My girlfriend and I are both in our twenties and are going to be in Nica next month.
We are arriving in Managua from the Corn Islands on the afternoon flight and then have 3 nights "spare" before we go to spend 6 nights near Playa Majagual where we are renting a house. Although I was a bit nervous of the prospect of hiring a car, it's been recomended to us by previous guests that we hire a 4X4 to check out some of the nearby beaches to really make the most of the stay so we are going to go for it for those 6 nights.
Initially for the 3 nights inbetween, we were just going to get a bus to Leon and spend the 3 nights there before going back to Managua to pick up our car rental.
However as the other parts of our trip are for relaxing on the beach we are keen to see as much as we can in the few nights we have and are both keen on visiting Somoto Canyon. So, my question is, can we incorporate Leon and Somoto Canyon into our plans, would it be worth the travel time and if so, does anyone have any advice on the best way to do it?
The options we have considered so far -
-Extend the Car rental to include this period to give us more freedom. The issue with this is we arrive on flight from the Corn Islands at around 5pm and I do not want my first exeperience driving in Nica to be at night!
This would mean staying overnight in Managua, then driving to Somoto Canyon the next day and staying overnight nearby before driving to Leon the following day to spend one night.
-Get a bus after we land to Esteli (and on to Somoto if possible) spend the following day at the Canyon. Leave for Leon late that afternoon (would this be cutting it too fine?) or early next morning.
-Skip the Canyon altogether and spend 3 nights in Leon.
Any advice would be great!