Tips for Isla Ometepe – Isla de Ometepe Forum – TripAdvisor

Tips for Isla Ometepe

Mar 05, 2015, 7:48 PM

Here comes a few tips for your Ometepe trip:

To get there:

– when you get to Rivas, look for the Microbus to San Jorge. If you take a taxi you shouldn’t pay more than 40-50 cordobas or $2

– in San Jorge you can by tickets in a small hit very close to the pier, just ignore all sales people up to that point

– aim to take the big ferry. The smaller lanchas/boats take longer time and you can easily get seasick.

Arriving at Moyogalpa

– just by the pier the local bus leaves for wherever you want to go

– you can also bargain with taxis or microbuses. Don’t pay more than $5 each

– we headed off to Santa Cruz which is smartly located for excursions. Hospitaje Maria is a good and economic alternative, $5 for a bed in dormitory or $15 for a private. But there are more options. Just by the main crossing, opposite the little supermarket there is a hotel with beautiful views of volcan conception.

– playa Domingo is a good option as well. You have the best beach there and many hostel/hotel options

read the rest here–> Tips for Isla Ometepe – Isla de Ometepe Forum – TripAdvisor.

OmetepeVolcanoesThese are some great tips for travelers to Ometepe Island. Not my writing, but I thought reposting here might help some folks who are planning to spend part of their Nicaraguan vacation on this beautiful island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. Ometepe is a very special place and if you have the time, you should consider making a journey over to la isla!

Granada Colonial Homes Tour | See behind all of those mysterious doors!

Tours meet every Tuesday at 10 am in the art center behind the Ole Boutique (side entrance):
1 block east of the Central Park down Calzada Blvd.   

Or, call in Nicaragua: 8457-8423, to arrange special tours

Behind Closed Doors……


Take a great tour of the insides of some of the finest homes in Granada, while benefitting a wonderful education project!

Take a great tour of the insides of some of the finest homes in Granada, while benefitting a wonderful education project!

If you’ve been lucky enough to have participated in one of the colonial house tours in cities such as San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, you know how amazing old colonial houses can be. Finally, Granada has begun tours of its magnificent beauties and all the proceeds benefit educational projects.

via Granada Colonial Homes Tour | See behind all of those mysterious doors!.

Friend of the Farmstay and social media guru, Eden Rudin posted this on Facebook, so in a spirit of helping out for this project, I repost here for our readers who may not be aware of this tour. Other colonial architecture cities and towns around the world like Antigua, Guatemala, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and others offer similar tours, so why not Granada too?

If you’ve ever been to Granada and wondered what is behind those lovely, massive colonial doors, and yearned for a peek into the interior spaces, this is your chance! A great added benefit is that this isn’t for anyone’s profit. The proceeds go to two different educational projects:

  • Library “Puedo Leer”, the first lending library in Granada, putting books in the hands of children and promoting reading through its many urban and rural projects.
  • Scholarships for poor children at the new Sacuanjoche Elementary School, probably the best private school in the city. 

So if you book a tour, tell them that you found out about this via Mike at Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua.


Poolfront Apt Tranquil Farmstay B&B in Managua

Farmstay B&B in Managua

About This Listing

Farmstay El Porton Verde is a fresh alternative to the chain and airport area hotels of Managua. If you would prefer to stay in a natural and cool setting, yet be only ten minutes from the best of the capital city, please inquire further!

Contact Host

This is in front of the apartment. Swimming pool and volcano views!

This is in front of the apartment. Swimming pool and volcano views!

The Space

Bed type: Real Bed
Property type: Apartment
Accommodates: 2
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 1
Check In: 2:00 PM
Check Out: 12:00 PM (noon)
Pet Owner: Dog(s)


Weekly Price: $366 /week
Monthly Price: $933 /month
Cancellation: Moderate


House Rules


1 night minimum stay


Poolfront Apt Tranquil Farmstay B&B in Managua.

Surf Trip but Without the Surf Camp – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

elportonverde on Instagramelportonverde

Managua, Nicaragua

posts: 555

reviews: 14

6. Re: Surf Trip but without the Surf Camp

Mar 23, 2015, 10:30 PM

Greetings Unit3333:

It’s sort of off the radar, but a good option in a nice mid-range rental with good surf would be Gran Pacifica, which is near Managua. There is a nice beach break there called Asuchillo and a fantastic left point for more advanced surfers too.

I am taking guests there in April so it’s been on my mind as a good place to go. They are renting a condo and I think the prices are pretty reasonable for what you get.

Learn to surf in Nicaragua

Learn to surf in Nicaragua

Another area, a bit further afield, is Jiquilillo Beach, where Finca Esperanza is. Look up the Casa de los Portugales. I stayed there about three years ago for a week and it was fantastic. A bit isolated but perfect waves if you time it to go when there are hgih tides in the morning.

I hope this helps and you have a great time in Nicaragua!

Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua

via Surf Trip but Without the Surf Camp – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor.

Now this individual on TripAdvisor’s Nicaragua Forum is asking about specific surf data and my answer provides details of spots including tides and for which level of surfing skills. Someone who actually knows where the great places to go are can be a wonderful addition to your Nicaraguan surf trip. If anyone wants my advice feel free to ask!

