We’ve decided to buy a scooter. Although we can get anywhere and do anything by walking, riding our bike, or taking taxis (mostly just walking, though) there are times when it would be beneficial to get somewhere fast. For instance, when we realize we don’t actually have any chicken halfway through making chicken enchiladas for dinner. We can’t really hoof it down to La Colonia and back in a few minutes. Plus, it would allow us to get to Masaya, Managua, or elsewhere on an as-needed basis, though this would be in borderline emergency cases. For non-emergencies we’re fine taking the bus or hiring our friend Bosco who owns Eleda Transporte to drive us out of town.
Buying a vehicle in Nicaragua for non-residents is a bit of a trick. Vehicles have to be registered, but you can’t register a vehicle in your name unless you are a resident. What has to be done involves a lawyer and some specialized documents that, basically, leave the registration with the previous owner (or some other resident, like a Nica friend you might have) but gives ownership and responsibility to you. This bit of info becomes very important on Day 2 of this adventure, by the way.
We found a used scooter for sale by a nurse in Masaya for $650. The 2012 model of this one, to be exact:
We were all set to go meet her in Masaya at 7:00pm to purchase it. We even went out and bought helmets from an old woman in her 80’s who sells motorcycle helmets outside of her shack across from the cemetery. That’s not a joke. And what an incredibly sweet, nice old lady she turned out to be. We got one helmet for myself and one for Levi. These helmets, to be exact:
We scheduled Bosco to take us to Masaya. The plan was for us to go out there, buy the scooter, then Roberta and Levi would ride back to Granada with Bosco while I – having NEVER DRIVEN A SCOOTER BEFORE – would drive the scooter back. At night. 10 miles on the highway.
But then we got a call from the seller informing us that she’d gotten in a wreck. Yeah. A wreck. Not on the scooter! But in a car, and she was going to have to reschedule for the next day because she needed to deal with wreck related issues.
We called Bosco and cancelled the trip and then Levi and I just sat around the house in our super cool helmets feeling sorry for ourselves.
Your post came at just the right time. My wife and I are visiting Nicaragua in a few months and I’ve been trying to figure out if we should rent a car or find someone to drive us around. Your mention of Eleda Transporte may have been the answer I was looking for. Your recommendation and his Trip Advisor reviews make Bosco sound like a perfect solution.
I’m glad you found the post useful! Yes, Bosco is a great guy and runs a tight ship. I had to visit New York in October. He picked me up from our house at 4:30 am to take me to the airport, and then was waiting for me at the airport when I returned five days later…and didn’t charge me until then, not before.