Replies: 2 - Last Post: Feb 23, 2013 12:02 PM Last Post By: umsergio
Feb 22, 2013 11:46 PM
Trip reportOur family of four, 14 year old daughter and 12 year old son, had 12 days in Nicaragua. We spent one night in Managua, two nights on Little Corn, one night on Big Corn, three nights on Ometepe and four nights in Granada. Here is the day by day report on what we did. I apologize if it's a little long winded.
We woke up early the day after Christmas and headed to the airport for our 11:30 flight. We landed in Managua around 11:00 that night, went to the Camino Real hotel for a short night’s sleep.
We woke up early again and headed to the airport for our 6:15 flight to Big Corn Island. The little airport counter for La Costena was packed and very confusing. We got in the wrong line, and were the last people helped. We received our boarding passes and finally got on an airplane. After a stop in Blue Fields, we landed on Big Corn and grabbed a taxi to the dock for the panga ride to Little Corn. The sea was a bit rough and we were heading into the waves. The ride was fun, almost like a roller coaster at times. Finally made it to Little Corn and followed a guy to Casa Iguana. We got checked in, dropped off our luggage and headed to lunch at a nice place (can’t remember the name) with a good view of the beach. We spent the afternoon at the beach, in the room and hammock and at the Casa Iguana lodge. For dinner, we walked to a home that was serving meals, including run-down and freshly caught lobster.
We headed to Dolphin Dive for a couple of dives. The diving was good and the staff at Dolphin Dive was wonderful. We spent the afternoon hanging out at Casa Iguana and had dinner there. We really liked Little Corn Island, and plan to spend more than two nights there when we go back to Nicaragua.
We spent the morning hanging out at the lodge and beach and had another nice lunch before catching the panga back to Big Corn. This ride was a little easier, and we were met at the dock by Ike, our host for the day. Ike was a great host! We dropped our stuff off at Ike’s Place, got checked into our room and took a cab to the Arenas Beach hotel. The lunch was ok, but the beach was great and almost empty. It was hard to believe this was the busy season. We stayed here until sunset, took a cab back to Ike’s and walked to Morgan’s for a decent dinner.
Ike took us to the airport for our flight to Managua. After landing in Managua, we were picked up by a driver from Nica Adventures who drove us to San Jorge where we would catch the ferry to Ometepe. We usually don’t use a travel agency, but the logistics of getting around Nicaragua seemed tough for us to manage, so we hired Nica Adventures to do some of the organizing for us. They were a wonderful company, and we would definitely recommend their services. We had a decent lunch at Restaurante El Navegante and watched the activity on the beach while waiting for the ferry. The ferry was very crowded and the ride was interesting. We passed a ferry whose engines had died, so we attempted to tow them. With a rope, not a cable, that was tossed into the water from our ferry and a guy from the other ferry dove into the water to connect their rope to ours. We were able to turn them around and tow them for a bit until the rope snapped. Their engines were running again, so they headed to San Jorge and we continued on to Ometepe. We landed in Moyogalpa and were picked up by Hotel Villa Paraiso. It was a scenic ride to the hotel; we passed through various towns and saw a couple of festivals and a birthday party or two. We got checked into our room and headed to the beach until dark. We had a nice dinner at the hotel and called it a night.
The boys met up with Eric for a guided climb up Volcan Maderas. The girls met their guide for a horseback ride along the beach and to the springs at Ojo del Agua. The boys had breakfast at Finca Magdalena, at the base of Maderas. The hike was difficult, and very wet. It took about 8 hours up and down. The cloud forest was pretty, saw some monkeys, made the top of the volcano and hiked down to the crater lake. It was raining that day, and we fell lots of times. We took a lot of volcanic clay back to the hotel. We got cleaned up for the New Year’s Eve party, which included a live band, at the hotel. There was a heavy rain storm that moved us inside for a little bit, we it cleared up and we went back outside to ring in the New Year.
Eric picked us all up and we headed to the San Ramon waterfalls. The drive was rough, although it was pretty scenic at times. We drove to a biological station where the hike began. Within an hour, we arrived at the falls. They were very pretty, and we took a refreshing dip in the pool, took some pictures and hiked back down to Eric’s truck. He drove us over to Ojo del Agua, where we relaxed in the spring-fed pool for a while, and then he dropped us off at the hotel. We messed around on the beach, had another nice dinner there and called it a night.
