Day 1 - 15 Jun 2021
Content: Nicaragua was an incredible country, and I couldn't help but share all of the best stops along our journey here! 😍 If you're looking for incredible dramatic landscapes, bustling cities, small beach towns, incredible food and all at backpacker prices, Nicaragua should be high on your bucketlist! Getting there: To get to Leon we made arrangements in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to take us directly to Leon. Out of any country we went to I must admit that the border crossing for Nicaragua was the hardest. It took us around 2 hours to get past the border crossing alone, resulting in an almost 20 hour round trip journey from Honduras. But it's all part of backpacking! We absolutely LOVED the scenery along the way, driving from northern Honduras straight through dramatic junglescapes, the roads to Nicaragua were absolutely stunning. Which company did we use? We arranged our transport through 'Honduhost' on facebook, he gave us an amazing deal and was so knowledgeable about the safe spots in San Pedro Sula as a tourist, and guided us through everything. You can get a great deal if there are more of you, we only travelled as 2 people, but we heard some travellers get great deals by travelling as a four - would definitely recommend popping him a message for yourself :)
Content: On the first day you should check out the Cathedral of Leon! Its so beautiful and you MUST go to the rooftop! You get views over the entire city. We were actually told by some of the workers that the rooftop was actually designed in the shape of chess pieces on a chess board, in the shape of pawns and the queen - such a clever idea! Price: Entrance was around £1 so definitely worth a visit
Content: We stayed at Poco a Poco hostel, which was an excellent location right near all the famous churches (in the pic) & bustling with people! Such a great atmosphere! Price: £10p/night for a private room for two people £5p/night for a dorm room (These prices were in covid times, not sure if they've been updated now). Both options included breakfast 😍 Tours: these are so easy to book through the hostel. We booked volcano boarding and the el hoyo hike through these guys. So friendly and amazing service! Wouldnt stay anywhere else in Leon 😊 Food: We tended to grab street food in Leon! So would recommend walking around the centre, you can find a meal for around £1-£2.
Day 2 - 16 Jun 2021
Content: Fancy volcano boarding down an active volcano surrounded by other active volcanos? 😍🌋 If you're an adrenaline seeker this one is for you! It was the coolest experience boarding down on volcanic ash. There's something about standing on top of volcanoes that truly make you feel on top of the world. Couldn't recommend this experience more! 🤙🏼 Price: We paid £70 total for the volcano boarding and the El hoyo hike, including a night camping next to a volcano crater, with lunch, dinner, breakfast and snacks included. 🔴Warning: this excursion isn't for people who aren't really adrenaline seekers / experienced hikers. It was a HARD 24 hours because we hiked this volcano, boarded it down, and only had around 45 mins rest before starting what ended up being a 5 hour hike at steep incline to the top of el hoyo (collecting firewood along the way, carrying all our camping equipment and 8L of water each), a sunrise hike to the crater, and then hiking all of that back down again! So if this isn't for you, book the boarding as a seperate trip. ❤️ We absolutely LOVED the whole package, even though it was difficult (and this is even after doing Acatenango (Guatemala), this is also challenging and so much fun! 😍
Content: The top of El Hoyo was magical, we arrived just as the sun was setting, camped and watched the most beautiful sunrise the next day. It was so peaceful watching the sun rise with all the pink flowers swaying in the wind, and it was such a clear morning so we could see volcano after volcano lined up behind eachother. There are 7 in one line here, and we could see a lot of this row clearly! 😍 It was also an experience smelling the sulfur coming from an active volcano crater! Again, another moment where we completely felt on top of the world.😍
Day 3 - 17 Jun 2021
Content: After all the hiking we decided to take some time to rest and recover, and Las Penitas was the perfect place to do this 😍 the beaches were so quiet and peaceful, this little town was gorgeous 😊
Day 3 - 17 Jun 2021
Content: We stayed at Mano a mano and it was the perfect place for a hostel, right on the beach and had the BEST smoothie bowls 😍 Price: £6 p/night for a dorm bed per person. An incredible price and an incredible place 😍 Food: breakfast wasn't included but there was a shop nearby and the bar served food all day. Because it's such a small town you have to walk to find something cheap, the restaurants here were pricey so we found something cheaper with the help of our Spanish friend we met travelling Leon, and ate with a local family for a couple of nights!
