Travel advice – living in Nicaragua for 2 months – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Travel advice – living in Nicaragua for 2 monthsHigh-Minded Travel

Greetings MailenFV:

As Salta said, there aren’t any real beach towns besides San Juan del Sur. Leon beaches are a good option, to be near a large city (for Nicaragua) but I would like to point out an often overlooked and I think, underrated beach town, which is the Pochomil/Masachapa area, located one hour away from Managua.

Sure it doesn’t offer Sunday Funday or a Pacha Mama type of party hostel, but there are some inexpensive lodging options, a variety of beaches, and the nearby (10 minutes) town of San Rafael del Sur has a Pali supermarket with transport via bus, mototaxi or regular taxi, so that’s something… The public areas have been renovated and there are nice tiled sidewalks with benches and little green areas in the small “downtown” area. Overall, it has a nice aspect.

I blogged about Pochomil, Masachapa and some other areas here: “Top Five Managua Area Vacation Surfing Fishing Villages…

Enjoy living in Nicaragua for 2 months!

Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua

Travel advice – living in Nicaragua for 2 months – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor.

The more time I spend in the beach areas near to Managua, I think they really are overlooked by most tourists as they are really “local” beaches, where, for the most part, Nicaraguan families vacation. There are a few foreign tourists visiting the area; certainly international visitors come to stay in Montelimar and also in the Pochomil and Viejo Pochomil areas.

There is also a small but growing expat community, mostly led by Casa LaRocque, who has brought a few French Canadians to the area. Also there is a great guy who is a a real character named Frank LaSasso down there who is a good person to know as he can help arrange almost anything down in that area.

Very helpful hosts – Review of Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua, Nicaragua – TripAdvisor

Very helpful hosts

annab_tripadvisorAnna B

1 review

“Very helpful hosts”

Reviewed yesterday NEW

We stayed at El Porton Verde for more than a week. Mike and the rest of his family were the best hosts that anyone can imagine. They were very helpful in every way. For instance they went with us to the police station (we had been robbed before we went to El Porton Verde) and helped us with translation, they let us use their private computer for hours and hours, they made us delicious food, they gave us good tips on what to do in the Managua area, they drove us to the bus station, etc.. The place in itself is beautiful and peaceful, with fruit trees and pool. It is a perfect amount of guests there, so that you can have nice conversations with Mike and his family as well as the other guests, but it’s totally silent during the night. In addition to all this, the rooms are very nice and the wifi is stable and strong. Mike also gave us a better deal since we stayed there so long. This was the best place we’ve ever stayed!

Stayed January 2015, traveled with friends

via Very helpful hosts – Review of Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua, Nicaragua – TripAdvisor.

We're Number One!

We’re Number One!

Well, another great review in the books! We had a long-term guest named Jeff who was doing some work in teaching here in Nicaragua during the weekdays. On the weekends he went to various locales to check out the sites. One weekend he went to Ometepe and met this couple from Norway who are students in the USA. Well, he passed them our information and recommended them to stay with us when in Managua.

Unfortunately for them, they booked a cheap hostel in the downtown Managua area instead of making a reservation with us at the Farmstay. When arriving on the last bus from Leon, they decided to walk the few blocks to their hostel instead of hiring a taxi for a couple of dollars to take them there safely.

Since it was nighttime and they were not paying very much attention to their surroundings, a motorcycle came up to them and grabbed her purse which unfortunately held their passports and student visas. No one was hurt, thank goodness, but I’m sure it was scary for these two young people.

We got the call then, since they literally had no one else on whom they could rely upon to help them in their situation. The couple ended up having to stay with us for about one week to get their emergency passports and visas arranged. We even went to the police station with them so that they could make a statement and report the crime, helping translate and to ensure that the police did their part of the job.

Now that’s what I call customer service! Here are some other great reviews if you would like to peruse them…TripAdvisor Review 1, TripAdvisor Review 2, TripAdvisor Review 3, etc. etc.

