We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

suggestions on itinerary for two week see it all?

Which Big Corn Island hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
3 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
suggestions on itinerary for two week see it all?

Hi there,

Me and my boyfriend just booked our flights for a two week exploration of the beautiful Nicaragua. This will be our first visit to the country, and second to this area of the world (we traveled Costa Rica last year, we are from Canada).

We are interested in real culture, history, beautiful swimming beaches and local style restaurant/ bars. We try to avoid over touristy areas unless they are a must see, short stay.

We are considering 3 -4 areas in which we can base ourselves and do day trips or just hang out relax and enjoy (it is supposed to be a vacation right? No need to travel non stop). My ideas so far are Big Corn, Isla De Ometepe, somewhere north of sanjuan del sur (maybe outskirts) and perhaps Las Penitas so we can see Leon and get the beach.

Trying to stick to a $50/night (accommodation) budget, but would love to spend less and would be willing to spend more.

If any of you reading this have any suggestions on a route and how much time to spend where I'd love to hear about it. Also would love sudgestions on where to stay and how to get from one place to another. We would love to rent a car but from what I've been reading it may not be worth our time and money to get around.

Level Contributor
354 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: suggestions on itinerary for two week see it all?

Hi Bailey

I think its a really good idea to stay on 3 or 4 places.

Ometepe is nice if you do not hike the vulcanos (which is a very long and tire climb (7 to 9 hours) i would not stay more than 3 nights. There are cold springs to see, you can do some kayaking in a stream and will maybe see some birds there is a hike to a waterfall and petroglphs...note the lake is polluted and i would not swim there. Depends of the wind it looks sometimes cliean but it is not at all.

Penitas is a nice village with a beautiful beach but there are some undercurrents and as almost all beaches on the pacific side they are good for surfers but not for swimming. from there you could easy explore Leon and Juan Venado Reserve its a mangrove swamp and you may see turtles, birds and crocodiles also there are many Vulcanos around. I think 3 to 55 days would be fine debending of you interests...Leon has much more musuems to see and also the city itsielf has more to see than Granada and it is much less touristy.

Small or Big Corn Island are nice i believe the nicest beach is on big corn and it is less touristy than little corn island. Both are nice islands but nothiing spechial if you have been in the caribe before... if yo go there i think 4 days is fine and its really good for swmming the waves are not as high than on the pacific coast.

As you mentioned you like colture you really should go to Masaya is the culture capital of Nicaragu. The city itself is o.k i would stay in the Laguna de Aopyo the most unique place of Nicaragua and best for swimming in the cleanest water of cental america. you can do there also diving, birdwatching, hiking, sailing, kayak etc. and make some excusrion to see culture and real nica life like in the white villages, Verbena Folclore Show every thuerday in Masaya or you can visit National Park Vulcan Masaya which is a active vulcano.

Other options would be the area of Matagalpa/Jinotega especially for Cloud forest and Coffee Plantaions.

Esteli for Tobacco and Somoto Canyon.

Rio San Juan for Jungle..

Does no matter what you select its a very beautiful contry.



Managua, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
1,061 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: suggestions on itinerary for two week see it all?

Im a little confused because your post covers both ends. You mentioned you would like to see it all, but then that you only want to pick a couple places so you dont have to keep traveling. Then you mention you dont like touristy areas and want to stay away from tourists, but then say you are thinking of staying in/near some of the most touristy parts of nicaragua.

Unfortunately, i think youll have to pick one or the other. In 2 weeks it will be very difficult to see it all, even if you traveled to a different place every day. (which is possible and easy. buses are cheap and plentiful. You can hop on one in the morning, take it an hour away to another town, and explore that town for the day, repeat the next day, etc. In my opinion, renting a car is not worth it)

Also, the most popular places in the country are the most touristy. for a reason, because they have stuff to offer. Ometepe is the only place that, while moderately touristy, id still recommend just because its a great place. But if you want to stay away from tourists and tourist prices, etc. then stay totally clear of san juan del sur. There are plenty of other places on the pacific coast similar without having to get near there. It is gorgeous though....there is a reason its the 2nd most popular tourist destination in nicaragua.

My personal recommendations would be to spend a few days up north in the mountains. Esteli is the most popular, but other options could be Somoto, Ocotal, Matagalpa, Jinotega. You can take day trips out to some great places and see the mountain area. Maybe spend a few days in the SE part, San Carlos, Rio San Juan, Solentiname Islands. See the isolated jungle and river experience. Spend a few days in the tourist triangle if youd like. Maybe San Marcos, Catarina, or anywhere on the highway between Managua and Granada. You are within an hour or two of most of the major tourist attractions if thats your thing. Spend a few days on the pacific ocean. Maybe the Tola area, Popoyo, Playa Gigante, etc. Or farther north to the Corinto area.

Those areas should give you a basic idea of the country, or as much as most people see at least.

Look for hostels / Hospedajes. If you are staying clear of the tourist areas, you can find them for 5-10 bucks a night per person for a bed, or around 20 a night for a private room. Unless you are in Granada/SJDS, etc. 50 dollars better get you a legit nice hotel.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
61 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: suggestions on itinerary for two week see it all?

Finca Mystica Ometepe, really beautiful, really cheap, good food, you can hike, walk to kayaking place, walk to lake. Their taxi driver organized a special tour for us to check out a few places on our way to the wharf

4. Re: suggestions on itinerary for two week see it all?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 20 February 2015, 08:16
Get answers to your questions about Big Corn Island