You can get to Chinandega from Managua on a mini bus or bus in Huembes Market. This costs US$3 and takes 2.5 hours and is very safe.
You can also get a mini bus (collectivo) from Leon (terminal) to Chinandega (terminal) every 15 minutes. This costs C$23 cordobas (US$1), and takes about an hour.
Hitchhiking is an option, as is renting a car.
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
- Take a taxi (8 cordobas)
- Take a bike taxi (5 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.
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 C$3. It is a way to enjoy the cool night air.
The best food is either at the Parque or in the restaurants nearby.
You can satisfy your need for USA-style food from
- Tip Top
- On The Run
- Hotel de los Volcanes
- La Union grocery store
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.
Good pizza from Pizza Hot. 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.
There are many types of beers, both foreign and domestic to try out. A favorite is Toña which you can buy at any local pub for about C$15.
- 1 Dilectus. The major night club in Chinandega. There is a C$50 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.
- 1 Hotel Plaza Cosiguina, Calle Central, ☏ . 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 US$40/night.
- 2 Los Volcanes Hotel, Km. 129 1/2, Carretera León - Chinandega (Go to Chinandega. From Chinandega hire a taxi to take you to the hotel. They will know where it is.), ☏ . A high quality hotel in Chinandega. Nice food. You can relax here. US$46-93.
This is a jumping-off point for volcano hikes and the beach at Jiquilillo.
- 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