenas!", by every airport employee that you pass—this will extend throughout the extent of your trip, and it as inspiring as it is beautiful.
After exiting your gate, you will be directed down an escalator which will lead directly to the Customs and Border Control Lanes [There are usually at least 6-10 lanes open] and 15-45 minutes is the typical waiting process. Once you arrive to your Customs Agent, you will need to provide your Passport, Customs Declaration, and a few basic pieces of personal information (i.e. purpose and duration of visit, career, and where you will be staying).
The next part is quintessential, as if you are not prepared, you have to rely solely on the hope of someone behind you having change .
There is no requirement for a Visa whilst visiting Nicaragua for 3 months or less, the only catch is that in order to pass through customs is that you have Exactly $10 U.S. Dollars for the entry fee.
They do not take or provide change, accept credit or debit cards, nor will they even take a $100 bill. Be sure to have a $10 U.S. Dollar bill for this reason.
Subsequently, after typical questioning and payment of entry, they will take a picture of you, stamp your passport, and welcome you to Nicaragua.
After your passport has been stamped, you will turn right and walk less than 40m to the baggage carousel (there are two side-by-side). Again, it is a very small airport and your bags will probably already be on rotation by the time you get to the carousel. To your left of the left carousel, you will see glass windows PACKED with locals who are on the edge of their heels; it may seem strange at first, but it's actually just family members belovedly waiting for their loved ones to arrive back home (usually from the U.S.).
Once you have all of your luggage, proceed straight ahead to the last phase of Customs/Border Control. Airport security will ask for your baggage claim sticker to verify that it is your luggage, then direct you straight ahead to where you will put all of your luggage onto a conveyor belt for an X-ray machine (which is presumably from the early 80's).
After your bags are cleared, turn left at the end of the x-ray machine and walk through the glass double doors...where you will then encounter absolute pandemonium. As soon as you walk through the doors, there is a slough of "taxi drivers" (or, "Vultures", as they are so affectionately known) that will try to pressure you for a taxi.
NEVER get into a taxi that you did not pre-arrange in a third world country (especially at an airport). For starters, they gouge their prices above legitimate company's rates. Next, they'll have someone talking to you in English, show you a nice taxi, then next thing you know you're being carted off in a beat-up '92 Corolla that smells as bad as it runs. Then, you're left a completely different driver who speaks not a word of English, leaving you worrying who this person works for, or even if he's actually a legitimate taxi driver.
Accordingly, to avoid any and all of these problems is the is the main point of this guide:
You know exactly what to expect and what is to come, so you may leave your worries back home and enjoy your time in this majestic country. There is also wifi in the Managua airport, so while you are going through the customs/baggage claim process, you can contact us for your own reassurance.
Regardless, With Neptune Transport Services, your chauffeur will be the first person you actually see upon exiting the airport. He will be standing there at the glass doors and adamantly going out of his way to find you - not the other way around - as he will be holding a sign with your name (or group) on it, waiting along with your flight information as to confirm your identity and where you're going...As our motto goes:
"Plan your visit to Nicaragua, and we'll take care of the rest."
Sr. Lopez began this company in 2002 for this exact reason: Managua is the gateway to "The Land of Eden"; so you can all of worries behind and leave the transportation to us, so that you may experience "The Land of Eden" with the same systematic functionality, security and etiquette of first-world tourism.
Another word to the wise, be sure to keep all of your bills in tact; truly, even a slight tear on any bill will be rejected any and everywhere. Furthermore, be sure to travel with enough daily cash on you for transportation service, hotel, dinner, etc.