Over the past year I have heard so much about Nicaragua, and now I know why – it’s a country with a lot to offer. The diversity of the surroundings means you can spend a few weeks exploring and see so many different scenes. In no particular order here is a quick round up of my must see/do while in Nicaragua ..
1. Visit the Treehouse – located near Granada, this place is made up of a bit of a relaxation, a bit of party and a lot of good times. You can sleep in the dorm or opt for a hammock and every night there is something going on at the bar. There’s no wifi, so it’s the perfect place to connect with some new people and simply take in the surroundings – I mean how often would you get to say you spent the night in a treehouse! Keep in mind it’s only open Wednesday through to Sunday so shuffle your days to make sure you can get here for at least a night, you won’t regret it!
2. Try the local cuisine – plantain chips, nica cheese and gallo pinto are everywhere, grab a bite and see how you go.
3. Spend the day at Laguna de Apoyo – one of my favourite days in Nicaragua was spent at this beautiful lagoon. You can do a day trip from your hostel in Granada or stay right on the water (I would recommend Paradiso Hostel.) Crystal clear refreshing water, free kayaks and paddle boards and fruit smoothies to die for – you can’t go wrong.
4. Brave Cerro Negro – whatever you do, don’t miss Volcano Boarding! About an hour from Leon you’ll reach a volcano in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be passed your bag with protective clothing and a wonky looking board and you’re on your way. After a short hike (about 45 minutes) you’ll reach the peak .. and there’s only one way down!
5. Stay at Casa De Olas (San Juan Del Sur) – when you’re travelling it’s hard to find somewhere with the perfect mix of party, but somewhere that also feels like home – Casa De Olas is everything you need mushed up into one awesome hostel! Owners Fred and Carla know what it takes to run the perfect hostel – delicious family style meals each night, huge pool with amazing views, clean dorms, friendly staff, free shuttles to town, the wheel of bad fortune and did I mention there’s a pet monkey?
6. Enjoy a sunset cocktail at Magnific Rock – I honestly could not picture a better place to enjoy the sunset, cocktail in hand, with the most ridiculous views over Popoyo, surrounded by surfers and sun lovers! If you can’t get enough you can also stay on-site, they have accommodation which ranges from dorm style to spacious apartments.
7. Get the perfect photo at Leon Cathedral – buy a ticket to the top and get ready to be amazed! Everything is white, it’s almost blinding and you no longer feel like you’re in Central America. Leon feels like it’s the hottest place on earth so try to head up in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat!
8. Catch a Chicken Bus – no, there’s no chickens! Before I travelled to Central America one of my ‘safety rules’ was no chicken buses, yet here I was squashed up between some sweaty locals paying only $1 for a 3 hour trip. They’re cheap as chips and will get you where you need to go, just keep an eye on your bag and you’ll be fine.
9. Sunday Funday Pool Crawl – San Juan Del Sur’s biggest day of the week. As I’m writing this blog, it’s been over a week since I did Sunday Funday and I’m still not sure if I have recovered! This is a day dedicated to drinking more than you probably should, dancing until your feet hurt and talking shit to plenty of people you won’t remember the next day .. but you’ll love every minute.