Driving at Night in Nicaragua and All Central America?
The unwritten rule is not to be out driving or anything on the road late at night, particularly after 9 PM. Of course some countries and areas in Central America are worse than others - but if you are a gringo this applies nearly everywhere.
A van full of gringos screams "robenme".
In one incident I heard about in Nicaragua just this past August (a bus heading Managua to Granada, full of fresh tourists) this is what probably happened. They screamed; somebody listened! Figuratively.
So let me just be clear what may have happpened leading up to the fake police pulling over the bus and boarding it armed with guns, only to demand all valuables. A guy in Granada calls his paisanos on the cellphone:
"vienen unos gringos en un microbus rumbo al aeropuerto van via tipitapa. Acaban de salir, esperenlos en el tope....." The van people (the driver most likely) may have had some part in it. A cut of the action.
When I take a late night flight into Managua, I have friends waiting for me in their pickup truck. Note: we always have a third guy in the truck bed to keep an eye on the luggage. The appropriate countermeasures are kept at the ready as well.
Related tip: never let the neighbors see you put luggage in a car!!!!! Bring the car or truck inside the driveway.
And once again please never travel or get in a van with a bunch of gringos.......