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Nicaragua planning help

Old Feb 9th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Nicaragua planning help

We are traveling to Nicaragua in March with two adult children. We will be there only 8 days. Our plan is to spend three nights in Granada ( day times Kayaking Las isletas, canapy tour to Mombacho and an excursions to Leguna de Apoyo and Masaya markets and night times exploring the city of Granada). There are four of us and we are not planning on renting a car. What is the best form of transportation? How long does it take to get from Granada to each of these activities?
The next two nights we want to go to Ometepe. Would we be better off spending the night before in Rivas to get the early ferry rather than Granada? What appealed to me the most on Ometepe was kayaking from Merida to Rio Istian. I assume Merida is where you would stay to do this trip? However I'm wondering if given our time restraints and the difficulty of travel on the island whether this is too far to go. Would we be better off skipping that and going to Reserva Charco Verde instead? If we hired a taxi to take us to Merida instead of the bus, how long would this take and how expensive is that? The last three days we are relaxing on the beach at Las Penitas.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Phyllis
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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Just came back from a trip to Nicargua that included 6 days in Granada, so I can help you with those questions.

Laguna de Apoyo is about a 25 minute drive from Granada - beautiful setting and great water to swim in. For the most part, you pick one of the small hotels to spend time at - for a minimal daily fee, you get to use their facilities - nothing fancy but a dock, lounge chairs, maybe some water toys. Cab fare is $10 each way.

Mombacho - you can take a tour, which for about $40 per person includes transport - about an hour each way - easy hike at top of volcano, and canopy tour, or for about $30 per person for canopy tour only.

Kayaking - only about a 10 minute drive from center of town...a package includes transport and kayaking. Not sure of price, since we did not kayak, but just took a motorboat ride around the isletas.

One restaurant I would recommend is Jimmy Three Fingers, about a five minute walk from the main plaza.

Masaya market is about 45 minutes from Granada...can be reached by taxi or tour (which are really almost the same). Tour normally includes Masaya market, Masaya volcano, and scenic overlook at Santa Catarina.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 06:32 AM
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I would love to hear more about your trip to Nicaragua. We are thinking about traveling to Nica for several days to a week, following langauge school in Costa Rica in August.

Were you happy with the hotels you stayed in? Do you have any recommendations? I am interested in Granada, Ometempe and especially Laguna de Apoyo. Did you happen to see Noreme? (I think that is how it is spelled) If you did do you think this would be a good place to spend 2 nights? Or would you just recommend a day trip for swimming. (We will be traveling w. our 12 yr old son)

Thanks in advance for any information.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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Hello again

In Granada we stayed in Casa San Francisco, and were happy with it. Good value - about $60 per room per night, good service, and good location - about 3 blocks from main plaza. Also had a very nice pool (ask to use pool in annex).

Laguna Apoyo is great for day trip. Other than the small hotels (did not see Norome - got good reviews in books but bad mouthed in Granada because of eco-"unfriendliness") there is very little to do at Laguna. If you want quiet, with little around except the lake, it would be fine. For me a few hours there was sufficient.

Did not go to Ometepe - suppose to be very nice, but need time to get there and back.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Thank you for the reply. I've read mixed things about Norome. The eco unfriendliness is a real turn off. I think that we will knock it off our list and probably just do a day trip. The Casa San Fransico looks nice. A pool is a definite plus!
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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Howard,
Your response was very helpful. I just made a reservation at Casa San Francisco. Beyond that, I'm assuming I can make arrangements for activites once we are down there. Thanks
Phyllis
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 01:25 PM
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peckstein, Where did you stay at Las Penitas? Thanks.
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Old Dec 7th, 2008, 02:16 PM
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We went to Nicaragua for 10 days in August. We had a fabulous time. we travel frequently and we think it was probably one of the best trips in years. If you are based in Granada everything is really close. We spent a day at Norome. It was a nice day, but I would not be interested in staying there. We stayed at the Plaza Colon which overlooked the park. We liked the action and watching everything from our balcony. I would also consider the Dario.
We used Rodolfo Orotega, who helped us with transportation and took some day tours with him. He absolutely made the trip fabulous for us. We did not do Ometepe but instead chose to spend 3 days at pelican Eyes in San Juan del sur. I suggest that you go now, they need the tourism, and it is pristine. Yu will love the country and the people.
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 04:51 PM
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Ferries leave from Granada to Ometepe Monday and Thursday!
I think you're stretching it a little by spending 3 nights in Las Penitas, the journey from Granada to Las Penitas will take at least 4 hours and then another 4 hours back!!
A day out of 8 lost travelling!
Ometepe is a must see IMO!
I agree with the poster about Jimmy 3 Fingers, great food!
Laguna de Apoyo is worth an overnight just to see the sunset, food at Narome is famously bad!!
Try Crater's Edge.
You could go easily from Granada to San Juan del Sur, Pelican Eyes is lovely.
A 2 floor casita there has 2 beds in each of the 2 bedrooms.
Nearby beaches like Playa Gigante, La Flor and Majaqual are some of the best in the country!
Try Jose at [email protected] for transfers.

http://www.thenicaraguablog.com
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