The hotel took us back to catch the ferry to San Jorge. This ferry ride was uneventful and we met our driver from Nica Adventures who took us to Volcan Mombacho. We did a zip-line tour here, observed some of the workers in the coffee fields and took a ride up to the top of the volcano. There are multiple craters, each with hiking trails. We elected for the easiest hiking trail and set out with our guide. He showed us the inside of the crater, walked through the lush vegetation, spotted some monkeys, put our hands in some steam vents, walked through and tunnel and stopped at a viewing point. From here, we had great views of Lago Nicaragua and Las Isletas, the city of Granada, Laguna de Apoyo and the steam rising from Volcan Masaya. After the hike, our driver took us to Granada where we checked in the Hotel Plaza Colon. It’s an awesome hotel; we hung out at the pool, grabbed a quick dinner from Lilly’s Café inside the hotel and ate dinner out on their porch, overlooking the central park. After dinner, we took a cab to the baseball stadium and saw a very entertaining game between Granada and Boer. Our cab driver returned at the end of the game, and took us back to the hotel.
We had a free day in Granada which we spent walking around the city, visiting some of the old buildings and touring some of the old churches. We enjoyed the views of Granada from the bell tower at the top of Iglesia de La Merced. We spent the afternoon relaxing at the pool, and then took a carriage ride with Gabriel to see some of the other sites in Granada. We had a good dinner that night at Pizzeria Don Luca.
We were picked up at the hotel and taken to Las Isletas for a kayak tour. The kayaking was nice, with some good views of Volcan Mombacho. We bought a couple things from a family living on one of the isletas and took a refreshing swim in the lake. We were dropped off at the hotel, and were soon picked up by another driver from Nica Adventures who took us to Laguna de Apoyo. We stopped and saw some families of monkeys and ended up at Norome resort. Here we had a nice lunch, with a great view of the deep lagoon. The lagoon is about 650 feet, and was created when the crater of the volcano collapsed on itself. The kids rented a water bike, and we took a short swim then headed back to Granada. We walked to El Zaguan, where we had a great dinner.
Our driver picked us up again this morning, along with Eddie, our guide for the day. Eddie was a great guide, and he told us a lot of information about each place we visited. Our first stop was in San Juan de Oriente, where we visited the house and shop of a family who made pottery. We got a lesson on how the pottery is made, from the collection of the dirt and other materials, through the finishing and painting. They let each of us take a turn on the pottery wheel. From there we went to Catarina and visited the local crafts market. We had a good lunch at Restaurante Carolina, which had great views of Laguna de Apoyo, Granada, Mombacho and Masaya. Our next stop was the malecon in Masaya, with more good of views of Lago Masaya and Volcan Masaya. From there we went to Volcan Masaya, saw the lava fields from prior eruptions, tried to view the crater through the rising steam and took a hike to the top of a crater which offered good views into the active crater. After that, we got some flashlights and hard hats for the cave tour. We went to the entrance of one cave and saw lots of bats heading out for the night. Then we went to another cave, where we walked in a few hundred feet, with many mores bats flying all around us. Our last stop was back at the crater where we caught a quick glimpse of lava. We couldn’t stay here very long, as the sulphur gas coming out of the crater was very tough to breathe. We drove back to Granada, and walked to the Roadhouse for a good dinner.
Sadly, it’s time to go home. Our driver picked us up after breakfast and drove us to Managua where we caught our flight and headed home.
All of our accommodations were great, Hotel Plaza Colon was amazing! In most places, the food was pretty average, but El Zaguan was by far the best meal we had on the trip. We loved Nicaragua, the people were very friendly and we encountered very few people begging for money. We are excited about going back to Nicaragua, spending more time on Little Corn and visiting Leon and some other areas in the northern part of the country.
Feb 23, 2013 6:33 AM
Feb 23, 2013 12:02 PM
(3 star Hotel)
From US$89.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$85.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$73.33 per night