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8-9 Nights...What to do?

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8-9 Nights...What to do?

Looking to travel for 8-9 nights at the end of July with my girlfriend. We're 25 years old and looking to take a last minute vacation. Was planning on heading to Costa Rica but we've already been there a few times. We love Costa Rica because we feel comfortable renting a car and just seeing where we end up each night.

We're looking to go somewhere we can explore and visit 2-3 cities/towns, doesn't have to be my car just easy to get around. Wondering if anyone has any ideas for 8-9 night trips?

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1. Re: 8-9 Nights...What to do?

Leon, Granada and Ometepe. These places will do it for you and your girlfriend, plenty of activities to do in the area and also gives you the opportunity to relax, good gastronomical experiences and much more. rodolfo.nicaragua@hotmail.com if you need tips on planning your time

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2. Re: 8-9 Nights...What to do?

I would suggest to go to Leon and not Granada. Leon is the only authentic colonial City (Granada is completly overrated) from Leon you could visit some of the Vulcanos nearby and i would also go just 1/2 hour north to Las Penitas Beach...Is beautiful and you can explore by fishing boat Nature Reserve Isla Juan Venado where you can see turtles, crocodiles and a lot of birds. (would stay at least 3 days)

Than i would stay at Laguna de Apoyo for about 3 days. The Laguna is located between Granada and Masaya. Its the most unique place in Nicaragua a huge crater Lake filled with the deep blue water and with tropical dry vegetation where you can see monkey birds and many other wildlife...From there it easy to explore National Park Vulcan Masaya, Handycraft Market Masaya and if you there on a thuersday you could visit the Verbena a folklore show with music and locan dances, The white villages are very interesting to see the laguna from a bird eyes view and to see where the make the best furniture (Masatepe) Ceramic (Sand Jual del Oriente) etc...There you will see real Nica living. You also could visit Granada or the Isletas which are only 1/2 hour away. I would suggest to stay also at least 3 days..

Finallly i would go th Ometepe to explore this beautiful island with his two vulcanos...

I dont know your age if you are young and like to make party you should go to San Juan del Sur...I personally hate it as i am to old for parties and this villages has absolutly nothing authentic with Nicaragua....Its 200% touristy...I have traveld 5 months all over in Nicaraga and its the only place where i will not go back...I live now in Nicaragua...



Calgary, Alberta
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3. Re: 8-9 Nights...What to do?

I spent a month in Nica last year, and I'm only 26. I would recommend Leon for several days for an amazing colonial city plus volcano boarding, San Juan del Sur for a bit of surfing, fishing, and beaching it up plus a bit of partying, and then Ometepe for an authentic laid-back part of the trip, with volcanoes to hike, and natural pools and beaches to swim in, where everything is on "Island Time." Little Corn Island in the Caribbean was also fantastic, but you need a bit more time to get to/from there, but it's totally worth it if you can tack on a couple extra days (make sure to stay on the windy side of the island where it's much less hot). I've been to Costa Rica as well, and Nicaragua is still my favourite, as everyone is super friendly, and everything is much less touristy, not to mention way cheaper!

Managua, Nicaragua
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4. Re: 8-9 Nights...What to do?

Greetings JBangner:

Good comments here. My guests who have gone to both Leon and Granada have all preferred Leon. Kind of depends if you would feel better for maybe that first couple of days at least to be in a more gringo-friendly environment or not.

The other quick mention is that I don't think you would have problems driving around to the various places. Just know that taking your rental car to Ometepe sort of complicates things as you need to pay for the ferry to take it over and not all the roads are paved so if you don't have a 4WD vehicle especially in the rainy season it might be more trouble then it is worth to rent during that period.

Having a car in Leon is a good idea since you can hop in the car and be at the beach in about 20 minutes or go and do some local tours by yourselves or just hire a local guide on site. (Especially recommended if doing any volcano climbing!)

Likewise in San Juan del Sur having a vehicle, while not necessary, would be more convenient to getting to the local beaches that are either to the north or south of SJdS.

The only other thing to mention is that you should try to see the Volcano Masaya and the Artisan's Market before you go. I do that as a tour for guests who usually stay with me on their first night (especially for late arrivals) and last night (again, for early departures). Works out good to hit the market that last day so you don't have to carry around your goodies as you travel around Nicaragua.


Mike @ Farmstay El Portón Verde

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: 8-9 Nights...What to do?

What are you looking for in your trip? Another option is to head to Leon, hit some volcanoes and the beach then go Northeast up to Esteli then Ocotal. You'll head through Matagalpa on your way as well. This is coffee country and there are some plantations you can visit or stay at that offer some great experiences like horseback riding, some good food and just a relaxing atmosphere away from the city. This would be more the relaxing road trip type of itinerary but both Esteli and Ocotal are decent size places that offer a selection of restaurants and some night-life.

Laguna de Apoyo is another one of my favorites but it is in the wrong direction. If you decide to go up north that is.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. Bluefields on the Caribbean is only 45 minutes away from Managua by plane and Corn Island is about 90 minutes away. So it takes less time to get there than it takes to get to the Pacific Beaches. Once over on the Caribbean side it would be a boat tour rather than being able to rent a car and drive. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, I could recommend a few places to go.


Expedition Nicaragua

Edited: 9:33 pm, July 11, 2013
Granada, Nicaragua
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6. Re: 8-9 Nights...What to do?

If you spend one week in this spectacular country, I recommend going south of the capital. Granada, Ometepe and San Juan Del Sur.

Day 1: Visit to the colonial city of Granada including a boat ride on the little Islands of Granada at Lake Nicaragua.

Day 2: Day trip to the city of Masaya, visiting the first national park of Nicaragua Masaya Volcano, Masaya art craft market, Catarina view point, San Juan de Oriente pottery town and canopy tour at Mombacho volcano.

Day 3: Transfer to Ometepe Island. Lunch at Moyogalpa and later walking tour in charco Verde. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon in your hotel.

Day 4: Full day trip on the island visiting Finca Magdalena, Finca El Porvenir, Playa santo domingo la piedra inculta trail, Altagracia y el ojo de agua. Or hike one of the two volcanoes Maderas volcano or Concepcion volcano. Or hike at San Ramon Waterfall.

Day 5 and 6: Transfer to San Juan Del Sur and enjoy of the beach.

Day 7: Transfer back to Managua airport.

Enjoy Nicaragua.



Great Butte...
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7. Re: 8-9 Nights...What to do?

Definitely recommend Ometepe Island - the ferry is not that expensive between $20-25 depending on the ferry - I checked because I want to return next year with a car.

Most of the island is paved but I want to drive around the remote parts of both volcanoes.

We stayed right on the beach at Linda Guest House - unique clean and comfortable plus great service and help even prior to arriving = she can probably make your ferry reservations!

To enjoy and have time to explore the island - stay at least 3 nights though that wasn't enough time for us so we will return next year! The islanders are friendly and helpful and we had lots of delicious local food too.

8. Re: 8-9 Nights...What to do?

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