Nicaragua - General Info Needed

Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 06:10 PM
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Nicaragua - General Info Needed

I will be traveling to Nicaragua in May with a friend and have a few general questions as I start planning my trip. We will be flying into Liberia, CR, spending a couple of nights in Rincon de la Vieja, then will travel to Nica from there. We will have about 11 nights in Nica before we return to Liberia (spending our last 2 nights at Playa Hermosa, CR).

1) Can one take a bus from Liberia to Granada? (We'll be flying back from Granada to Liberia via Nature Air.) We'd like to avoid Managua entirely if possible.

2) We'd like to do 2-3 days in Granada and Ometepe each. What lodging would you recommend? (We would prefer to spend $40 per night or less for a double room, including breakfast.)

3) This leaves us 5 to 7 nights at other locations. What do you recommend? We are 2 middle-aged women who love nature and local culture. We will not be renting a car, instead using primarily public transportation. (We both speak Spanish.)

4) Is Matagalpa an area worth consideration? Is it difficult and/or time-consuming to get there from Granada?

5) Are hotel reservations necessary in May? We'd prefer to travel without reservations for the most part, giving us more flexibility to stay more (or less) time at a particular location.

I'm sure I'll have more questions as my planning progresses, but I'll leave it at this for now.

Terri
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 06:39 PM
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I'm not all that familiar with Nicaragua (yet!!!) but I loved Granada...

1) I think you have to go to Managua and then shuttle bus back to Granada - haven't seen anything on direct buses from CR to Granada.
2)check out the Gran Francia in Granada- it should be in your budget - super nice hotel... don't know Ometepe
3) maybe the Solentiname islands or up to Leon???
4) don't know
5) you should be okay... may want to book first night at least...

Cheers,
Andrew
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 05:28 AM
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We'd like to do 2-3 days in Granada and Ometepe each- That is too many days in each location. 2 days max in Granada and 1 in Ometepe is more than enough. Granada is a very small city and not much to do, unless you want to relax. It is going to be extremely hot in May..keep that in consideration.

using primarily public transportation.- never used public buses before, but there was a posting from someone mentioning that they did good with public transportation. do not forget that Nicaragua is very far behind Costa Rica, so do not expect same. May is extremely hot and public buses and taxis do not have a/c.

Is Matagalpa an area worth consideration? Besides the Selva Negra resort, there is nothing to do or see in Matagalpa. Would you be interested in coffee plantations.

Are hotel reservations necessary in May? Nicaragua does not have the influx of tourists Costa Rica has, so i do not foresee any problems with hotels. If your travel plans fall withing Semana Santa, you should make reservations.

How about San Juan del Sur, Leon




We are 2 middle-aged women who love nature - look at the follwong web site if you love nature.
www.haciendacosiguina.com.ni, if you decide to visit hacienda cosiguina, also very close is www.marinapuestadelsol.com

Should you need more info. , just ask
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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A friend and I went to Nicaragua in July 03 . . . had a fantastic time. We're budget travelers and only used public transportation. We loved Nicaragua . . . never felt unsafe, the people were wonderful, there were hardly any other gringos . . . you do need some Spanish, though.

I typed up my log, it's l-o-n-g and very detailed. I'd be happy to email it to you if you want. Email me at [email protected].

Buen viaje,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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TAGriffin: You posted a reply in Gecko's "Another long Costa Rica trip report". You mentioned you had Sergio Vega as your guide in Monteverde. Do you know how I can contact Sergio about being our guide in Monteverde in June 2005? Is this the same Sergio who Gecko had, with a Phd in Biology, who has worked as a guide for the BBC and national geographic?

I'd love to find him because my husband is a biologist too and would really enjoy having a guide like Sergio.

If you do find the info, can you post it on Gecko's trip report on Costa Rica section, "Another long Costa Rica trip report" ?

Good luck with your Nicaragua trip.

Gracias!
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 04:58 PM
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Thanks to all for your feedback. It is so appreciated!!

Andrew - thanks for the tip about the Gran Francia. We will definitely check it out.

Miguelcuadra - thanks for the advice about shortening our stay in Granada and on Ometepe. That leaves us more time to explore other areas. Because of time limitations, I debated about San Juan del Sur, but will add it back into my itinerary. Leon sounds very interesting as well. From what I've read, it appears to be the artistic center of Nicaragua. Would you agree with that assessment?

