nicaragua or el salvador
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Sep 18, 2012 4:05 AM Last Post By: dollyd
Sep 10, 2012 6:55 AM
Sep 10, 2012 4:44 PM
Sep 10, 2012 6:57 PM
Sep 10, 2012 7:32 PM
4Nicaragua and El Salvador are both great. But if you want beaches, Nicaragua's are much better. You can stay in Granada or Leon (or both) and do day trips to volcanoes, lakes, etc... For beaches you can go to Peneloya, 12 miles from Leon, though the sea can be rough there, or San Juan del Sur, where you'll find lots of Americans.
Sep 10, 2012 8:20 PM
5thanks, all. i can get a much cheaper flight to Nicaragua, so this is looking good. i've started researching various hikes. anyone know a guide or someone who might be interested in putting together something? any thoughts on top hikes? (i'm happy hiking all day up steep stuff). and what are your thoughts about Caribbean side vs pacific for beaches?
Sep 10, 2012 11:01 PM
6Consider Matagalpa area, www.matagalpatours.com, or nativo tours (facebook), northward nicaragua. Better take a guide.....
Sep 11, 2012 6:51 AM
7Pacific side is much easier to get to, but Caribbean beaches are nicer. You'd probably have to fly there.
You can hike on Volcan Mombacho and a shorter hike on Volcan Masaya. At Mombacho you can get a guide at the entrance for a 3 hour hike.
For a guide, try this guy in Leon: http://www.juliotoursnicaragua.com.ni/index.php/tours
Sep 11, 2012 7:01 AM
8If you have access or order the MOON Guidebook for Nicaragua.
Keep in mind the beaches at Xmas time will be busy with tourist and locals alike.
There is a lot to explore and discover in Nica, depends how much time you have. Granada is pretty old spanish colonial city geared to tourist with cafes and hotels on all levels, peaceful streets to bicycle or stroll, though its very hot in the low lands of Nica, so Managua, Granada and Leon are HOT. Leon is the cultural hub of the country with the Uni there and the elite too, beaches less touristy and more local are nearby, compared to the very touristy San Juan Del Sur area which is popular with surfers, backpackers and party types. Best beaches are Corn Islands, best to fly there, from MGA.
Ometepe is a magical islands that is peaceful and has two volcanoes, you climb both, guide recommended. 4 nights there is paradise, but a week is great too, its really detached from the mainland, and its own majestic realm. The north as mentioned above I have yet to go but well worth your time. A lot of volcanoes in Nica to explore.
For most, a typical visit would be 2 days Leon, 2-3 days Granada, 3-5 days Ometepe, and a beach.
Sep 14, 2012 3:53 AM
9You will want to fly to the Corn Islands for your beach time. Stay on Big Corn. Little is just for back packers and Big is a real island. I too am older and I enjoy Big Corn. Great beaches, nice reef for snorkeling which you can swim to from shore, plenty of restaurants and it's basically safe. Walking on the road around the island is always good. Check out the Big Corn Island web site. It will give you all the info you need about both islands.
Sep 14, 2012 4:34 AM
Sep 15, 2012 5:53 PM
Sep 18, 2012 4:05 AM
12I always stay at The Sunrise Hotel on the south side. Safe location, long beach just a short walk away, several restaurants within walking distance, nice clean rooms and just across the street from Casa Canada and the sea. If you want to snorkel, ask a cab driver to take you to Penny's next to the old Anastasia's. She has gear and you can swim to the reef from the front of her house. Very reasonable .
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