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16 nights in Nicaragua!

New Hampshire
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41 posts
3 reviews
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16 nights in Nicaragua!

I would love a bit of advice from anyone that has been to Nicaragua. My husband, daughter, her boyfriend and I are planning a trip and thinking for spending just over 2 weeks there.

Our biggest problem is that we all have such different interests :-) One 'MUST' is Ometepe but everyting else is open at the moment.

We would all like to spend some time in a rain forest and see the Indo Maiz Reserve - we are thinking of El Castillo, Rio San Juan. My husband and our daughter's boyfriend would LOVE something like a zipline tour.

My daughter and I would love to spend some time around volcanos and hot springs (we have been hearing the 'hot' springs on Ometepe are fabulous, but not hot - we would love to try both! Maybe a mud one too??).

Beaches are always good - especially for people from Boston in the dead of winter! San Juan del Sur looks gorgeous, but we keep hearing about ones on the Caribbean coast with a bit of a reggae feel to them... The kids would enjoy that a lot!

Overall we are fairly fit so a bit of hiking or kayaking isn't a problem as long as it is not super strenuous. Ages are 18 - 48 in our little group.

We are hoping to keep it to 3 or 4 towns so we can spend a few nights in each. Places that we can easily get to with either a rental car or by hiring a driver of some sort.

When we travel we try to see the big highlights, but prefer to spend most of our time trying to fit in and learn about the country we are visiting. I have some rudimentary spanish - enough to help us wander around Spain for a couple of weeks with no major mishaps but far from good. We would rather not go too tourist-y, but it would be helpful if there were guides in the areas with some english to help us along.

Our rough itenerary is:

Arrive late - Managua

Ometepe

Ometepe

Ometepe

Ometepe

Ometepe

El Castillo, Rio San Juan

El Castillo, Rio San Juan

El Castillo, Rio San Juan

El Castillo, Rio San Juan

El Castillo, Rio San Juan

San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur

Managua

fly home

What else would you add or take away???

San Juan Del Sur
9 posts
1 review
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1. Re: 16 nights in Nicaragua!

Hola,

Cool that you guys are planning a trip to Nicaragua!

5 nights Ometepe seems very long. Most people do 2-3 nights. Check out Totoko Eco lodge. You could change those for Granada (1-2 nights) and maybe go to Granada straight from the airport (30min). Cool hotel are Con Corazon & Patio de Malinche.

In San Juan Del Sur there's a cool zip line. If you want to stay of the beaten path in San Juan Del Sur, than check out : www.buenavistasurfclub.com.

With a little bit of Spanish and 2 hands you'll get very far here and people are very friendly and helpful.

Hasta luego,

Marc

Seattle, Washington
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142 posts
27 reviews
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2. Re: 16 nights in Nicaragua!

I would shorten your stay in Ometepe and San Juan del Sur by a few days and stay in Granada. From Granada, you can do the zipline at Mombacho, Masaya Volcano, see other beaches. I highly recommend San Juan de Islas on Ometepe. It's got a beautiful beach and property. In Granada, Las Islitas Hotel or Patio Malinche are great. Have fun!

Los Angeles
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355 posts
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3. Re: 16 nights in Nicaragua!

You probably don't need to stay in El Castillo. I would highly recommend the nearby Sabalos Lodge for an awesome experience. (www.sabaloslodge.com/english/index.html)

From there, you can take a side trip to El Castillo and other places along the river. If you do opt for El Castillo, one night there should be plenty and note that the accommodations are very basic.

Look it up though and see if it fits your desires.

Beloit, Wisconsin
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27 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: 16 nights in Nicaragua!

I just returned from a trip to Nicaragua and Costa Rica with my son, his wife and their friend. Nicaragua is wonderful... I'd love to go back. We did two days in Granada, which was plenty for us. The boat tour around the islands was a little bit of a disappointment -- I expected more natural beauty and was surprised that most of the islands are simply showplaces for wealthy people's homes. The best part, though, was Monkey Island. Our tour guide was able to entice one of the tame monkeys onto the boat where we were able to feed her. We loved Ometepe - we spent three nights there at the Finca Santo Domingo, a lovely but not luxurious lodge on a great beach. There are several hotels along this strip that would make a great base for your daily activities. One of our favorites was horseback riding. We rode along the beach and through banana plantations to go swimming at the Ojo del Oro mineral springs. A wonderful day. There's only one hotel on the island that offers kayaking -- we missed it, sadly. The swimming is wonderful - LAke Nicaragua is quite warm. We enjoyed just hanging out on the beach and walking around. You'll see the lifestyle of the local people up close here.

We next took a bus to San Juan del Sur which is a typical touristy beach town with surfside restaurants playing a lot of bad '80s American pop music. I couldn't wait to get out of there, so we hired a taxi to take us to Playa Majagual a couple of beaches north. We stayed at Matilda's, a charming, rustic little surfer's hotel which we absolutely love. But the real star here is the beach itself. Absolutely stunning. If you'd like something a little more upscale and less surfer, check out the Buena Vista Surf Club -- it's on the same beach and looks gorgeous.

Nicaragua
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34 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: 16 nights in Nicaragua!

Hi there!

I think Ometepe is a Must, but i will definetly recommend you to only spend there 2 or 3 nights but not 4... San juan del sur is a Kool place with a great Nightlife but i would recommend you to also visit a wonderful beach that i particularly liked a lot and it is "Madera", my little group of friends and myself knew about a Beautiful Ocean View Villa in maderas beach only 15 minutes drive from san juan del sur and we loved to stay there, the villa is only U$80 a night and of course exceeded our expectations for the price we were paying, take a look to it and that will be my best advice rent that villa which is located in maderas beach only 15 minutes drive from san juan del sur and from there do Day trips to all of the sorrounded beaches.. Their link is: www.surfzoneresorts.com/swellviewvilla/

Also try while you are in Granada the "Night Lava Tour" at the masaya Volcano, there are several companies there that offers that wonderful tour for only about U$30 buck per person, Let me know if you need any more information about airport transfers, tours, etc.. I`ll be glad to assist you giving you advices of where to go and what to see....

6. Re: 16 nights in Nicaragua!

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