I will be in Nicaragua for 16 days in January. I am a solo female traveler that is looking to backpack around the country, experience local culture, meet new people, and explore the natural beauty of Nicaragua. I don't have set plans, as they usually end of changing anyways. I hope to visit the following places: Leon, Poneloya (or other coastal town), Esteli/Matagalpa, Ometepe, Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo. Here are the questions I have for those who live in Nicaragua or have traveled there:
1. Thoughts on visiting Esteli versus Matagalpa?
2. Is it easy to travel around Ometepe Island? I would like stay at El Zopilote in Santa Cruz. I am trying to decide if I should just stay there for a few days or travel around the island.
3. I am not planning to book any accommodation before hand because I like to keep things flexible. Is there anywhere that is difficult to find a hostel or place to stay last minute?
4. I am interested in volunteering some place while I am there (either at a school, community center, or farm). Unfortunately I cannot commit to anything long because of the amount of time I will be there. Any suggestion for how I could find volunteer opportunities, if any, for a duration of 1 day up to 4-5 days in length?
5. I want to do at least one volcano hike. I know there are multiple opportunities for this near Leon, Granada and Ometepe. If I am only going to do one volcano hike, is there one that is the best?
Those are all the questions I have for now. Thanks so much for helping a traveler out!