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Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

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new haven
posts: 136
reviews: 5
Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

We hope to travel to Nicaragua in March with our 6 yr. old son. We have about 10 days. I'm at the beginning stages of planning and am a little overwhelmed right now. Any suggestions on itinerary and lodging would be appreciated. We were hoping to stay at some of the ecolodges that look fantastic, but our son is too young for them. We need places that are nice and not ridiculously difficult to get to. Thanks!

posts: 337
reviews: 30
1. Re: Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?


I would for 3 to 4 nights to LEON the most beautiful colonial town in Nicaragua. There are lots to see in Leon and you can make daily excursion to see some of the vulcanos, sandbording etc. Nice is also going 1/2 north to the beach of Las Penitas its not crowded like the beaches in the sur also from thery yozu can make a excursion to Isla de Vedano a nature swamp reserve. Where you can see a lof of birds, turtles and crocodiles etc.

I would go also to Matagalpa for around 3 days and visit the nearby private reserve Selva negra the entrance is right on the higway its a 200 ha private reserve with 30km of beautiful hiking trails. They have also a Coffee farm where they offer tours...Its not a ecolodgebt acess it easy and has beautifu preserved cloud forest where you can see a lof of plants and animals.

Then i would go for the final days to te area between Granad, Laguna de Apoyo and Masaya. If you like noisy and hot city stay in Granada. If you prefer wake up calls by birds and monkees i would stay at Laguna de Apoyo.. Its always a few degriees cooler that Granada as there is always a breeze. Its the best spot for swimming in Nicaragua with the cleanest water of Central America. THe hotels provide also Kayaks, inner tubes and some have catamarans for rent. The Laguna de Apoyo is the most unique place in Nicaragua its a Vulcan Crater filled with rainwater and jungle vegetation you can see a lot of birds, monkees and other wildlife. You can eays arrange tranfer to explore National Park Vulcan Masaya (active vulcano) Handycraft market Masaya and the white villages where you can visit pottery towns and a lookout where you have a birds eye view over the Laguna. Hotel in the Laguna The Vilals at Apoyo, Monkey Hut, San Simian Eco Lodge, Posada de Abuela.

Most guides recommend to go to Granada, Ometepe and San Juan del sur for a 10 days holiday. I prefer the above mentioned circuit...Leon is nicer as Granada and less touristy. Beaches north of leon are unspoiled not like San Juan del Sur...Also you see Cloud forest. and last days active vulcano beautiful Crater Lake and nice pottery towns...

Enjoy Nicaragua is a beautiful country


Granada, Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya ..From there you have reach in 3 hours the most beautiful city Leon (by fare better than Nicaragua), Matagalpa with some clould forrest reserves, Masaya Granada and dont miss Laguna de Apoyo its most unique place in whole of Nicaragua...Even beaches Boquete are only 1 hour away..or if you like to go for a few days to the caribean corn Islands you are near the airport

new haven
posts: 136
reviews: 5
2. Re: Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

Thank you for all the great suggestions. I would love to be able to go the less traveled route, but am worried about finding decent places to stay. With a young child, we would need hot water and preferably A/C in the warmer areas. Any recommendations for places to stay in these areas? Thanks!

Granada, Nicaragua
posts: 1,764
reviews: 38
3. Re: Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

Hola Miadroy.

there are so many nice places in Nicaragua to visit, beautiful colonial cities as Leon or Granada, cloud Forrest as Matagalpa or Ometepe and nice beaches either close to San Juan del Sur or also Close to Leon.

Now the differences between cities is that Leon is a bit more warmer and humid that Granada of course has nice volcanoes but not for 6 years old kids all of the volcanoes in Leon area are active, rocky, sandy no trees around and the trail are rough that mean you have to carry your kid up and down, about the beaches in Leon they are nice spots with not tourist sometimes but limit it restaurants and Hotels. Granada is more touristic than Leon but for a good reason and that is why there are more things to do with a 6 year old kids as well as more hotels and restaurant, now between Ometepe and Matagalpa i will say either one or the other are fantastic spots to go for nice walks and spoting wildlife but there is a little difference Matagalpa is over 3000 feet above see level so the temperature is always perfect and Ometepe is about 400 feet above see level so it does not get that chill as Matagalpa but is a nice a magical spot in Nicaragua.

Enjoy Nicaragua



Anchorage, AK
posts: 39
reviews: 35
4. Re: Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

We are headed to Nica this fall with our 9 and 5 year old boys. We're initially staying with Mike at El Porton Verde, then heading to Rio San Juan, then to Ometepe (Finca Montania Sagrada), and finally down to SJDS (Empalme a La Playas). The boys are very excited.

