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Best route - time wise ?

South Haven...
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Best route - time wise ?

I'm hoping someone can help me with our route (itinerary) as I want to make the best of our time, without a lot of back tracking and such. Please help!

We arrive in Managua at 2:00 pm on Saturday the 16th.

Option #1

Saturday 16th

Arrive Managua at 2pm stay there overnight at Nicaragua Guesthouse before an early flight to Corn Islands

Sunday - Thursday - Corn Islands

Friday - Depart Corn Islands for Ometepe

Saturday -Los Ramos in Ometepe

Sunday - Monday - Paradiso Hotel in Catarina for the Laguan

Tuesday

Use as a free day to visit the Masaya Market and such before leaving out at 1am on Wednesday Morning.

My purpose of doing this the last day is so that we don't have to worry about carry around anything we buy from the market. However, if that's not really a big deal then I am ok with doing that at a different time in the trip. Anyone know the hours of the market?

Option #2

Arrive at 2pm in Managua and attempt to locate transportation to Los ramos on Ometepe

Sunday - Los ramos in Ometepe

Mon & Tues - Catarina for the Laguna

Wednesday - Mombacho Lodge Would this be to hard to get from the lodge to MGA for the morning flight out?

Thursday - Monday - Corn Islands

Tuesday - return from Corn Islands and visit the market and such for a time killer

Option #3

Sat - Arrive Managua and head to Ometepe

Sun - Ometepe

Mon - Depart Ometepe for Mombacho Lodge

Tuesday - Depart Mombacho Lodge for Corn islands

Tuesday - Sat - Corn Islands

Sun - Monday - Catarina

Tuesday - Free day to the market

I'm just trying to utilize all our time wisely. Please share your input as we have nothing set in stone at this time except out tickets to and from Nicaragua :)

Granada, Nicaragua
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1. Re: Best route - time wise ?

Option #1. if you take the first fly from CI to Managua you can make it to Ometepe if you take the one in the afternoon no way you can do it.

The market opens from 08:00 am in the morning till 05:00pm in the afternoon.

option #2: Last ferry in Ometepe is about 05 pm goes to San Jose and there is another one at 05:30 but id ferry III from Milton Arcia and i do not trust those ferry much

If you stay at Mombacho lodge is not that farther from Granada but take in consideration the flight that you will take to the corn island as the first one leaves about 06:15 that means you have to be earlier than 05: 00 am that means you have to Leave the lodge around 03:00am

South Haven...
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2. Re: Best route - time wise ?

Is it smart to head to Corn Islands right from Managua or would it be better to do the other areas first? I guess my question is....what order should I visit the areas?

Granada Nicaragua
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3. Re: Best route - time wise ?

You actually have a lot of otter permutations on you possible intieraries...

To me it seems you go to CI first or last so you can go directly from there to or from MGA, which saves you time.

Two considerations

1. You can easily get from Mombacho Lodge to MGA airport in 50 minutes...and they can arrange reliable transport...so you would leave at 4 for the 6:05 flight...get to airport at 5 or a bit before and be OK.

2. On a couple of your itineraries you stay in Catarina for the Laguna. You could see the Laguna on a day trip from the Lodge and also Masaya with no problem. I think a day at the Laguna is plenty.

I think a version of option #3 might be good.....but do Catarina/laguna before you go back to MGA and the Corn Islands..that way you come back from CI late and stay in MGA for the next day's flight which is not hassle, rather than coming back down to Catarina and then back to MGA in the AM. Means you carry stuff from Masaya market with you...no big deal, the best stuff is small.

CI is great...but not all that much to do and not typical Nicaragua...more like a nice Carribean island. Point is I would not give up Omatepe or Mombacho for time there.

South Haven...
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4. Re: Best route - time wise ?

Thank you..

I'm still trying to put our itinerary together ...I'm going to NEED a vacation from VACATION PLANNING..lol

After reading your post Amen9, you got me thinking that I should not limit myself to such a short period of time in Ometepe at the homestay. Making me think I should add a day there and take a day off something else.. Would you bother staying at Mombacho Lodge, or would you do another day in Ometepe?

