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7 days

Walnut Creek...
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25 posts
22 reviews
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7 days

My son and I are considering spending the week of Thanksgiving in Nicaragua. He has been to Managua and did not like it. I have spent a few weeks in Guatemala and he has spent time in Costa Rica. We are trying to decide between Nicaragua and El Salvador. I am leaning toward Nicaragua because of Granada, Isla de Ometepe, perhaps Esteli? Corn Islands? Is renting our own car the best option? I would love some input from people who have been to both countries or are especially well traveled in one of the two.

Houston
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155 posts
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1. Re: 7 days

Nicaragua is spectacular and seven days will just whet your appetite. Granada alone is worth 3 or more days because you'll want to visit Mombacho, which can chew up a whole day, the Masaya Volcano (especially in the afternoon), and definitely do a boat tour of the isletas (though that should be a half-day max, maybe combined with a horse carriage tour of colonial downtown Granada).

Ometepe: definitely worth the effort!

Corn Islands would require a short-hop flight out of Managua...a bit inconvenient, time and money intensive, and probably not worth it for just a day or two.

I might also suggest Matagalpa --- known for its cool highland coffee plantations, and if you wanted to do some beaches, some of the places around San Juan del Sur (though that alone would be a 1-week trip, IMHO.)

Have fun!

Mark

Houston
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155 posts
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2. Re: 7 days

BTW: Driving a car in Nicaragua is not particularly easy. The Pan American highway from Costa Rica to Managua is generally good, but the towns and cities can be a nightmare to navigate because of Nicaragua's infamous rejection of street signs, names, and numbers. Then too, a lot of the backroads are little more than pot-hole filled dirt trails. As always, strewn branches and big stones thrown in a lane are your indication that it's under construction and of course, livestock grazing at the sides of the highway are not always tied. If you do decide to drive, get good maps, get excellent directions, maybe a GPS sysetm, and definitely a plastic Jesus for the dashboard --- you'll need all the help you can get.

Have fun!

Mark

Walnut Creek...
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25 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: 7 days

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your input....you certainly made me smile!

Is SJDS really worth it? So many folks on Trip Advisor had positive remarks. I tend toward adventure travel and the cultural experience. Sitting on a beach is not for me....although my son would probably like the night life. Have you done the "sailing trip"? Do you have any suggestions on hotels or B&B's in SJDS and Granada? Mid-range and up.

I appreciate your advice on Corn Island(s), I had a feeling it would be more time & money than we want to put out on our first trip.

How did you get from airport to town and town to town?

Do you go to Matagalpa to experience the cloud forest?

Thank you for writing with your suggestions.

Susan

Houston
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155 posts
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4. Re: 7 days

Well, if you're not really a beach bum or a surfer, then San Juan del Sur might not be the best use of your precious 7 days. It's a cool, fun, funky seaside place, and I like it a lot, but it *IS* a beach. (One of the nicest B&B options is SJDS is Frederica's --- upscale, clean, and on a quiet stretch of waterfront).

More to come....

M

nicaragua
7 posts
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5. Re: 7 days

MUCH better beaches in Nicaragua than SJDS IMO!!

Las Penitas 20 mins drive from Leon:

…typepad.com/beaches_in_north_nicaragu/las-.…

Further north Jiquilillo is lovely.

Playa Gigante near the Iguana Golf Club is a beauty. need a 4 wheel drive but worth the trip from Managua, stay at Santa Ana.

Granada and Ometepe are a must.

I love Salva Negra, take a sweater.

Have a day out on a boat maybe see turtles, whales, dolphins

http://www.nicacharters.com

In between Managua and Granada is the artisan town of Masaya, get hammocks, artwork etc at the market there.

I like Estelli but it is a maybe a bit to much for 1 week.

6. Re: 7 days

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