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One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

Florida
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One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

My husband and I will be arriving in Puerto Corinto Nicaragua in January on a Princess cruise headed to the Panama canal. What can we do in Puerto Corinto or in the surrounding area for one day? We are independent travelers who don't like to go on the cruise ship tours and like to see things on our own, provided the area is relatively safe. I lived in Central America (Honduras) for some time and I speak Spanish. Thanks for any suggestions and tips anyone can provide.

Nicaragua
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1. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

In my 3 year experience in the tourism business, i ahve seen that the peole that come in in that cruise ship go to the surrounding areas to do a day tour, the closest will be Leon. If further assistance is needed please reply to rodolfo.nicaragua@hotmail.com

Florida
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2. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

Thanks. Are the any beaches nearby? We really like the beach.

Florida
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3. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

Still looking for any info on the beaches at Corinto. Can anyone help? We don't want a tour to Leon or elsewhere. We just want to get off the ship and spend the day in Corinto. Thanks.

Managua
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4. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

Leon is quite a drive from the port!

There is an artificial beach there, but not really a swimming beach, though you can.

Corinto is actually an interesting town, lot of history there, great seafood restaurant on the 'artificial beach', one of my favorite in Nicaragua actually!!

The seafood in garlic is delicious!!!!

My friend Ivan owns Corinto Marina and has 3 beautiful boats, he can pick you up and take you to a nearby deserted beach, take you fishing, excellent in that area.

or give you a guided tour of the town, lunch, sit on the beach, he can arrange a cooler with beers/fruit juices etc and take you back to the ship.

contact my friend Max at oconnor.john7@gmail.com

Florida
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5. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

Thanks for your input, nicablog. We also appreciate your including the email address for the local fishing guide/boatman. Will check with my husband to see if he wants to go fishing.

There's so little out there on the internet on Corinto, but from what little I have found, it appears to be a nice traditional town and should be fun to explore and also to spend some time on the beach. Artifical beach, heh? Intriguing... I'm assuming there are no beach "amenities", like chairs to rent or public bathrooms. Do you know? If that's so, we'll just bring towels from the ship and sit on those.

Do you remember the name of the good seafood restaurant on the beach and about where it's located? I heaer Corinto is known for its shrimp fishing industry and will look forward to trying some of the local fare.

I found a map of the Corinto area on the Spanish language version of Wikipedia and it looks like we can walk from the ship dock through the Centro of town and to the beach in about 6 or 7 blocks. Do you know if that's correct? We are in our 60s and healthy, but we don't want to hike two miles between the ship and the beach. I do speak Spanish as I lived in Honduras for 13 years, so we can always ask if we get lost.

We really appreciate your help and any other advice you can give. Happy New Year!

Managua
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6. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

No need to walk Mishita, Max will pick you up and drop you back at the ship.

It's not a dangerous town at all, perfectly OK to wander round the town during the day, take photos etc and as I said it's an interesting town with a lot of history, the roads are good because the US marines built them when they 'invaded', 'liberated', 'supported democracy', take your pick:)

query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html…

But like any port when the ships come in there can be a few unsavory characters hanging around the port itself.

Better safe than sorry!!

I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but last time I was there I was there with Max, so he knows:)

Its actually right on the 'artificial beach', there are beach loungers for rent there as I recall, but Max will know for certain.

The shrimps are excellent, I thoroughly recommend them in garlic sauce!!!

If you request it I'm sure Max can arrange some towels.

If you go out fishing I'm sure if he's in town, Ivan will tag along as he tries never to miss a chance to go fishing, even though he doesn't do the tours himself of course.

He's a really charming and informed local who knows Corinto well.

Maybe, a tour round the town and then if your husband would like to go out for a few hours fishing, you lie on the beach, meet up at the restaurant/beach eat, drink the local rum- excellent- back to the ship.

Max is a friend of mine- it's a small country in some ways- and he'll look after you!

Managua
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7. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

BTW, Max is English speaking- born in Britain but lived everywhere, a real character!

He does the tours and the fishing!

It's artificial like say the beach at Key West, i.e: the sand has been put there.

It's quite pleasant though and you can watch the boats coming and going and of course if your at the restaurant, you get to use their restrooms!!

Find out on the ship, if you catch anything- very likely- can they cook it for you on the ship, i'm sure they will be able to!

Always tastes better when you've caught it yourself!!

