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matt109 May 25th, 2005 11:07 AM

four days in nicaragua what to see
 
I am coming to costa for 15 days but would like to spend at least 4 to 5 days in nicaragua and need advice on what to see. I will be driving in from costa rica so tranportation is not an issue. I would like to go to know more then three places because of my limted time in the counrty so what two or three things would you recommended and where would stay.

Jeff_Costa_Rica May 26th, 2005 07:16 AM

If you have 4-5 days, I'd say focus on the south: Granada and San Juan del Sur. Granada has enough to keep you busy for 2-3 days, and a break on the beach at San Juan would complement that nicely.

You don't say what your budget is, but both places have a good selection of lodgings in all price ranges. And both have some great restaurants.

You can also do excursions to the market in Masaya, and the Masaya volcano, north of Granada. I like the Mombacho volcano just outside of Granada. It's inactive (unlike Masaya), but Mombacho's crater is a cloudforest and has some nice short hikes and a canopy tour.

When you say "driving in from Costa Rica," do you mean with a rental car? If that's the case, have you made arrangements with the rental-car company to change vehicles at the border?

matt109 May 26th, 2005 10:09 AM

Jeff thank for the reply and the wonderful advice. I have not made arrangements with the rental-car company because i did not know that you had to. I have no idea on how to do that and was wondering could you tell me what you have to do and who is the best or easiest to deal with. My price range is between 80 and 100 dollars a day. I might be traveling with my two sister in laws so any help on hotels would be very kind of you. Thanks again for the information on the car situation Matt

Jeff_Costa_Rica May 26th, 2005 06:52 PM

Costa Rican rental vehicles are not allowed to leave the country. (It's all tied up in Costa Rican insurance and tax issues.) I believe it's Alamo, but you'd need to check with them, that has a deal where you can drive to the border and a Nicaraguan Alamo rep will meet you with a car on the other side. But this adds a very hefty surcharge onto the price. And maybe other companies do this too. But it will come at a price.

If you're keeping to southern Nicaragua, it's easy to get around on public transportation if you want to forget about the car. And if you don't want to takes buses, you can find taxis waiting on the other side of the border to take you to Rivas, the first city of any size inside Nicaragua. From there, it's a very quick jaunt to San Juan del Sur (I've paid $5 for that taxi ride.) Granada is about 45 minutes away. (I seem to remember paying $25 for that taxi ride.) Split among three passengers, it wouldn't be too bad.

Let me look at my hotel list and post some suggestions on Friday.

Jeff_Costa_Rica May 27th, 2005 08:09 AM

Hotels - Country code is 505 - prices are for double room

In Granada - all in city center

Alhambra - the old standby, faces Central Park, rooms around $50, 552-4486, www.hotelalhambrani.com

Casa San Francisco - opened 2004 in old colonial-style house, rooms $40-$55, 552-8235, www.csf-hotel-granada.com

Hospedaje Italiano - owned by friendly Italian couple, rooms $35, 552-7047, [email protected]

In San Juan del Sur - all in town

Casablanca - on beach road, very nice rooms $50, 568-2135, www.sanjuandelsur.org.ni/casablanca

Gran Oceano - a couple of blocks inland, but that's no big deal, rooms $44-50, 568-2219, www.hotelgranoceano.com.ni

dariow Jul 8th, 2005 02:45 PM

I did a similar trip. I was in CR 3 weeks and spent 4 days in Nicaragua.

I flew from Lieria to Granada and did the following:
1) Tour of Granada
2) Tour of local islands
3) Full day hiking in Ometepe
4) Tour of Masaya and volcano

I enjoyed it very much.

Percy Jul 8th, 2005 03:00 PM

Boy Jeff_Costa_Rica, gave you some good advice.

Also at the border you will have to fill out papers upon papers and you should be able to speak a little Spanish or you could get "lost in the shuffle."

Jeff is right you cannot take a rented vehicle across the border.

There are full day tours from Liberia going to Nicargua and with a tour guide you can really see a lot.

However if you want to stay 4days there, then like Jeff said use Granada as your home base....and
do tours from there.

Also dariow's method of flying there from Liberia is also a good one.

Percy






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