I learned a lesson today!

I thought I would be smart and go ahead and exchange $500 US while I was still here ahead of my trip so I wouldn't have to worry about. I called Wells Fargo and told them that I wanted 500 worth of Cordobas and they said they would call when it was in. So today they called and I headed right down there to exchange my money. My first red flag was when the lady comes walking back to the front with a huge bundle of cash. The reason was because they had received two 500's, one 200, one 100 bill, and the remainder 50's, 20's, and 10's. And here's the best part, they gave me an exchange rate of 18.52. I promptly said the current exchange rate is around 23.7. They said that was some other type of rate. Now here is the worst part, I took the money and left for some stupid reason, I guess to run home and double check the rate which I already knew. I did ask them if they would exchange it back and they said they would so I guess they will see my scowling face again tomorrow.

So now I need some help. My first night I am staying at the Don Quijote motel in Managua. Can anyone suggest a good place to exchange money around there and around what the rate is? If your not familiar it's around Barrio Santa Rosa and Barrio Nueva Libia.

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The lady and her dauther with Green "sombrero"

In La Colonia entrance, in Plaza España, there is a group people, I used to exchange with the lady of the Green Sombrero - hat - they painted to be identify by the color, they have a fair exchange, higher than in the bank. However if you go to Banpro and ask in the entrance for an special rate, a girl in the desk will give to you an order to go to the cashier; it will be safeter to you.

Best Regards

Paul Tiffer Attorney at Law ptiffer@cablenet.com.ni

Plaza Espana

Is close to you, right there on the entrance to La Colonia. You cant miss those guys. 23.70 is minimum what you should accept.

@ Plaza España look for the lady in the big sombrero...

she's really nice and always gives us the best rates.

Doors of hope fly open when doors of promise shut. -Thomas D'Arcy McGee

thats who..

i use when i change there..i dont really like the guys on the road..there more laid back in the parking lot

Thanks for the inspiration

Exchange rates has been on my list of items to cover on A42. You inspired a quick post here.

Weigh up the rate versus personal security

and change it at Houston instead of walking around Barrio Victimo.


I Live in Neuva Libia...nothing wrong here. I´m sorry but your tone has a hint of racsim in it. I guess all Nicas are thiefs? Right? I have lived in Managua for 3 years and ride up to 8 buses a day and never had one problem. If you are so scared of the brown people why don´t you go back to where you came from.

Having a bad day??????

The tone you so aggressively were offended by was just a general statement about being safe there was nothing personal meant by it. I really am surprised when I get on Nicaliving and observe such a rude argumentative approach to different peoples opinions. Why would you slander someone who I witness has a great respect and love for Nicaragua. There is so much great info to be learned on Nicaliving about a country we all Love. Why give such a bad impression of the foreigners sharing information on this sight.

And that was explained below....

... time to close this one.

Are you talking to me [Mod: snip]

Just asking

I Couldn't Resist


"...Actually in New York City if someone acts like this that doesn't necessarily mean that they're crazy. "

Yes I am!!

[Mod: snip] You make deragotory comments about something you no nothing about. How many ppl you know live in Nueva Libia? How many people you know been robbed in Nueva Libia? Do you even know where Nueva Libia is? But yet you decide to call it Barrio Victimo. My barrio is full of hard working good people. I like all my neighbors. But with your one comment you labeled them all as thieves. I wont stand for that. So, next time you open your mouth be sure that you know what your talking about. There is a whole country here full of wonderful ppl. Maybe, you would see it if you ever leave your guarded compound in the most Gringo city in Nicaragua (SJDS).

kidding urself

I dont care what country you goto, you will find thieves everywhere!! Who should one trust--urself and maybe close friends!! While in the Canadian Navy out in the middle of the Pacific, $$$$ would go missing!! that told me right there, that you should only trust a very few!! I love Managua, love Nicaraguans, but I would be pretty stupid to go out at night and walk alone!! Same can be said for many part of Canada and the USA and the rest of the world!! Now how about we just hug it out--and keep ur hands out of my pockets,lol

I'm with you Gringo canuck,

I'm with you Gringo canuck, from Montana to South Korea. I haven't seen it all but I have seen a lot.

