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“Nicaragua is a great trip”

Plus Papagayo Tours and Transfers
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Attraction details
Owner description: Plus Papagayo Tours and Transfers was founded with the goal of providing all tour packages in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Central America, we specialize in tour guides to Nicaragua we are pioneers in this colonial tour to Nicaragua.
Reviewed 20 July 2014

My family and I booked a trip to Nicaragua through another tour company who contracts with Plus to take large groups into Nicaragua. While the trip is very long and starts early in the morning, it is completely worth your time.

We were able to walk right up to the crater of an active volcano, ride a boat and look at beautiful homes and monkeys on Lake Nicaragua, shop in the Masaya market and walk around the beautiful colonial town of Granada.

Our guide was Eric, who was top notch. Eric grew up in Nicaragua and knew so much history of the country and was very passionate about his homeland. All through the trip he explained different things about where we were and the history behind the areas.

I was amazed at how different Nicaragua was from Costa Rica. First, surprisingly the roads were much smoother and better in Nicaragua than Costa Rica. Things in Nicaragua are much cheaper and much less developed.

The scenery of the country was absolutely beautiful and the old colonial towns were something to behold.

My 9 year old especially liked walking to the crater of the Masaya Volcano and the fact that he got 4 new stamps in his passport on the trip.

We talked to several people in our resort who did the Nicaragua trip, but we were the only ones who got a special gift from our tour company. Right before you cross the border Plus tours presents you with a personalized gift. I thought this was an extra special touch and something I'll remember and cherish from my trip into Nicaragua.

2  Thank Hogsraz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 July 2014

I went on a Nicaragua excursion through this company with my best friend. Our trip was great. Our tour guide Hector was very friendly, personable and knowledgeable. Nicaragua is a beautiful country. Our trip included a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, lunch in Nicaragua, an active volcano, an inactive volcano, a river boat ride where we saw monkeys, souvenir shopping in a local flea market, an option cigar factory tour and sight seeing in Grenada. We didn't get to spend a whole lot of time at any one location, but that's what you get when you try to get when you try to fit so much in in one trip. So no complaints there! There are two complaints that I have. There was a couple times we had pit stops where all the passengers were sitting around waiting for the driver & tour guide so we could get on our way. These pits stops were nice, but the amount of time spent there was not necessary. The other thing is toilet paper! There was a couple places we stopped that didn't provide toilet paper and the roll that the tour guide brought was almost empty and not enough for 6 or 7 females! Very important...If you go on this tour...BRING A FULL ROLL OF TOILET PAPER!!!

1  Thank Hishoelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Nicaragua is a fascinating contrast to Costa Rica, a socialist republic much less developed from a tourism infrastructure standpoint, and much less expensive. Be prepared, this is a very long and tiring day, but well worth your time if you like to get off the beaten path. The volcanic scenery is beautiful, the markets and food good, and the colonial cities historic. Do not take children who ask "are we there yet", nor family members who will complain of a few flies at the restaurant and stray dogs. The border crossing is a bit wild and wooly and was very efficiently handled by our guide. I felt very safe the whole time, much more so than on visits to rural Mexico.

I was very impressed with this tour company when a medical emergency forced a change of plans at a most inconvenient hour. I booked directly with Sergio who handled everything with utmost professionalism. These guys work long hours, put you first, and are deserving of your business. If you want a cultural experience, an adventure beyond another zipline, and a different perspective of life in Central America, just do it.

1  Thank AnotherOpinion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2014

We did the day trip to Nicaragua and are so glad we did this. We woke up extremely early and were picked up in our hotel lobby at 5:45am, then we picked up other passengers. We were taken to a local restaurant that was on the way towards Liberia. We were served a breakfast and the loaded on to buses. This was the longest part of the trip, it took hours to get through this process and to get to the border. Once at the border it took another 30 minutes to get through. Very important tip: bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer!!!!! It took another hour and a half to get to our first stop which was the Masaya volcano. This was a great spot, the bus drove us all the way up and we got to spend about 15 minutes looking around and taking pictures. Then we headed to the market in Masaya where we had lunch, which was excellent and there was live music. Beware of all the kids who present you with "gifts" but then want money. We did not have enough time to shop after lunch, only 45 minutes but the market is huge and I don't like to be rushed through. We got back on the bus and drove to Granada which is a beautiful city but again we only had 45 minutes to explore which was not nearly enough time!!!! We wanted to ride a horse carriage but not enough time. They should give 2 hours to spend in this city. We the. Drive to Nicaragua Lake and got on boats for a tour of the homes on the islands on lake. We stopped to seethe monkeys on their own Protected island and this was fun. After the lake tour we got back on the buses and headed back to Costa Rica. When it was all said and done we got back to our hotel around 8:45pm. It was a long day of sitting, just wish we had more time in each location but it was still worth it. Our guide was David and he was very nice and knowledgeable.