San Juan to/from Airport, Granada, Leon and a volcano – Leon Forum – TripAdvisor

Lots of families like yours have wonderful vacations in Nicaragua that are really quite inexpensive if you plan them correctly

via San Juan to/from Airport, Granada, Leon and a volcano – Leon Forum – TripAdvisor.

and as you have identified, keep some of the in-country transport costs down. Some folks want to plan every second in advance while another extreme has no plans other than to land and try to get to their first destination, which they may decide based on talking to someone on the plane, for example. 🙂

My usual suggestion is to take care of that first and last night in Nicaragua and then have some idea of what to do and where to go, but to keep an open mind and at a minimum, an attitude of “es todo una aventura” (it’s all an adventure) so that some spontaneous events might happen. I’ve seen families adopt this attitude and end up having lots of fun with it!

One option (especially if your flight arrives at night) is to stay somewhere near where the buses from Managua to SJdS pass by, so you can easily take advantage of the surprisingly not too bad public transport system here that will cost just a few bucks a person. Any shuttle service will charge at least $80 if not more for a, whereas a bus trip is around $3 p.p.

This approach to your first night in Nicaragua also works the same for other destinations to the south of Managua such as MasayaGranada, Mombacho, Laguna de Apoyo, San Jorge (ferry to Ometepe), Rivas, Tola, Peñas Blancas, Cardenas, etc.

Regarding a volcano tour from SJdS, that would be do able as a day trip, but not ideal due to distance from said volcanoes. The closest would be on Ometepe Island; taking the ferry from San Jorge over to Moyagalpa, then probably taxi or tour to hike one of the two volcanoes. Best doing a volcano from Masaya, Granada, or Leon.

Finally, the cheap way to get to Granada from SJdS is to take a bus to Nandaime, then a different bus, Nandaime to Granada. Routes and timetables (take with a big grain of sal, especially on departure and arrival times)

I hope that helps.

Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde

Nicaragua: Your Next Lavish Latin American Destination | TravelPulse

Nicaragua: Your Next Lavish Latin American Destination

All photos by Cristina Luisa

All photos by Cristina Luisa

Nestled in the middle of Central America is an enchanting country filled with rain forests, volcanoes, white-sanded beaches, and colonial architecture. The local coffee is bold and revitalizing, the mountains are a shade of green so pure that you’d swear they were giant emeralds, and everywhere you turn, you are bound to be greeted with a genuine smile and an extended hand.

Its residents embrace the beauty of life, however humble, and survive largely off of their agricultural endeavors. It is also home to a wide variety of exotic animals, such as jaguars, tapirs, bats, anteaters, dolphins, and a plethora of monkey species.

But no, its national motto is not Pura Vida. I am not writing about Costa Rica here, but its much less showy next-door-neighbor, Nicaragua. While this country may be the second poorest in Latin America based on its GDP, in my opinion, it is by far one of the richest for many other reasons. Nicaragua is a country that has struggled with the imposition of imperialism, civil war, shocking unemployment rates, and extreme poverty.cristinaluisa2

Nonetheless, Nicaraguans, or nicoyas, are some of the warmest people you will meet in Latin America- and this is a bold statement. They smile with their eyes, speak to you with sincerity, laugh from their bellies, and, even if it’s not much, share with you what they have.

The month and a half I spent in Nicaragua changed my perspective on life, and this is no exaggeration. The majority of the time, I was in Managua volunteering at La Chureca, the city dump, while it still existed. This wasteland, with children as young as four rummaging through its garbage, overlooked the untainted serenity of Lake Managua, and the juxtaposition was heartbreaking.

It was here that I learned that happiness depends not on your possessions, but on your outlook. We become dissatisfied with our lives because we focus on what we lack, and forget to appreciate of what we do have. In Nicaragua, their joy largely comes from family, friends, a deep-seated religious faith, and a fervent love for their country.

With the strength of the dollar rising, there is no better time to visit Nicaragua than now. You can spoil yourself as much as you desire here, and you won’t have a panic attack looking at your bank account at the end of the trip. Learn about the Sandinista history in the old center of Managua, take a carriage ride and revel in Granada’s regal architecture, lounge on the beaches of San Juan del Sur, sail away and stand in awe of Ometepe’s volcanoes, zip-line through the canopy of Mambacho Volcano Nature Reserve, or board down the black sands of Cerro Negro.