Sandy - I actually have a copy of your wonderful trip report, which you e-mailed to me a few months ago. It was reading your report that really sparked my desire to travel to Nicaragua!

Melissa - I do have Sergio's contact information and would be happy to post it as a reply to Gecko's trip report.

Terri
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 05:29 AM
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.. it appears to be the artistic center of Nicaragua.

I left Nicaragua when I was too young and there are few things am not sure about it.
It is a fact that the oldest university "Universidad Autonoma de Nicaragua" is in Leon. Once it was the most important city of Nicaragua. The ruins from the old city of Leon still there, it was destroyed by a volcano eruption.
The Gurdian museeum is worthed a visit, the cathedral a plus, and all the other churches around the city.
Buen viaje....

Sandy b, i wanted to read your report on NICA and e mailed you. seems like there is a problem with e mail address you posted or a filter returning e mails. would you mind e mailing to [email protected]
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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for the bus from Liberia www.ticabus.com 11 $ one way a/c and really ok. It will leave you in Granada, not first to Managua. http://www.granada.com.ni for info and place to stay in Granada, Casa Francia is nice, there are other nice ones too. If you have time stay 1 night at the Laguna de Apoyo, it's excellent if you like nature and approx 20 min from Granada, www.noromevillas.com. ask me more if u want..
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:37 AM
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I agree with Alejandra

The ticabis is your best bet. And the price she quited is correct.

I think that one day ..maximum two days is fine for Granada.....it is from here that you will take the boat ride to Ometepe.

Percy
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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Dear Teri,
You will fall in love with Nicaragua. I live here in Granada. (2 years now...8 in Costa Rica before this) You can catch either the TicaBus or TransNica to Granada. If you are planning on visiting Ometepe you should get off the bus in Rivas and visit there first. It's on the way to Granada and you don't need to backpeddle. (I lived on the island for 4 months) After your visit to Ometepe, catch the ferry back to Rivas (It's actually San Jorge) and then bus or cab up to Granada. You could spend a weekusing it as your home base here and never see the sights. The islands, the volcanoes, Catarina, Cayotepe, Masaya, Lagoona de Apoyo...... yada yada yada. You can also do day trips to Managua if you are so inclined. Email me with any questions.

Pura Nica, Bobby

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NicaraguaLiving/
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 06:35 PM
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Husband and adult daughter and I also thinking of Nicaragua (in July). Looking at Morgan's Rock hacienda and Ecolodge. Good site with a lot of listings and suggestions to be found on Frommers site Nicaragua.
Helen
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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See my posting of today about Nicaragua and Morgan's Rock. Both highly recommended! (You see it by clicking on my screen name here.)

Also, for anyone looking for budget accomodations in Granada, there appeared a number of attractive options on the main street that runs from the center of town to the lake, "hospedejas", some geared to specific nationalities (we saw an Italian one). Travel agencies for day trips, eco activities and such too on that same street. We stayed at La Casona de los Estrada, a small hotel in an old colonial home, just off the main square, more like US$80 for room with breakfast, but very nice place and good service.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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I would recommend staying at Casa San Francisco in Granada. They have a may Special 3 nights for $100 including a great breakfast. I have stayed there before and am returning in June. It is located across from the convent San Francisco, very close to the center of town but just a couple of blocks back from the park, so it's very quiet. The rooms are all beautiful and have tv ac etc. The owners Terry and Nancy, are socially concious and involved in local and international relief work. Lilly's ia a great bar and restaurant located in the hotel. You can't ask for more as far as I'm concerned.
www.csf-hotel-granada.com
www.casasanfrancisco.com
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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NicaBobby,
From your entry of 1/12/05, do I understand correctly that the TICA and Transnica buses en route from San Jose/CR to Managua stop at Rivas and Granada? Neither the Tica nor Transnica website shows stops between the capital cities, but we'd like to take the bus from San Jose and visit Ometepe and Granada, and avoid Managua.

Thanks for any info you might have.
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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Jaymus, both companies make "on-demand" stops in both places. You need to reserve your ticket that way, for a stop or pick-up in Granada or Rivas, and they'll stop for you.

If you wanted to, say, get off in Rivas to make your Ometepe trip, you'd be on your own for getting to Granada. Neither company would transport you from place to place within Nicaragua.
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