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Location: Rivas

Day 1 - 13 May 2021

Rivas

Rivas, Rivas
Rivas, Rivas

Content: Your adventure in the wonderful country that is Nicaragua begins in the town of Rivas. Not much to do here, but it’s the gateway to your first destination. I crossed the border from Costa Rica, but if you’re flying into Nicaragua, you can also get the bus from Managua to Rivas.

Location: San Jorge

Day 1 - 13 May 2021

San Jorge

San Jorge, San Jorge

Content: Get a taxi from Rivas to San Jorge port. This takes about 5 minutes and don’t pay more than 30 cordobas per person. From here, take the ferry from San Jorge to Moyogalpa on Ometepe. A number of ferries run every day, with the last one around 6pm.

Location: Ometepe

Day 1 - 13 May 2021

Moyogalpa

Ometepe, Moyogalpa
Ometepe, Moyogalpa

Content: Ometepe is a laidback island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. It boasts 2 volcanoes and stunning nature. When you arrive in Moyogalpa, hop straight in a ferry and head to Balgue. A taxi should cost around 350 cordobas. Balgue is where most tourists go. It has the nicest restaurants and hotels.

Location: Balgüe

Day 1 - 13 May 2021

Hostel Lazy Crab

Balgüe, Hostel Lazy Crab

Content: We stayed in Lazy Crab Hostel, which I’d highly recommend! The hostel has a reggae-themed decor, amazing staff and so many places to relax. It’s also a short walk away from the lake. Facilities are really clean and there’s a well-stocked kitchen. We met a lot of other travellers here.

Café Campestre

Balgüe, Café Campestre
Balgüe, Café Campestre

Content: You’re probably a bit tired after all of the travelling, so it’s time to get some food. We ate at Cafe Campestre 4 times whilst on Ometepe. It is amazing! All of the ingredients are locally sourced or grown by the owner himself. You can tell how fresh the food is, it’s absolutely delicious.

Location: Ometepe

Day 2 - 14 May 2021

Ometepe

Ometepe, Ometepe
Ometepe, Ometepe

Content: Spend your first full day on Ometepe exploring it by moped. It’s one of the most popular activities to do whilst on the island, and the best way way to take in all of the stunning views. Moped rental should cost $15 and can be arranged by your hostel/hotel owners. If you’re not a confident rider then head towards Moyogalpa as the roads are paved this way. The roads on the other end of the island are slightly dodgy, so do be careful. Below I’ll outline some places to stop off at!

Location: El Madroñal

Day 2 - 14 May 2021

El Pital Ometepe - Chocolate Paradise

El Madroñal, El Pital Ometepe - Chocolate Paradise
El Madroñal, El Pital Ometepe - Chocolate Paradise
El Madroñal, El Pital Ometepe - Chocolate Paradise

Content: Grab a refreshing smoothie at El Pital, a cafe and hotel that focuses on sustainability and cacao. They grow their own cacao on site and even do tours in the afternoon, that’s definitely worth going to if you have time. Potentially the best view I’ve had with a smoothie? You can also grab some food here.

Location:

Day 2 - 14 May 2021

Mirador los Volcanes

, Mirador los Volcanes

Content: We just filled ourselves up on smoothies this day. Smoothies with great views, what more can you ask for?

Location: Mérida

Day 2 - 14 May 2021

playa mangos kayaks & restaurant

Mérida, playa mangos kayaks & restaurant
Mérida, playa mangos kayaks & restaurant

Content: Try and end your moped day at Playa Mangos. The bar there is really nice for a sunset snack or to grab dinner at. There you’ll be treated to an incredible view of Conception Volcano, with the sunset as the backdrop. The lake is also really nice to swim in, and what better time than at sunset.

Location: Ometepe

Day 3 - 15 May 2021

Maderas

Ometepe, Maderas
Ometepe, Maderas
Ometepe, Maderas
Ometepe, Maderas
Ometepe, Maderas

Content: Whilst you’re on Ometepe, you have to climb at least one of the volcanoes. I chose Maderas volcano as it’s the slightly easier one and I liked the fact that there’s a lake in the crater at the top. You’ll want to start early, I began at 7am to beat the heat and made it to the top in 3.5 hours. It’s a tough hike but it gets nice and cool at the top as you enter a cloud forest. The view at the top of the lush forest and crater lake makes all the hard work worth it. Bring lunch to give you some energy and eat it here. Going down was actually the hardest part and took me 2.5 hours. It’s quite slippery due to the wet climate at the top. I’d highly recommend getting a guide, even though you can do it independently. You feel a lot safer having someone, and it’s fun to practise your Spanish.

