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Nicaragua for 8 days in March - Where to Go / What to Do?

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Cambridge, MA
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Nicaragua for 8 days in March - Where to Go / What to Do?

Hi All, I'll be in Nicaragua for 8 days in March and am trying to plan an itinerary - would love suggestions.

Right now, thinking of going straight to Granada after 1:15p.m. flight arrival in Managua. What's the best way to get from MGA to Granada? I've heard about Paxeos... anything better/cheaper?

We're most interested in spending time at some nice beaches, hiking, swimming, and relaxing. Where should we go, and what are some good places to stay? We're very open to hostels and other cheaper places, but prefer them to be clean, safe and reasonably quiet.

Many, many thanks!!


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1. Re: Nicaragua for 8 days in March - Where to Go / What to Do?

Paxeos are reliable.

If you like hiking then you can trek to the top of Mombacho Volcano it has a beautiful cloud forest at the top.


You can easily do a tour there from Granada.

Go on a day trip to Masaya, see an active volcano, shop at the market for hammocks and handbags, buy pottery in the nearby town of San Juan de Oriente and enjoy the beautiful view of Laguna de Apoyo from Catarina.

Again easily done from Granada:


Nice beaches are around San Juan del Sur- Majagual, La Flor, Playa Gigante and the surf beach of Maderas.

Masachapa is about 1 hour from Managua, local fishing beach with a few cheap places to eat/stay.

Near Leon in the north is Las Penitas, Playa Roca is a good cheap hostel on the beach there.

Beach photos below:


Footprint & Moon are good guides.


Cambridge, MA
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2. Re: Nicaragua for 8 days in March - Where to Go / What to Do?

Great, thanks! This is really useful.

A few more quick questions: is Laguna de Apoyo nice, i.e., can you swim in it?

Where do you think the nicest beaches are? North, near Leon, or the San Juan del Sur area? Or somewhere else?

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3. Re: Nicaragua for 8 days in March - Where to Go / What to Do?

Laguna de Apoyo is lovely and yes it's clean enough to swim in:


I like Gigante, La Flor, Las Penitas

You should also look at a couple of nights in Ometepe as the beach at Santo Domingo is nice.


Cambridge, MA
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4. Re: Nicaragua for 8 days in March - Where to Go / What to Do?

Thanks so much, these all look great. We're so excited to go!

I just posted a draft itinerary on Lonely Planet, pasted here -- what do you think?

I'm visiting Nicaragua for 10 days in March w/ my boyfriend and am having trouble developing an itinerary. I have a Moon travel book, and have been looking at thenicaraguablog.com which have both been extremely useful.

We're interested in doing light-moderate hiking (would be interested in a possible overnight camping), nice beaches w/ clear water for swimming, and small cities. This is a budget trip, so hostels and moderate priced hotels are ideal.

I'd love to make it the Corn Islands, but don't have the cash to dish out more for the flight over, and am hesitant to get in a tiny plane anyway. What are some good alternatives for nice beaches w/ good swimming (i.e., not strong currents)?

Also trying to figure out a good balance between taking public transportation and using a guide / trekking service.

Here's what I have so far:


1:15 p.m. arrive in Managua, take Paxeos (or something else, if you have a better suggestion) to Granada

Spend the afternoon staying in the city, DAY TWO take a day trip out to _____ (fill in blank), stay in Granada.

Q: Is it worth it to spend night three at Laguna de Apoyo, or is this something that can be done from Granada?


Ometepe. (Too much time here? Suggestions for lodging?)


Travel to Leon


Stay in Leon, day trip to ______ (fill in blank)


Travel to Esteli (I've heard good things about this??) Lodging??





Would like to lodge somewhere ________ (fill in blank) a reasonable distance to Managua - somewhere we'd like to stay and spend the morning.


Travel back to Managua for 2:25 p.m. flight. Use Paxeos again??

Granada, Nicaragua
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5. Re: Nicaragua for 8 days in March - Where to Go / What to Do?

Hi, Granada was my favorite place to swim and relax. We rented an electric boat at NicarAgua Dulce which is located in Puerto Asese, Marina Cocibolca. We drove it ourselves and we stopped on an island ihabited by a fisherman family who sold us a coconut that we drunk. Delicious! Then we arrived at the company's private island from where we swam in the lake which is the nicest and biggest swimming pool ever! birds flying over your head, turtles on the rocks and volcan Mombacho in front of us, such a wonderful place to swim and rest! great snaps and films to make!

Perth, Australia
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6. Re: Nicaragua for 8 days in March - Where to Go / What to Do?

you might find this useful for planning your trip


paxeos are very efficient

7. Re: Nicaragua for 8 days in March - Where to Go / What to Do?

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