Brief vacation in Northwestern Nicaragua? Advice needed!
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Feb 12, 2013 6:00 PM Last Post By: esperanzas
Jan 31, 2013 6:44 PM
Brief vacation in Northwestern Nicaragua? Advice needed!I am trying to work out a way to meet up with my 19 year old daughter for a short vacation in March. She will be on a community service project in El Canton, Honduras, about 2 hours east of Tegucigalpa. We will only have about 5 days, and from that area of Honduras, it seems like our best bet might be to spend time in Nicaragua, with me flying into Managua and meeting up in Leon.
1. Is this a reasonable idea? Leon is only about 4 hours away by car from El Canton, but I don't have any idea what the public transportation and border crossing situation might be.
2. Are there areas near there that would make a good, albeit brief, vacation? We are very outdoorsy, in good physical condition (great, in her case), and enjoy nature, beaches, hiking, and also village life. Not fancy accommodations but not totally scuzzy either.
Thanks so much for your help figuring this out!
Jan 31, 2013 10:54 PM
1You might want to think about meeting at Esteli, which is a few hours away from Leon, closer to Honduras. It's a smaller, sleepier town, but the main reason to go is Somoto Canyon, which is near there (and Esteli is nicer than Somoto the town). If you stay at Luna Hostel in Esteli, they can arrange the trip to the canyon for you.
I took public buses from Tegucigalpa to Esteli, going across the Dos Manos crossing, but i would NOT recommend it. There were, I think, 5 bus changes from one place to the other, plus the border crossing itself was stressful as hell. I'm not really sure what a better way of crossing is, though -- maybe a tourist shuttle?
Leon itself is a fun town. I stayed there for a few weeks. The main attractions there are the nightlife, volcano boarding down Cerro Negro, and the beach (which is not that great compared to San Juan Del Sur). BIgfoot tours can set up all your tours for your while you're there.
Feb 1, 2013 7:04 AM
3We loved Leon, nice town and lots of hikes in the area. Volcano Cerro Negro is fun, volcano Telica is amazing, there is also a trek you can do, the El Hoyo trek. We did like las Penitas (the beach close to Leon) but liked Jiquilillo even better (go from Leon to Chinandega and on to Jiquilillo). In 5 days I would probably do Cerro Negro (make sure to go into the crater) and Telica (not a hard climb) from Leon (and explore Leon a bit as well). Jiquilillo is probably too far for 5 days but las Penitas would be nice.
Feb 1, 2013 6:47 PM
4You can check out Quetzaltrekkers in Leon for guided hikes nearby. They have a calendar on their website so you can plan in advance. There is a lot to do and see in Leon. I also am a huge fan of Las Penitas, which is a short ride on the bus from Leon. You can kayak the estuary, and I'd recommend Casa Patricia to stay over. Enjoy your trip
Feb 12, 2013 6:00 PM
5I agree with post number 3! Jiquilillo is a place where you plan to stay for a couple of days and stay for weeks! Even if you are on a short holiday and are looking for a place to just be and not have to plan about where to go, this the place to visit. Empty beaches, very little tourists, and a place to unwind and relax in a hammock, take a dip, or enjoy a long walk on the 8km deserted beach.
From Leon you will need to take a bus to Chinandega (30min express bus ride) and then time your arrival to Chinandega to the Jiquilillo bus schedule: 7am, 10am, 1130am, 3pm, 430pm. buses leave at el mercadito and you will need to take a cab upon arriving to Chinandega. bus travel time from Chinandega to Jiquilillo is 1.5 hours or 45 minutes in a cab/private vehicle.
Not to be missed! Everyone should check this beach out!
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