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Ian and I escape to Nicaragua for two weeks to explore a country almost NO ONE visits. We discovered a land of impossibly friendly locals, beautiful scenery and unexpected adventures!
Welcome to Nicaragua!
Tick another country off my list of Central American destinations! Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, now Nicaragua. I'm working my way south. Ian and I are off on our first international trip together and I've planned the whole thing myself. It's time to put my skills as a trip planner for Adventure Life to the ultimate test. An unfamiliar …
We pick up the rental car bright and early and head straight for shopping. That's right - first day in Central America and I'm dragging Ian to a local market. I LOVE local markets - I could probably spend a lifetime wandering around them. Here we are in the famous Masaya market which lives up to its name, though I'm a little …
Isletas de Granada
Granada is known for its hundreds of tiny islands, called isletas, protruding into Lake Nicaragua. This body of water is the largest in Central America at 3,191 square miles and was the original proposed site for the Panama Canal. We take a boat through all of the little islands, finally arriving to one of the outlying ones. The owner of Hotel La …
Today, we're set for some serious hiking. We don't get as early a start as we'd like (hello hangover!) and we make it to the entrance to Mombacho Volcano at around 10 AM. It takes some finagling to figure out how we're getting to the top. We find out that the big trucks go up only once an hour or so. We're stuck waiting, which …
It's time to say goodbye to Granada and head for our next location - Ometepe Island. We run into our first case of bad luck at the ferry dock - they have no reservation or ticket for us. I show them our voucher that we pre-booked, but the look that the ferry attendant gives me oozes nonchalance. I tell a few untruths about who we are and why …
Hiking Maderas Volcano
It's been two days since we've seen a volcano, so guess what ... time for another volcano! Ian and I are suckers for mountains, so climbing volcanoes seems the thing to do. The hotel arranges for a guide to meet us bright and early as this climb will take 6-8 hours. We head out around 7 AM and walk through the lowlands near the lodge, …
San Juan del Sur
We say a sad goodbye to our new friends at La Omaja and set out on the ferry once again for the mainland. There isn't too much confusion about our tickets this time and we find ourselves driving in to San Juan del Sur in under an hour. SJDS is the surfing mecca of Central America and I can see why. Perfect, white sand beaches, funky little …
Off to Leon!
We have A LOT of driving to do today. Today will be our longest day. We are essentially going from the south end of the country to the north end, so we expect to spend around 8 hours in the car. It actually ends up taking only 6 or so hours, but we end up having a great adventure along the way. We end up taking the wrong road from Managua north to …
City of Rebels - Happy Birthday Ian!
Leon was the heart of the Nicaraguan revolution. It stands in stark contrast to Granada, the seat of the conservative ruling party of several generations past. Leon is non-touristy, where Granada is all Irish Pubs and mojitos, Leon is cuba libres and buckets of Victoria beer on ice. Leon is for locals. This is our day to be city people. This is …
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