No matter what you decide to do, savor the national cuisine, such as gallo pinto and fried plantains, and indulge in Flor de Cana, the local- and delicious- rum. For very few cordobas (the national currency), you will experience a finer side of life in nature and in the city. And, just perhaps, Nicaragua will show you a new appreciation for life, too.

via Nicaragua: Your Next Lavish Latin American Destination | TravelPulse.

The impressive “Marine Phenomenon” that happens between Chacocente, Nicaragua and Salinas Bay, Costa Rica!

The impressive “Marine Phenomenon” that happens between Chacocente, Nicaragua and Salinas Bay, Costa Rica!

wqeadeseresssBy: David Quintana -Occuring between December and March; vacationers who frequent the beaches between Casares, Chacocente, and San Juan del Sur to the Bay of Salinas in Costa Rica, during the season of Easter, do not realize the phenomenon of “Upwelling” as oceanographers call the upward displacement of sea water.

“It’s happening right now, and because the waters coming down to the seabed by high winds pushing, pushing up to the surface typically colder waters, causing major nutrients”. Stresses Rosario Ruiz Sáenz, the Coordination Committee Corridor Coral A Investigative and Sustainability Program, which develops in the Pacific Nicaragua.

Peltier Barahona, a prominent Nicaraguan biologist, explains that winds from the east-entering the country towards Lake Nicaragua – increase in speed as it crosses the thin and narrow Isthmus of Rivas, pushing surface waters seaward in the area between Chococente and Bay Salinas in Costa Rica.


“In the entire region the phenomenon is generated by the push of cold water from the bottom of the ocean, moving the hot water from above”, which forms a kind of swap as the water from down below comes up and the water above goes below. This requires that certain species leave their normal deep ocean habitats as they are heated by the sun to the surface of the water column, invigorating the marine food chain in its entirety.” He explained.

But what makes it more important to this phenomenon? Barahona said that because the phenomenon allows the movement of large banks of “Krill” (crustaceans on which whales feed), they go near the sea coast, causing immense importance as it allows the sighting of this species. “Everything happens from December to March and so – for example in San Juan del Sur – the waters are cold.”

“With the change in the food dynamics during that time period throughout the ecosystem, there is a bonanza for fishing, and of course that is why the fishing wealth or potential throughout this area.” Said the biologist.

¡El impresionante “Fenómeno Marino” que sucede entre Chacocente Nicaragua, y la Bahía de Salinas, Costa Rica! | Boletín Ecológico Nicaragua.

An explanation of the phenomenon called “upwelling” along the Rivas coastline and how it greatly improves fishing conditions and brings up the krill on which the whales dine on during the whale-spotting season, December to March. What’s not mentioned is the excellent surfing conditions that these winds also create, where they are offshore nearly all day every day of the year.

“War” of the airlines is coming to Nicaragua · El Nuevo Diario

“War” of the airlines comes to Nicaragua


The general manager of the Managua Air Terminal announces that three airlines will fly more often from the United States to Nicaragua

By Alma Vidaurre Arias | Country (Translated by Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde)

"War" comes from airlines



At least three international airlines arriving in Nicaragua announced that they will increase their frequency to daily or weekly flights from US cities, a decision that could reduce the costs of flight tickets as tour operators and agents in the country agree. 

As of May 28, 2015, the US carrier Spirit Airlines will add three flights per week from Houston to Managua, according to a statement from the same company.

Moreover, in June, American Airlines will launch connections from Managua to Dallas-Fort Worth, with the idea of ​​strengthening its market. 


Delta Air Lines also recently announced it will begin operating a seasonal service on Saturdays, between Los Angeles and Managua, starting in June. 
The possibility of increasing the number of flights and travel frequency is a positive impact for users, and could lead to a price war in the air, consider Irela Olivas, Bosa travel advisor Tours & Travel. 

