Perfectly Planned Days In Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is one of the most affordable and fascinating places in Central America. Its many landscapes, places and activities will require you to plan your vacation days carefully. Perfectly Planned Days in Nicaragua is a guide to help you get the most from your visit and outlines a 10-day itinerary. If you have fewer than 10 days you can have fun picking and choosing from the list.
THE COLONIAL CITY OF GRANADA (Days 1-4)
Granada, just 45 minutes from Managua airport I recommended as the main base for your stay. This Colonial city is said to be the oldest in the Americas and its architecture and friendly people will come to define your experience.
-- A horse carriage ride with knowledgeable drivers will get you acquainted with the history of the city ($25 per carriage).
-- Climb the bell tower of Iglesia La Merced to take in the view of red-tile rooftops, Mombacho and Lake Nicaragua.
-- Dinner at The Garden Cafe. Various cuisines, salads and fruit smoothies.
-- A rain-forest hike of Mombacho Volcano. Be taken to the summit by truck (leaving 08.00,10.00,13.00,14.30 from park entrance) and choose one of the the 3 different length trails ($25 per person + $17 for a personal guide). Alternatively, the Zipline Canopy Tour starts from closer to the park entrance ($35/person).
-- Dinner back in Granada at Miss Dell’s Kitchen (Wed.-Sun).Spectacular cuisines, especially the seafood.
-- Wonder through the colorful maze of Granada produce market opening at 7am.
-- A 20 minute drive to Laguna de Apoyo in the afternoon (a crater lake) for swimming and lunch at one of the private hotel/restaurant beaches ($6 entrance per person). Recommended are Monkey Hut, Paradiso and La Abuela.
-- In the evening take a tour to see the glowing lava at Masaya Volcano ($25 per person).
-- Dinner in Granada at Pita Pita wood oven pizza and mediterranean food.
-- Classic Tour organized by your hotel will take you with your driver to the small villages of Catarina and San Juan Oriente to see ceramic and woodwork crafts being made by hand.
-- Lunch with a view of the Laguna from Catarina and then head to Masaya Market, one of the biggest in Central America, you’ll find something for everyone there.
-- Dinner back in Granada at La Frontera (Wed.-Sun noon-9pm). Gourmet burgers and burritos with great music.
OMETEPE ISLAND (Days 5-6)
Located close to the center of Lake Nicaragua is the big island of Ometepe with its two peaks of volcanoes Concepción and Maderas. Get around and explore on rented scooters ($15-$20 USD per day with license) or cross with your rental car (reservation required both ways). A scenic brick road encircles the island.
-- Leave Granada in the morning headed for the port of San Jorge-- a one-hour scenic drive. Check the Ometepe ferry times.
-- Explore the island and have a home-grown lunch at Café Campestre.
-- Get settled at your hotel then head off to watch the sunset at Punta Jesus Maria.
-- Visit the organic coffee farm Finca Magdalena and hike volcano Maderas.
-- Lunch at Nectar Cafe.
-- A refreshing dip in the the waters of Ojo de Agua and more island exploration. Head back to the mainland by 3PM.
BEACH DAYS IN SAN JUAN DEL SUR (Days 7-8)
Recommended to stay at: Villa Loma del Socorro, Rancho Chilamate (horse riding), Treecasa Resort, Morgan's Rock.
On the south west coast San Juan del Sur is a beach town part of a chain of sandy playas extending both north and south. Popular with surfers and sun-lovers of all types.
-- Playa Hermosa with its ranchos, restaurants and surf lessons is to the south of SJDS. Playa Romanso is quieter with rock pools to explore.
-- Dinner at Black Monkey Irish Bar & Restaurant near playa Romanso.
-- See the big mumma turtles laying eggs or the release of tiny babies at Playa La Flore at night (Jul.- Jan. with peak viewing in Oct.)
-- Fishing friends give great praise to Dario's Surf and Sport who will take you out on the ocean for a half or full day trip.
-- Lunch in SJDS at WRAP n ROLL, noodle bowls and quesadillas.
-- Stroll the promenade and get yourself an Eskimo ice cream.
-- Dinner at King Curry will be a change from the typical Nicaraguan flavors.
LAS ISLETAS DE GRANADA (Days 9-10)
Recommended to stay at: Isleta El Recedo, Isleta El Espino, Jicaro Island.
Returning to Granada stay on one of the eco-resort islands scattered around the Asese Peninsula of Lake Nicaragua. This will be nothing like your days on Ometepe Island. Here you'll end your trip with something really extraordinary. Then when it's time to leave it’s just a 45 minute ride to the airport..
-- Arrive at your island by private boat arranged by your hosts. Relax in a hammock with a book or go kayaking or perhaps a dive in the pool. The island and its incredible views are all yours to enjoy.
-- The recommended lodges have menus and will prepare your meals.The islanders are friendly and will catch fresh fish for your dinner.
-- After another delicious Nicaraguan breakfast of eggs, gallo pinto and platanos take a tour around the islands by boat. Your guide will assist you to spot birds and wildlife.
-- Dinner will include pan-fried Guapote fish fresh from the lake.
If you have more than 10 days in Nicaragua a trip to the Corn Islands is recommended. Nicaragua has two seasons; high-season is hot & dry (Dec - Apr) and low-season is hot & wet (May - Nov). Sunshine is year round.
SUMMARY, YOUR 10-DAY ITINERARY:
Days 1-4: Colonial City of Granada (3-4 nights)
Days 5-6: Ometepe Island (1 night)
Days 7-8: Beaches of San Juan del Sur (2-3 nights)
Days 9-10: Las Isletas de Granada (2-3 nights)
See also: 20 Things To Do In Granada, Nicaragua
© 2019 Liam Supple
Miss Dell's Kitchen - Granada
Hotel La Polvora - Granada
Punta Jesus Maria - Ometepe Island
Villa Loma del Socorro - SJDS
Black Monkey Restaurant - SJDS
Isleta El Recedo - Isletas de Granada
Sopa Marisco - Isletas de Granada