need a 4x4 rental in nicaragua. Please post if you have any experiences good or bad. Also, list the companies you rented from. Thanks.
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Need a good 4x4 rental in Nicaragua
May 6, 2011, 05:48 PM #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
- Monmouth County, NJ
avis. mitsubishi montero sport (diesel). got us up, over and through everything! Beach break, rivers, washouts, mountains...you name it!
what rental agency did you use?
May 8, 2011, 12:41 PM #4
May 8, 2011, 01:10 PM #5
I always went with Avis. Reason being, if it broke down they would come out. Maybe some of the smaller independents don't come out. Always rented the biggest 4wd I could get, which usually is the Landcruiser Prado (that's the model that Avis has). It's not inexpensive, sometimes $ 90.00 per day, but absolutely well worth it for Nica roads. You will say to yourself what a smart guy I am after the trip is over.
Where you're going you want to be able to lock & load, vehicularly speaking (made that word up). Seriously, the roads out to the coast from the airport start off pretty decent. The Pan American Hwy is decent, not a lot of holes, just crazed Tica truckers. But once you're out there on the coast, you want something that can dig you out of nearly anything. Esp if you go during rainy season. Nicaragua gives intense new meaning to the term 'washed out roads.'
I always rented Prados. Diesel. Stick. The one time I didn't rent a Prado it was a mistake. A mid-weight SUV that kept flatting. WTF. Not a good time changing tires in the pitch black on that road to Playa Colorado.
Which brings me to my other 2 cents, not that you asked: bring a small flashlight & stow it in the glove. And be sure to locate the vehicle's spare tire & ALL the jack pieces (working) while you're still in the rental compound near MGA. And try to stow your boards inside the vehicle on the drive from MGA to the coast. 'Cause the Nica cops love to pull over gringos & try to scare you with various BS aspects unless you slip them some cords. You do know about that aspect of the driving, yes...?
As well, you are aware that if you get into an accident, even a fender-bender, in Nica, you go to jail. It's the law. The driver goes to jail & they sort it out over the next several days. So you had best take the number of the American embassy in Managua. The embassy website has the info & the numbers.
Just checking. Have a helluva great trek. Buena fortuna !
May 9, 2011, 05:16 AM #7
Yah, I hear ya. It (the possibility of jail time for a fender-bender) really started to bug me during my last few trips there. Never got into an accident, knock wood, but I just had that bad feeling coming on...
I def had my share of Tona beer, but since I was always the driver, I never drove even close to buzzed. Man, that will get you nailed to a wall if you get popped while driving.
I usually reserved through www.orbitz.com. Just be sure you get the big rig. Also, the rental car companies will hit you with the daily extra-insurance fee. They say it's mandatory to have it in Nica & they won't let you rent the rig without the insurance, so you gotta sign up for it. Not a bad thing: auto theft is epidemic in Nica.
Couple other things, just 'cause it may be helpful...
There are zero road signs in Managua. Most places don't have street numbers. The highways have signage but it's sparse. When you leave the airport, turn right & not left. Left brings you into the center of Managua & it can add hours to your journey as you try to figure out how to get outta that sprawling snarl.
Avoid driving at night unless you're going to Yolanda's or something relatively close by. The oxcarts & bicyclists & a lotta other stuff loom up without lights or reflectors without warning.
People use the roads as the their sidewalks 'cause there's no sidewalks in the country. Even on the high-speed roads you'll go by kids playing really close to the side of the highway.
"If involved in an accident do not move your vehicle or any vehicle involved in the accident, even to clear traffic. A person who moves a vehicle before the police arrive will often be held legally liable for the accident regardless of what actually occurred. Detentions frequently last until a judicial decision is reached, often weeks or months, or until a waiver is signed by the injured party, usually as the result of a cash settlement."
You gotta pay your way out of jail. I know guys this has happened to.
"Dozens of U.S. citizens have reported being victimized by fellow travelers who befriended them then offered to assist them in locating and/or sharing a taxi. Upon entering the taxi, the U.S. citizens were held at knife-point or with a gun, threatened with bodily injury and/or rape, robbed of their valuables and driven around to ATM machines to withdraw funds from their accounts. After the assault, the U.S. citizen victims were left abandoned and destitute in remote areas.This crime is particularly common around the International Airport area and in the cities of Managua, Rivas, Granada and Masaya."
U.S. Embassy Managua
Km 5 ½ Carretera Sur, Managua - Nicaragua
Telephone: (505) 2252-7100
Emergency after-hours telephone: (505) 8882-3140
May 9, 2011, 05:21 AM #8
I'd always keep a copy of my passport with me. Let the fam know where I'm at. Keep the Embassy info at hand. And clue your travel crew in on all of this, so if one of you gets picked off by cops or whatever, the others know what to do & who to call.
Not trying to spook anyone - - just sayin' that being prepared goes a long way to having a great trip.
Having said all that, it's an interesting country & a great place to surf. Like always, keep your wits about you & stay alert.
Just be aware of the cultural aspects that make Nica a very, very different place from the good ol' USA.