To end our trip on a high note, we kept the surf town for the last 3 days of our vacations. We left towards San Juan del Sur from Ometepe taking a taxi from the ferry terminal in San Jorge. The drive was about 45min and cost 20US$ total. One of the best part of our stay in San Juan del Sur (SJDS) was the hostel – we scored big with this one, and stayed at Buena Onda Backpackers in a private double room for 3 nights. The hostel is a few minutes walk out of town (so you can actually get a quiet night) with an amazing view of the bay and downtown area. It is the cleanest place we have seen so far in Nicaragua and although I wouldn’t recommend it for solo travelers looking to meet other people (only private rooms, feels more like an airbnb with other guests sharing the common areas), it was just exactly what we were looking for.
After two days chilling on the beach in Apoyo, we left for an adventure towards Ometepe. The island of Ometepe is located in the largest lake in Nicaragua, on the South-West of the country. The island is basically made of 2 volcanoes – Concepcion and Maderas. To get to the island, you need to take a ferry (50 Cordobas per person, about 1h30 of travel) from San Jorge port to Moyogalpa on Ometepe. We took a shuttle from our hostel to San Jorge, without booking our ferry ahead or really knowing which ferry we would get on. We had again a good karma, and we got on the next ferry about 20min later. We also got offer rentals for scooters, motorcycles and ATV while buying our tickets. We were offered an ATV for 80$US, all prepared and ready for us at the port on the other side. We decided to wait and try to deal better once on Ometepe.
After 4 days in Leon, we took a shuttle (12$US/person) towards Granada. Our next stop was the Lago de Apoyo – a lake filling the crater of one of the volcanoes. We had to get out of the shuttle on the side of the road where the highway between Masaya and Granada reaches the entrance towards Apoyo. From there, we dealt a taxi towards our hostel which was directly by the water. We stayed 2 nights in a dorm at the Hostel Paradiso. Although this is a hostel, there are a lot of private rooms and it felt almost like a little all-included resort… except nothing is included! The price was reasonable for a hostel dorm, and from there you can eat, drink, get a massage, hang out on the beach, swim in the lake, play beach volleyball, play board games at the beach restaurant, play pools, watch TV, kayak or rent a Stand up paddle board.
After our epic hike to Telica, we decided to use our last day in Leon to visit the city and enjoy the few city time we had left during our trip. We decided to go and visit the Catedral first. You can find on the back wall of the cathedral a small door on the left hand side – there you can buy tickets to visit the roof and the basement of the cathedral. You will have to pay 3$ per person for each. The roof visit doesn’t include a guide, but there are a few rules to follow when you arrive… such as do not walk on the domes as they could break, AND taking your shoes off. The roof was definitely a must – you can get a beautiful view of Leon as well of the volcanoes all around it.
It’s been a while since my last travel post. Life got busy with school, the new career start, an unexpected move across the country and probably other stuff I can’t quite get my head around right now. No matter what, I finally got a chance to book a 10 days trip to Central America, after almost a year and a half not leaving the country (!). My partner and I decided to take a well-deserved vacation down to Nicaragua for our Christmas vacations.
Considering the short amount of time we had, we decided to book in a few strategic areas depending on the activities we wanted to do. His request was simple : hike/see an active volcano, and go diving. Mine was simple : I wanted to finally get back into surfing after my last knee injury that took me away from most of my activities for the last year. So here I went and did what I do best – trip prepping fun!