Location: Mérida

Day 4 - 16 May 2021

Hari's Horses

Mérida, Hari's Horses
Mérida, Hari's Horses
Mérida, Hari's Horses
Mérida, Hari's Horses
Mérida, Hari's Horses

Content: This was one of the best things I did in the whole of Nicaragua! I actually went back to Ometepe again to ride one more time. I booked a 2 hour ride and ended up doing 3 as we were having so much fun. We rode up the volcano to some amazing viewpoints and then galloped along the beach. I paid $25 for this. The horses are beautiful to ride and clearly looked after by Hari. You can see how much he adores his horses. If you want to go riding, you can drop Hari a WhatsApp +505 8383 8499.

Location: Granada

Day 4 - 16 May 2021

Granada

Granada, Granada
Granada, Granada

Content: After horse riding start the journey to Granada. Don’t worry it’s not too long. You’ll need to get the ferry back to the mainland and then a bus from Rivas to Granada. The people at the bus station are very helpful.

Hostal Oasis

Granada, Hostal Oasis

Content: I’ve stayed at both Hostel Oasis and De Boca en Boca Hostel. I preferred Oasis as it has a pool, better breakfast and a great happy hour.

Granada

Granada, Granada
Granada, Granada

Content: Spend the rest of the day wandering around Granada as it’s a colourful and lively colonial city. If you time it right, you can watch the sunset from the cathedral.

Tostometro| Restaurantes en Granada Nicaragua

Granada, Tostometro| Restaurantes en Granada Nicaragua
Granada, Tostometro| Restaurantes en Granada Nicaragua

Content: You have to go here for dinner. The food is incredible and the whole experience makes this place a 10/10. The main dish is plantain burgers with various meats and vegetables inside. The staff show you how all this is made, as well as giving you little freebie tasters along the way. It’s super affordable as well.

Location: Granada

Day 5 - 17 May 2021

Apoyo Lagoon

Granada, Apoyo Lagoon

Content: Visiting Apoyo Lagoon is one of the top things to do in Granada!

Location: La Laguna

Day 5 - 17 May 2021

Laguna De Apoyo

La Laguna, Laguna De Apoyo
La Laguna, Laguna De Apoyo
La Laguna, Laguna De Apoyo

Content: We bought a day pass for $7 at Paradiso Hotel and Restaurant. They have beautiful facilities and you also get access to their kayaks, paddle boards and tube if you just want to float around the lagoon. They have a pretty extensive menu as you’re likely to want to get lunch there. It’s not that cheap though! Some people also choose to spend a night or two hear for some ultimate relaxation.

Location: Granada

Day 6 - 18 May 2021

Kathy's Waffle House

Granada, Kathy's Waffle House

Content: For a huge and hearty breakfast head to Kathy’s Waffles House. The breakfast is ridiculously cheap for how big the portion sizes are, and the breakfasts include coffee.

Location: León

Day 6 - 18 May 2021

Poco a Poco Hostel

León, Poco a Poco Hostel

Content: It’s time to make your way to the city of Leon, another colonial city. You can get direct shuttles from Granada to Leon that take around 2 hours. It’s a super easy journey. We stayed at Poco a Poco Hostel, which is where pretty much all travellers stay in Leon. The rooms and bathrooms are clean, and breakfast is included. They also have loads of hammocks and a roof terrace to chill out on.

Batidos Pitaya - León Centro

León, Batidos Pitaya - León Centro
León, Batidos Pitaya - León Centro

Content: I stayed an extra day in Leon just because I wanted another one of these smoothie bowls. They were super cheap and really yummy. They’re also a really good size, which I find can often be a problem with smoothie bowls. They’re just too small!! The little cafe also does a large selection of smoothies.

Catedral De Leon Nicaragua

León, Catedral De Leon Nicaragua
León, Catedral De Leon Nicaragua
León, Catedral De Leon Nicaragua

Content: Leon Cathedral has become somewhat of an Instagram hotspot. The completely white rooftop makes it an ideal place to get some beautiful pictures. The architecture and views from the cathedral are just magnificent.

Location: Leon

Day 7 - 19 May 2021

Cerro Negro

Leon, Cerro Negro
Leon, Cerro Negro
Leon, Cerro Negro
Leon, Cerro Negro
Leon, Cerro Negro

Content: VOLCANO BOARDING! This is probably going to be the highlight of your trip! Essentially, you climb up a volcano and then board down it at incredible speeds. It’s definitely one way to get the adrenaline pumping. The videos and pictures above say it all really. I paid $55 for the volcano boarding plus an overnight hike which I would highly recommend. You can get volcano boarding by itself for around $25.

Location: León

Day 7 - 19 May 2021

León

León, León
León, León
León, León

Content: If you only have 7 days in Nicaragua, sadly this will be the end of your trip. Those lucky enough to have more time can spend another day in Leon or head to the beach town of San Juan del Sur. If you’re really up for an adventure and want to experience paradise, give the Corn Islands a little Google!