A surf camp in Nicaragua is not really necessary, especially so if you are traveling as a group. However, I can see where it can work really well for a single person to join in with another group so you don’t have to deal with all the trip basics yourself. There are lots of nice beaches to go to that include several off-the-beaten-path surfing and fishing villages.

Five Top Retirement Havens with the Lowest Cost of Living –

Nicaragua: Save on Property Costs

For house buyers or investors, Nicaragua offers the lowest cost of living and business opportunities. You could live here in a $2-million mansion with everything you would ever want in a home if you are willing to pay for it. But the great thing about this tropical paradise is that you don’t have to. You can still feel like you’re living the life of Reilly—on a very low budget.Granada-Nicaragua-578x298

The items you save on add up. Real estate taxes are low—you’ll pay around $150 a year for a $130,000 house. The cost of rentals are low, too. Friends of mine live in a modest three-bedroom home overlooking the bay of San Juan del Sur for just $200 a month. Electricity, water and WiFi are extra and cost an additional $100. Many one or two-bedroom rentals in town go for $250 to $400 a month, depending on amenities.

I spend about $25 a week for food. If I must have peanut butter, almond milk, gouda cheese, teriyaki sauce and cuts like filet mignon, my food budget goes way up. You can also save quite a bit of money enjoying your dinner at one of the many happy hours with $1 or $2 appetizers. And you can hire someone to clean your house for about $10.

Some things are more expensive in Nicaragua. Electronic items are double the price, for example. Gas hovers around $5.50 a gallon. New cars and trucks in Nicaragua have sticker prices of about a third to a half higher than the U.S. A large jar of Jiffy peanut butter can set you back $12. A small piece of cheddar cheese might cost over $5. You get the idea. If you are willing to live the good Nicaraguan life and forego some of those old necessities that aren’t really necessary, a single person can easily live on $1,000 or less a month and a couple can maintain a comfortable lifestyle for $1,200 and $1,400.—Bonnie Hayman

via Five Top Retirement Havens with the Lowest Cost of Living –.

This is International Living, a somewhat infamous “rose-colored glasses” type of media company, so take this report with the biggest grain of salt you can find…

However, that’s not to say that they are incorrect in what they tell you here, rather that an outfit like IL really does not address much of what really faces an expat. IL focuses on cost of living and lifestyle mostly, with not too much on such things as integrating into your new culture and country, how to be a productive member of your new community, or how to make local friends and become fluent in the native language.

IL really caters to the person who fits in quite well in the expat enclaves of Granada and San Juan del Sur; not so much Managua or Matagalpa and much less so Puerto Cabezas, Siuna or Bluefields. What I mean is that in most other areas of Nicaragua, the locals really don’t cater to you very much.

Sure, they might be neighborly and are certainly curious about expats, but mostly that is just a general human response to a new person moving into a neighborhood. Especially if they are different from the norm for that area, folks will take notice and most will wait to see what type of a person you are before taking the time to get to know you.

How that might express itself could vary of course, but as an example, in tourist and expat areas, learning English is clearly a good move for a Nicaraguan to want to make their living from tourism and providing services to expats. In other places, not so much. While most urban areas have some bilingual non-native English speakers, especially in the countryside you can basically forget about finding someone who speaks English.

So, as a potential expat, you need to ask yourself (among a multitude of questions), “do I want to learn Spanish or live where the locals will be learning English?” That will influence not only where you may choose to live, but how you will live too. Will you be living in an English-language bubble or not? As always, comments welcome!

Volcano Tourism, a sleeping giant| La Prensa Noticias


Volcano Tourism, a sleeping giant

  • Entrepreneurs: if the infrastructure was improved at the volcanoes, more tourists would come

Nicaragua has the privilege of having a large presence of volcanoes in the Pacific. The potential to attract tourists is asleep. Proof of this is that in recent years the percentage of tourists coming to the country and climbing a volcano, for example, has remained stagnant.

The figures of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur) indicate that between 2009 and 2013, out of every ten tourists visiting the country each year, only two climbed a volcano. The Americans and Central Americans are the ones who practice this tour attraction more every time they visit Nicaragua. Only in 2013, the total passengers who said he climbed a volcano, 29.3 percent came from Central America and 21.8 percent were American.

The local tourism authorities and representatives of business chambers linked to this sector admit that there is great potential to sell volcanoes as an option for adventure tourism, mainly to North America, Europe and South America. So why is this tourist destination so nascent? The challenge is to improve the infrastructure and security conditions in these places that have been recognized to have such great potential.

Read the rest here–>Turismo volcánico, gigante que duerme | La Prensa Noticias.

Here at FEPV we have reported before on Volcano Tourism. I’m sort of suprised that only two out of every ten tourists visiting Nicaragua actually visit a volcano! As far as Farmstay visitors, I’d say a good 90% visit at least one volcano if not two or three. People really dig them, and if you think about it, you can see why.