Florida
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8. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your advice. Unfortunately, I didn't get some of it before we departed on our vacation. My husband and I just returned late last night from our Panama Canal cruise with a one day stop in Corinto, Nicaragua. I must say, we didn't find the nice - or even semi-nice - beach we were expecting, and we know Central America. I lived in Honduras for 13 years. So, I thought I'd try to write an honest evaluation of our experience for others because we found it so difficult to find much info on Puerto Corinto on Trip Advisor or anywhere on the Internet.

We arrived in Corinto on a weekday and were met at the ship by many pedicab drivers who wanted to take us on tours of the town. Having found a map of the town on the Spanish language version of Wikipedia, we decided to walk to the "beach" and explore the town while doing so. A 10 year old boy, Kelvin, latched onto us and acted as our guide. He was very cute and a delight to get to know. I speak Spanish so communicating wasn't a problem. Of course, we left him a tip when we got back to the ship.

The town is a typical poor Central American port town. Not picturesque in the way most North American and European travelers are looking for picturesque. We found it interesting, but I think most travelers would find it dirty and very poor and run down, and perhaps even a little scary. The walk to the beach was about 8 to 10 long blocks and there wasn't much to see on the way except the usual poor neighborhoods. Interesting but not where most want to spend their vacations.

The "beach" is a high open "dune" that seems to be made of some short of crushed lava rock or a material that my husband likened to recycled industrial waste -- dark and course and very un-beach-like. We have been to the Florida Keys and while they have artificial beaches, they are nothing like this. There was no one on the beach but us -- and we could see for a long distance up the beach -- The worst part was that it was littered from one end to the other with so much garbage and trash that we were stunned. There were no trees; there was no vegetation, and there was a high embankment one had to negotiate to get down to the water. It was like the craters of the moon with an adjacent ocean. We walked this very ugly "beach" for about 3 blocks, thinking we might find some sea glass, which we collect, and the most interesting thing we found among all the trash and garbage was a dead snake. Kelvin assured us there were some people at the beach on weekends but it was very dirty and bleak and we certainly would not have spread out a towel and relaxed in this atmosphere.

There was one restaurant that had a few tables and umbreallas, but it was enclosed in a high chain link fenced area about the size the a basketball court and was set in the middle of nothing. Again, this was not the kind of place we would choose to spend the day. We ended up walking back to the ship with Kelvin, past the area of the local fishermen, which was interesting to us but again not what most tourists would like to see. We are pampered on a beautiful ship with three swimming pools and very clean surroundings and, to most people, Puerto Corinto is such a contrast that it is a shock to the senses. Even having spent years living in a poor Honduran village, I found Corinto to be so much dirtier and the "beach" so dirty and unappealing that we didn't want to stay. We kept hoping that others on the ship had better experiences elsewhere in Nicaragua.

Later in the day, the town did have a small band set up in the park for the tourists but most opted to return to the ship. We talked to several people who took the ship's tours and most were disappointed and felt Nicaragua was our worst port stop. They said the ruins of Leon were a long drive and there really wasn't a great deal to see. A couple who took the tour to the "mud pots" felt it was a waste. They went on a hot day to see hot mud bubble out of the ground with smelly sulphur.

I love Central America and its people. I just hope that Nicaragua will find the advice and the means to begin to develop the port a bit more for tourism. Other ports greet debarking passengers with music and craft areas and this town had nothing. Kelvin told us very few ships come and its obvious why. Most of the feedback to Princess Cruises on this port was extremely negative. The arrival of cruise ships could be a great opportunity for Nicaragua to develop some tourism and to make some $ for a poor port town, but they have a long way to go. From the ship, we could see what appeared to be much nicer beaches on small adjacent, uninhabited islands. With a few enterprising boatmen, a couple of bathrooms, a snack stand, and a few umbrellas and chairs, these might provide a "destination" for cruisers.

If I were to give advice to someone else making the Corinto cruise stop, I would tell them to get a pedicab ride through the town then return to spend the day on the ship. An alternative would be to hire the man at the marina suggested above and to get him to take you to one of those out island or fishing. We really didn't have time on the day we stopped to mount a fishing expedition.

I wish I had a better experience to report but I don't.

New England
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9. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

I found your comments very interesting. My husband and I are taking the same cruise in the spring and your posting was very helpful! We were planning to do what you did, explore the town, but if there is no town to explore and shop then we will opt for one of the excursions....any feedback on the other ports would be most helpful as well.

British Columbia...
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10. Re: One Day in Puerto Corinto - What to do?

Thank you for the information on Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua. I was going to suggest to our group of nine that we spend the day on the beach, as I read on one website that they had one of the best beaches around.

Is it safe to to take a taxi to the city of Leon?

We will be there at the beginning of April 2009.