“It’s a positive impact, because it really generates more options for Nicaraguans abroad and the entry of visitors to the country. It will be easier for people to travel, have better flight itineraries, having more links will be easier for people to travel,” said Olivas. 
Last December Aeromexico connected directly the Federal District (Mexico City) to the Nicaraguan capital. 

“The costs of the tickets will go down, go down more frequently by the same competition among airlines with promotions. This is a benefit for the population, there will be more competition between airlines, while operating the same routes” said adviser Bosa Travel Tours & Travel. 

Orlando Castillo, general manager of the International Airports Administration Company, EAAI, told official media that Nicaragua is in talks with other airlines to improve the country’s connectivity with the rest of the world. 

“We’ve talked to other airlines, which have shown much interest in starting to make direct flights to Managua, which is a story of great importance for our country,” Castillo said. 


In 2007, according to Castillo, the airport had 25 daily flights in international operations, however, to date, the country has a total of 34 trips per day, representing an increase of 36% in this period. 

For this year, Nicaragua plans to receive 8.5% more tourists compared to 2014, which translates into 1.4 million visitors, authorities estimate the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism, Intur. 

For the CEO of Intur, Mayra Salinas, achieve more air connections through Spirit, Delta and American Airlines, offers better conditions to Nicaragua. 

“The increased air connectivity of Nicaragua is going to contribute to this goal, we know we have 12 direct connections with other countries, five with the United States six with Central America, one with Mexico and a shared code with Venezuela.” he said.

Se viene “guerra” de líneas aéreas · El Nuevo Diario.

With this “war” of the airlines, we’ll get some more competition, so hopefully this will create an environment of overall lower fares between the USA and Nicaragua. I knew about the Spirit Air flights from Houston and the seasonal Delta flights out of Los Angeles, but did not know about the American Airlines flights coming non-stop out of Dallas, TX. Great news!

This adds lots of new flights and better options for people, especially from the western side of the USA and Canada. To not have to go to Miami or Atlanta will save lots of folks from that side of the continent hours of their precious time, which should be used to better advantage here in Nicaragua enjoying a wonderful vacation!

Tourism has grown every year since the Farmstay opened, and this year is to be a banner year for tourism growth at 8.5%. Sweet!


Guest Reviews – Sushil from Canada (Airbnb)


As soon as I landed Mike picked me up from the airport and drove me to his guesthouse. Staying at the guesthouse/farm for seven days was a marvelous and relaxing experience. Mike and the family are very friendly and served fresh food daily ( breakfast complimentary). The location is close to Granada as well as Managua city (just a half hour from the airport). One day I tagged along with mike for a tour of Managua with another tourist family. It was fun and enjoyable. Mike gave ample information of how to get around, with good advice for local tourist spots such as Laguna Del Apoyo, which I took a short 25 min bus ride to for a couple of days. All in all I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for my first time in Nicaragua, I will surely return to the Mike’s Finca


January 2015

via Profile – Airbnb.

Thank you Sushil from Canada for the nice review. We love getting guest reviews and like to feature the good ones. But they’re all good aren’t they? (Click through to find out!)

We had a lot of fun with Sushil during his week with us and we hope he comes back to visit us again soon!

airbnb logo

airbnb logo

“Are You Ready?” Survival Run Fuego y Agua

For three years running, the Farmstay has hosted some of the participants of this survival run called Fuego y Agua (preview here) which is done on Ometepe Island. If you watch the video there is a part where one of the participants describes how people react when she tells them some of what goes on in this race, where she gets a laughing reaction and they ask her if she’s crazy.

Well, I’m in this boat too! One of our guests this morning told us about a race she did where all the participants had to don red shirts and run through a bull ring with several toros ready to gore them! Some of the participants did get gored, including this lovely race participant, the bulls horns went through the outer skin of her backpack but other than that the contents inside were all fine!

Ben Slow on local terrain

Ben Slow on local terrain

Anyway, big ups to these participants as it is a grueling test of one’s endurance and ultimately, the individal’s ability to overcome difficulties and challenges in their lives, so all great stuff in my book. Just would not ever ever find me on the course unless literally a crazy person was chasing me with a machete. Even then…