Day 4 - 18 Jun 2021
Content: Granada was a beautiful stop, there is so much to do here, such as Masaya Volcano (looking into an active volcano) and also the island tour! It was good fun but sadly wasn't up there with some of the best things we did. It felt very touristy and I would definitely recommend going with a group of people to try and get the price lower for both of these tours!
Content: The streets were absolutely beautiful though, so colourful and vibrant and the energy in the evenings was so amazing 😍😍
Content: From Granada you can catch the chicken bus for around £0.30 per ride and this makes it great to explore the towns nearby! We decided to head to San Juan to look at the beautiful pottery, and we got to speak to the owner about his work and it was great! If you have extra time I would definitely recommend fitting the little towns nearby into your schedule 😍 (For more information just ask at your hostel for which bus to catch!)
Content: Oasis hostel was perfect because it was in a great location and the social areas were amazing! It had an all you can eat breakfast (basically just pancakes but you could have as many as you wanted) and it was connected to the other hostel in the centre so they did activities together. This included a salsa lesson which was great fun and a good way to meet new people!
Content: Best. Food. Ever! This is a blurry picture but it was so good! So in the evenings this restuarant has a stall set up outside and honestly we had the BEST food probably of our entire travels here. Picture the biggest piece of chicken ever, with fried platano crisps, with salad, with Gallo pinto (beans and rice). All for only £1.50. We knew this place would be great because so many local people queue up here to get their evening meal and we were so amazed. They wrap the dish in banana leaves to keep it warm, and trust me. This place was incredible!
Day 5 - 19 Jun 2021
Content: After Granada we headed to one of my favourite experienced in Nicaragua - the treehouse hostel 😍 you can have your own treehouse with view of Nicaraguan jungle for miles and miles. This place is honestly incredible! Price: for the treehouse room it is around £15 per person. They only have 3 so as you can imagine this really gets booked up! However they also have dorm rooms too, and these are £8 p/person! So we stayed in the private room for 2 nights and then the dorm afterwards. Location: it is definitely out the way, and we arranged a taxi to take us from our hostel in Granada. There is a hike to get to the hostel, so be aware of this if you're carrying a lot of stuff! (And they have a kitchen so do bring your own food so you can cook!)
Day 5 - 19 Jun 2021
Content: The great thing about the treehouse hostel is that it's already half way up Mombacho Volcano! So this is the perfect hike to do whilst at the treehouse. It took us around 3 hours to get to the top and it was so beautiful! The hike isn't exciting until you get to the top, because it is just road and you have the option to drive all the way up, but we wanted the challenge 😂 Price: Around £2.50 per person for access to the park 😍
Day 6 - 20 Jun 2021
Content: After the treehouse, we decided to take a shuttle to get to the boat which took us to Ometepe island! The boat ride was super cheap and it was from the port town San Jorge, near Rivas. It took around an hour to get to Ometepe and let me tell you, this island is so worth visiting, a truly incredible place 😍 We rented bikes for £5 per person and spent all day biking around the wonderful roads with incredible volcano views😍
Content: In the evenings we stayed at the Lazy Crab Hostel, which had good vibes and was right next to an amazing place where we had dinner everyday - it was one of the small restuarants nearby but the food was incredible and only £2 per person! There's also lots happening nearby, we watched a local football game which was also good fun! Cost: it was cheaper for us to get a private room so it was around £13 per night total for a private room for two people!
Day 7 - 21 Jun 2021
Content: Finally to end our trip off we decided to stay in San Juan del Sur because this is the easiest place to head towards the Costa Rica land border!
Content: I couldn't fault this hostel, all of the dorm beds were double beds, the pool was incredible and the sunset views were amazing. This place was over budget because we only stayed here one night and Nicaragua surprised us with how affordable it was along the way! But if you fancy a night of luxury do try out this incredible hostel that is right near the beach 😍 Price: £14 per night per person for a dorm bed. But this did include breakfast! (Sadly we left before this!) All in all, we fell in love with Nicaragua! And I know this is a rushed itinerary (it's because we spent almost a month in Nicaragua!) But every stop along the way here was perfect. Add Nicaragua to your bucket list 😍 it's worth it, I promise!