My set in stone places are for sure Big and Little Corn Islands as one I LOVE the Caribbean and 2.. I LOVE to snorkel and fish. We know where we are staying on Big and just got word that LC has one of the cabanas open as well, just a different time - so I am going to do some juggling to fit them in (see below)

Then we for sure do not want to miss doing the homestay in Ometpe. I have spoke with both Puesta del Sol and Los Ramos and both are just what we are looking to do. I want to experience the real way of life of a Nicaraguan and you can't get more authentic then staying with them in their home and following them for the day. I know Puesta del Sol has a little community and a littler nice accomodations, but Los Ramos has some wonderful sounding tours and seems to be more of the community we are looking for. So point being... one of those places will NOT be missed... but I am thinking we should add another night or 2 elsewhere there as well.

So another option I have come up with follows:

Flight information

Arrive in Managua Saturday 16th morning at 11 am

Depart Managua Wednesday 27th morning at 1am

16- Saturday - Managua to Catarina for overnight stay at Paradiso Hotel (will just enjoy the Laguna for the afternoon/evening)

17- Sunday - Ometepe (Tour to Ojo de Agua, San Ramon & Charco Verde?) Finca Mystica maybe?

18- Monday - Ometepe (Puesta del Sol or Los Ramos) Homestay

19- Tuesday - Ometepe (Puesta del Sol or Los Ramos) Homestay

20- Wednesday - Mombacho Lodge

21- Thursday - Hospedaje Los Escapados (Sally Peach area for snorkeling)

22- Friday - Big Corn - Hospedaje Los Escapados

23- Saturday - Big Corn - Hospedaje Los Escapados

24- Sunday - Little Corn - Little Corn Beach and Bungalow ( Snorkeling & fishing) (The ONLY dates available for this location and the 24th and 25th, which is the reasoning of going to them after Big Corn)

25- Monday - Little Corn - Little Corn Beach and Bungalow

26- Tuesday - Come back from Corn Islands, transport down to the area of Masaya market and look for something else to do until needing to be at the airport at 10pm

27- Wednesday - Depart Managua for home at 1am

Yes / No?

Suggestions??

Granada Nicaragua
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5. Re: Best route - time wise ?

I think it sounds good....tight schedule in some places but you will see a broad cross section of Nicaragua. If I sometimes sound a bit less than positive on the Corns, it is not because they are not great...but i am not that a big water person...but for you they will be awesome.

I think your schedule with Mombacho Lodge in it for one night works for a couple of reasons in addition to the Volcano being a must see place and the lodge is truly one of a kind. You'll see a lot of "nature" in one day/night..they have a night tour where you will see animals not seen in the day, etc.

1. it is on the way from Ometepe to MGA.

2.if you add that day on Ometepe will be a real hump to get to the airport on the next day...and the hotel can get transport from the lodge to airport...it;'s about 50 minutes.

Honestly....I think you get what you will want to get from the couple of homestay days on Ometepe.

alex

South Haven...
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6. Re: Best route - time wise ?

Thank you for your response! I love hearing from people that are there or have experience with the area. It's very hard trying to plan a trip with not really knowing much of the area :) I now see why people use travel agents ...lol

Osoyoos, Canada
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7. Re: Best route - time wise ?

People on this forum are incredibly helpful. I've just put together an itinerary for a six week trip for next winter. (Turns out we could probably have used another week!) I have relied on the combined knowledge of several people from this website, whose info on where to visit, where to stay and what not to miss has been invaluable in putting together what I think will be a spectacular trip.

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Best route - time wise ?

please don't take this the wrong way but reading through all of your itineraries is exhausting me. I've been to all the places you are mentioning and have a good appreciation for the travel/transition. I personally would scale it back. Going to corn island burns up most of one day each way. Ometepe same so you are basically burning up 30% of your vacation in transit. Some value to seeing the countryside but I think you may return from your vacation exhausted. Sorry to be a buzz-kill:-)

Granada Nicaragua
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9. Re: Best route - time wise ?

No real disagreement with a lot of travel time.

But Corn Islands and Ometepe are on his must do list...and after all it is his vacation...so i think all suggestions have been to deal with that. Maybe he is not coming to "rest" but to see as much as he can. Some people like to do that. But in any case. I would heed the words....a lot of travel in this plan. And travel between places down here is not always fun.

.

South Haven...
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10. Re: Best route - time wise ?

Thank you for all your suggestions and while I understand there is a lot of travel time in this itinerary, hence one of the reasons why I was looking for the best route.

We are not much of just people to sit around and relax either as my husband always likes to be busy. So we are OK with always going and touring what we can in an area we have never been, in a short time frame and then using the Corn islands as our relaxing time :)