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El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

Portsmouth, Virginia
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276 posts
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El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

We are planning to visit Nicaragua in July, no hard schedule, thinking 6-9 days, will be coming via Costa Rica at Los Chiles boating the Rio Frio to San Carlos. We would like to visit El Castillo, and then go on to either Managua or Granada. Is San Carlos worthy of a couple of days, same with El Castillo? We are more the selfguided types in terms of hiking around the local area or taking a taxi or bus versus organized tours. My friend is bi-lingual so language won't be an obstacle. After seeing the sights there we'd like to move on to either Managua or Granada. Should we take the bus to Managua or the ferry to Granada. Granada and the surrounding areas seem a bit more attractive, but would appreciate some input from those who've been before.

Advice on planning the details would be greatly appreciated.

Anchorage, AK
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1. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

We're planning on visiting the same area this November/December. I think you'd struggle to do a couple of days just in San Carlos itself unless you were going to sign up with the hotel that does fishing packages. However, you could easier spend a number of days on the Rio San Juan including El Castillo. We're going to fly from Managua to San Carlos. The Ferry takes 12-15 hours to get back to Granada but it's cheap. So, is the bus but that's 8-9 hours to Managua. A car can do it in 4-6 but that's going to cost you $150. A one-way plane ticket is only $58 per person.

Hope it helps

Portsmouth, Virginia
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2. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

Thanks for your reply. After review it looks like we'll spend one night in San Carlos, unless we can get there early enough to catch a boat to El Castillo, in which case we will spend the first night in EC. After EC, we'll backtrack to SC for either the bus or plane to Managua for a day or two, then a few days each in both Granada and Ometepe.

Hudson, Iowa
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3. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

If you don't have a set plan, check out Sabalos also. We just got back from Hotel Sabalos and it was great. I would have to agree that I don't think San Carlos would warrant staying for too many days. Have a great time, being on the river is very interesting.

Ohio
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39 posts
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4. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

Just went to Nicaragua in Jan. Went to Granada for a week, then Río San Juan for 4 days. Stayed in Managua for one night as well. I thought managua was a total dump. Loved the rest of it, and even boated down the Río Frio too. Have fun!

Los Angeles
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355 posts
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5. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

I would agree with other postings that there's not much going on in San Carlos. I'm not sure whether this boat schedule is up to date but this is listed on Moon's site:

>Lanchas colectivas (to El Castillo $3.50, three hours or $1.50, five hours) depart San Carlos daily at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. (fast boat), noon, 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 4:15 p.m. (fast boat). The last fast boat makes part of the journey after dark, which is more dangerous. Returning, boats leave for San Carlos 5 a.m.–2 p.m., with two fast boats at 5:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.<

If it's within your budget another option would be to stay at Sabalos Lodge and they can arrange to pick you up and take you directly to the lodge, and help you to get to El Castillo for a day trip, which is really all you need. It's a beatiful place to stay. The Sabalos Hotel, as someone else mentioned, also makes for a nice stop and is a little less expensive but I don't know if they can arrange quick transportation. Sabalos is about 20-40 minutes before El Castillo heading east.

If you don't have to, don't stay in San Carlos. But if you do, decent hotel options are scarce and about the best you'll find is a 1 or 2 star, simple hotel.

Try not to miss the area though!

Ashland, Oregon
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2 reviews
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6. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

Where did you stay while at the Rio San Juan?

Ashland, Oregon
3 posts
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7. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

Where did you purchase your 1 way ticket for $58?

terrace
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8. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

one way plane ticket from which airline, please :)?

Osoyoos, Canada
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9. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

This is an old post but the airline is La Costena.

10. Re: El Castillo, San Carlos, Granada Itinerary help please

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