We hear you about the ecolodges but there are lots of places with reviews from families that will be great. Just self-select for those family reviews in the locations that most interest you and then email those folks. You'll find that a lot of them are happy to talk to you.

new haven
posts: 136
reviews: 5
5. Re: Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

Thanks for all your advice. I've done a lot more research and think we may stay in Masaya instead of Grenada and then head to SJDS. We're not city people, especially not in the heat. Is Ometepe worth a trip with a young child? I'm worried if we go there that we'll be really limited in what we can do. Our son is definitely not up for major hiking yet.

Lansing, Michigan
posts: 9
reviews: 12
6. Re: Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

We traveled with our 5, 7 and 12 year old children in Nicaragua for our first visit in March and our favorite place was Ometepe Island (4 nights) - we did visit several places including Granada, Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo and all were wonderful and worth a day or two (Laguna was beautiful with nice water though not perfect for our young swimmers) - we used Masaya as our base for exploring.

We had already enjoyed too short a visit to Ometepe Island where it was so peaceful and relaxing or you could do lots of adventures - we were spoiled by the lake breezes, Linda's beautiful beach guest house and she organized everything for us with garden herbs, fruits and vegetables ready for picking, yummy desserts, fresh lake fish, farm eggs, yogurt smoothies. tours, and taxis. Helpful, interesting friendly hostess.

The islanders were friendly and patient with our limited Spanish we all enjoyed a farm tour with Tony - visited his relatives and where we also saw the rock carvings, then over to the coffee coop. Linda organized an economical taxi from Santo Domingo and took some short hikes with Tony as our guide.

The guest house is very conveniently located so we could walk, bike, hop on a public bus, or hire a taxi for our excursions but we really enjoyed hanging out on the beach, at the comfy house and exploring the awesome gardens - friendly dogs to play with too.

The kayak trip in the river was easy even for our youngest and Linda arranged with Edgar to pick us up and it was really a marvelous adventure trip (we still do a bouncy jerky replication of our road trip since the road was very bad on the other side of the Maderas volcano). Which the kids reminded me of inspiring me to organize my photos and email my recommendations - better late than never!

We would like to recommend Edgar's kayak trip but it is not listed on this site!

Also there are some good places to eat nearby including Los Cocos, Hotel Santa CRuz and Por Venir Hotel.

I will try to see if these restaurants are listed to write recommendations.

Linda's guest house is a great option for families or groups or she has a lovely casita on the beach for 2 people - also Tony has a cabin on the lake in Balgue which can sleep 3 people.

The houses are right on the beach so no steps which is important for children and older adults.

There is no web site so email Lindaometepe@yahoo.com

We loved just relaxing in the hammocks, strolling the beach looking for shells, interesting seeds which are used to make jewelry locally, or even some pottery shards, we could have our coffee or a drink and watch the kids playing on the beach, enjoyed a couple evening swims with amazing sunsets, fireflies, and star filled skies. The lake water was warm and shallow near Linda's, and clean and so was the beach, she had beach chairs & hammocks for us and ordered fresh bread and take-in meals when we wanted also we were able to try a variety of unique tropical fruits and refreshing juices and had cold cold beer waiting for us upon arrival.

Luckily she sent us informative emails helping us thru the various transportation details so it was pretty easy to get to Ometepe Island.

We brought some donations for the neighbor children and teachers and it was rewarding to see the smiles and know they were much appreciated.

We left with a feeling of having been in a magical place - Ometepe Island is a very special place and worthy of visiting for several days since there is alot to do and you have to consider a travel day to arrive there.


Linda organized our departure taxi and gave us some time to stopover at the Punto Jesus Maria which offered another amazing easy "adventure" for our youngest children to enjoy - it is a cool feeling to stand on a long narrow spit of land surrounded by lake and with great views of the volcanoes!

Also try to visit the park in Altagracia = all of us enjoyed the quaint little town, park and old church with the statues, iguanas and bats lurking around.

As a family we found Nicaragua an economical vacation which offered us plenty of options to fill our days.

new haven
posts: 136
reviews: 5
7. Re: Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

So, it's sounding like we should go to Ometepe! So far, I'm thinking of a few nights at Laguna De Apoyo and then to Ometepe, or are they too similar? We definitely do not want to do the 4 hr. ferry ride from Grenada. How far of a drive is it to the ferry that takes an hour to cross? Thanks!

Anchorage, AK
posts: 39
reviews: 35
8. Re: Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

San Jorge is under an hour to SJDS, an hour to Granada, and 2ish to Managua depending on all of the usual variables. From Masaya your probably looking at 75 to 90 minutes.

9. Re: Recommended itinerary with 6 yr old?

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