Thank blkjakbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

Incongruently, this day trip to Nicaragua was the highlite of my Costa Rica trip. Costa Rica was beautiful but Nicaragua was not what I had expected and our guide David was fabulous.
When I was growing up, Nicaragua was on the news a lot with the Contra War that waged through the country in the 1980s and the Ollie North affair, which left one with a negative impressive. Nicaragua is still one of the poorest countries in the Americas therefore you can’t let your guard down, but David showed us another side of Nicaragua, the beautiful scenery, a warm and unassuming people and a vibrant culture.

I had booked this tour from Sergio from Alex on the Beach/Costa RicanCosta Rica Amazing Tours at the Riu Guanacaste in Sardinal. I actually booked all my excursions with this company and found them great to deal with. Costa Rica Amazing Tours in turn sub-contracts this tour to Pluss Papagallo. I had requested an extra stop for this excursion and Sergio made all the arrangements with Pluss Papagallo and it worked out perfect.

We were picked up early at our hotel, I believe it was around 5 in the morning so be prepared for a long day and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You will be on the bus a lot. After we went around to the other hotels to pick up the others we stopped for breakfast in Costa Rica which was included in the price and then we headed off to Nicaragua which was a couple of hours drive.

David made the border crossing painless and took care of all the details. The border taxes were included in the price of the tour. When going in to Nicaragua from Costa Rica, there is Costa Rican Customs and Nicaraguan Customs and you need to show your passport at both. There is a bathroom and I believe a snack bar and locals have set up almost a small market. It is quite a booming place. It took about an hour to process the bus through customs.

We covered a lot in one day. Passing into Nicaragua the first thing I noticed was a huge wind farm along the highway. Our guide David told us some interesting facts as we headed towards our first stop. One was that the Chinese are looking to build a canal in Nicaragua to rival the Panama Canal so they can have a cheaper transportation source for their wares. Also Nicaragua is open for business and there are many perks when purchasing real-estate in Nicaragua. He was a good ambassador for his country.

One of our first stops was the Apoyo Volcano that is now a lagoon. It was breathtaking and a good opportunity for photos. There was a little market here and the sales people were not pushy like in the larger metropolitan areas. There were washroom facilities, just remember you needed change to purchase toilet paper.

Our next stop was the Masaya Volcano and this was impressive. It was still smoking and apparently has been that way for decades. All vehicles have to back in to the parking spots just in case it erupts. There is a cross on top of the hill but it is ill advised to walk up there as the snakes love to rest in the lava and rocks. David told us that this volcano was the historic site of sacrifices. None of us were in danger. LOL.

After the two volcano stops we headed towards the city of Granada which is named for the ancient city of the same name in Spain. As we entered the city we made pit stop at a World Vision School to drop off donations for actually an inner city school. Its teacher , Maria had made arrangements to meet us there. They were very appreciative and the children seemed very curious at this group of visitors.

David kept us moving along as we hadn’t even explored Granada. We stopped at the market in the city where we had an excellent Nicaraguan meal and were entertained by a family band. There was the grandfather, the father, the son and the daughter who was dressed in a Nicaraguan costume and danced, while the male members of her family played the music. It was enchanting. Unfortunately my camera died at this point, so remember to always have an extra charged battery.

The market had a variety of different merchandise to buy, everything from souvenirs to beautiful handmade clothes and sandals. I picked up a pair of leather handmade sandals for $20. At the entrance to the market are young boys that will help you shop and translate. Apparently their services are free, but I tipped the young man that helped me.

After the market, we did a quick walking tour of the city and visited La Merced Church, which was originally built in the 1500’s and rebuilt after a fire. It is located close to the park. The fire was deliberately set by a lunatic in the 1800’s that destroyed not only the church but a large part of the old city.

A little gem I happened upon on our walk was a beautiful little hotel that you wouldn’t have know was there if the door wasn’t opened. I only ran in for a moment as I didn’t want to lose my group, and the young woman at the front desk gave me a quick tour. The courtyard gorgeous with a largish fountain and there was a pool right off the courtyard. The name of the hotel was Casa Consulado and if I ever find myself back in Granada, I will definitely give it a try.

After catching up with my group we did a boat tour of Lake Nicaragua also known as Lake Cocibolca. It is the largest fresh water lake in Central America. It was a nice relaxing tour, showcasing some of the pricey real-estate on over the 30 islands on the lake as well as an island populated by monkeys. We almost capsized the boat when everyone went to one side to see the piranhas. We were almost fish food!

We had packed a lot into one day and it was time to head back to Costa Rica. Again at the border David gathered all our passports and arranged everything so we were through in record time. When I travel to a new country I usually always book a tour with a guide and this one exceeded my expectations.

I can’t say enough about our guide, David, he was passionate about his country, entertaining and patient and while we thought it was a long day they do this seven days a week, so we always make sure we leave a tip for the guide and the driver. Our tour ended at 9 at nite and David was scheduled for another one at 5 the next morning and he still had to get home. As a delightful end to the day David presented us all with maracas with our name and Nicaragua painted on. I am not sure when he arranged this but what a wonderful keepsake.

If you like exploring places off the beaten path this is the tour for you. Remember it is a long and exhausting day but one I will always have fond memories of. Nicaragua was never a country on my bucket list but after this tour it actually made me consider coming back to Nicaragua in the future for a longer duration!

Thank LeeAnneCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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