So I'm not a racist now then?

One has to be a little careful of making that accusation.

As for "Barrio Victimo" it was a euphemism for any place that may not be as secure as the airport where I thought he could have got his money changed. The comment was about general security, not your barrio.

Relax Nicafish, and next time you are in SJdS come on over to my gated community, there's a photo of it on here somewhere with a horse outside.

I love that photo

That's One Ugly


And where's the gate?

Does the Nica police compile and publish crime statistics?

Haha.....for me I am not so

Haha.....for me I am not so concerned with getting mugged as it such of pain carry so many bills. They literally gave me $200 worth of cordobas in 10's and 20's and said that's only way they can get it. Maybe we can have a beer Nicafish!

i cash my money..

on the street..but the safest is go to any bank down here..and they will cash it for u..and im sure the taxi driver and the hotel he is staying at take dollars..

Two problems with that.

I won't be in Houston. I am flying Taca that goes straight from Dallas/Ft.Worth to San Salvador. Second problem is the stack of cash they gave me is about two inches thick, hard to hide that.

No Need To Hide

the cash. I've brought large stacks of $100 bills down, before I had a better way of transferring funds, just declare it on the relevant form if it's over $10K, no one gives it another glance.

Walking around Managua with it, now that's a different discussion. A money belt (under and slightly below) your regular belt will probably go undetected unless someone KNOWS that you have the cash.

I'm an hour from the closest bank, no one wants a check (nobody has a bank account), so large amounts of cash are a necessary evil to be dealt with. Workers have to be paid, materials have to be paid for.

I DON'T have the criminal element associated with Managua, outside of metro areas even casual theft seems to be much less of a problem, so that's a big plus.

The follow acc's advice

$500 in Nica bills is not that unmanageable.

I'm with you

I know I could hide it but my biggest problem with it was the exchange rate. 5 cord's difference for every dollar. So I am going to take it back and just exchange it when I get. Thanks for the advice everyone!


Interesting to see if the bank will take it back and not charge you any fees!!!

I am interested to see what

I am interested to see what they hit me with also. They said that it was a flat fee of $5 to exchange so we will see. Even if they hit me a little bit that ok because basically there exchange rate compared to Nica roughly works out to be $100 difference. Once again, I was a fool for walking out the door with it. Lesson learned.


I take out $$$$ all the time at the ATM at Price Smart--can get american $$ or cordobas! I know others use Ban Pro banks!! Lot better exchange rate than u got!! Hell way better exchange rate at the Masaya market! But hey, no 1 died!! lol

I just use ATMs and Lola

Cocker Spaniels have a rep here, apparently. She love the air-conditioning so it's a little treat for her to go with me.

My mentor in all things Nicaraguan told me to keep my neck wallet under my clothes. It's obvious that I have it, but it's harder to just grab and most casual theft around here is just grabbing what's there to be grabbed.

Rebecca Brown

im betting he gets killed..

on the exchange rate..mga..is no worse than any other large city and a lot better than most..i walk all over the tica bus area..plaza espania,,plaza inter..and have never had a problem..i think its personal attitude..if u are scared u look scared and weak..and thats who gets robbed..now marcado oriental..is a different story..i dont like that place

Personally I exchanged both

Personally I exchanged both right on the street in MGA and at the ATM. Got very exchange everywhere I went (much better than the way my Canadian bank bends me over for every foreign exchange). Rates are posted everywhere and people adhere to them. I did find that many of the banks did not allow you inside unless you had an account, but the street outside usually had a half dozen guys exchanging. They were all scrupulously honest about showing me the math on their calculators. As far as being robbed, exercise common sense, present as a victim and quite often you become one, personally I usually use a shoulder wallet under my shirt with a fifty tucked into my belt. Most thieves expect a money belt on paranoid gringos, thus the fifty is to make the robber happy and not cave my head in lol. Mind you no matter where I have been I can say I have not been harassed or even braced for robbery, and I do tend to be adventurous in my travels. Should probably mention that I look like and angry albino Shrek, might have something to do with it.