  • Most people visiting Nicaragua don’t live anywhere near volcanoes, much less active ones or ones you can slide down or camp on top of!
  • There is something quite primal in seeing the force of nature that is an active volcano, and it is worthwhile to see at least one on your visit.
  • There are some absolutely unique things to do on Nicaraguan volcanoes that are not prevalent in other volcano tourism spots.


Budgeting for Your Nicaraguan Getaway |

Budgeting for Your Nicaraguan Getaway

14 March, 2015

by Casey

Life on the coast

Nicaragua is the largest Central American nation that has remained true to its historical prominence. The colonial towns, remnants of the revolution, Caribbean hideaways, jungles, and white sandy beaches are just some of the few things that the country has to offer. A paradise waiting to be explored, Nicaragua is a destination that’s waiting for budget-minded travelers to journey to.

While flights to Nicaragua are quite affordable, many people are on a tight budget so they’ll sift through flight comparison sites for the cheapest tickets. Travelers should be aware that the most economical flight options might not end up being suitable for their budget, as Parking4Less points out that hidden costs are usually incurred on most budget tickets. Additional payments could be required if the ticket doesn’t include airport taxes, and possibly if you check-in online.

Your next biggest expense is lodgings, with accommodation in the country averaging at about $25 a night for a double room and private bathroom at a hostel. Dorm rooms are about $6 to $12. “Hospedajes” are the most popular accommodation of choice for travelers, which are small family-run hostels that range between $20 to $25 a night.

via Budgeting for Your Nicaraguan Getaway |

Casey at the has another good post up about budgeting for your Nicaraguan vacation. Worth a read!

One thing for sure, eating the local food is cheap and delicious!

Cheap and tasty local food is readily available in Nicaragua

Cheap and tasty local food is readily available in Nicaragua

Insider’s Guide to Nicaraguan Surfing: San Juan del Sur Edition

Insider’s Guide to Nicaraguan Surfing: San Juan del Sur Edition

Intro and General tips


In this first-ever edition of the Insider’s Guide to Nicaraguan Surfing, we’ll focus like the veritable laser beam on the surfing scene around San Juan del Sur (SJdS). SJdS is the number one Pacific coast location for visitors to Nicaragua. It is a fun little town set in a beautiful bay. If you are interested in going surfing when in SJdS, here are some tips for you:


The bay at San Juan del Sur

The bay at San Juan del Sur


  • There is usually no surf whatsoever in the bay of San Juan. Sometimes during the rainy season it is so stormy elsewhere that there are some surfable waves in the bay.
  • However (and especially so in the rainy season from May-October), as a Nicaraguan Insider, I can recommend that you DON’T GO IN THE WATER if surfing with high levels of fecal coliform bothers you (or your health) at all. The sewage system in the town is imperfect at best, and as we all know **it flows downhill, right to the drains and outflow pipes leading to the bay.

    Muddy beach near San Juan del Sur

    Muddy beach near San Juan del Sur

  • So, you need to go out of town to the beaches that are located ten to fifteen minutes away from the center of the little town. Unless you rented a car, you will most likely take beach shuttles.
  • The surf shops in town run most of these beach shuttles. You will see them around town and it is easy enough to get your transport arranged through them. Of course, they also have surfboards and other equipment to rent as well as gear to purchase.

    Arena Caliente aka Good Times Surfshop in SJdS

    Arena Caliente aka Good Times Surfshop in SJdS

  • The beaches most frequented are Playa Maderas to the north of SJdS and Playa Yankee and other beaches to the south of SJdS. There are further away beaches you can get to via land.
  • If you are really keen to discover new beaches, panga boat rides to the further out breaks can be arranged.

    Panga boats can take you to otherwise empty lineups!

    Panga boats can take you to otherwise empty lineups!

  • Don’t go to Playa Maderas near San Juan del Sur and have the expectation that the lineup will be mostly empty peaks waiting for you and your friends. Not gonna happen…

    Somewhat crowded lineups at Playa Maderas

    Somewhat crowded lineups at Playa Maderas

  • Also, know that there are some beaches that frequently host surf instruction. Obviously, these will be mostly beginning surfers so understand that it is best to give them a wide berth.
  • If you are a beginner yourself, try to stay away from the big boys. Normally that means staying inside on the whitewater until you get a better handle on standing up on the face of the wave.
  • If someone at the the beach is being super friendly with you, they probably want something from you. Sorry, but just sayin’

    Cool dudes on the beach, maybe thieves later...?

    Cool dudes on the beach, maybe thieves later…?

  • Practice standard surf etiquette as much as possible. Respect the locals and be humble.
  • Don’t buy drugs or tell your new friend which hotel you are staying at. If you feel you must say something, lie about it and tell him you are staying at a different place altogether. Giving away where you are staying is usually an “in” for a thief who wants your iPhone really badly.

Useful links:

San Juan Surf

San Juan del Sur Guide: Surfing

Map to Maderas Beach

Map to Yankee Beach and other southern beaches


Nicaragua Surf Report


Top Five Reasons Why a Family Vacation to Nicaragua is an Awesome Idea

Top Five Reasons Why a Family Vacation to Nicaragua is an Awesome Idea

Here at Farmstay El Porton Verde, we get our fair share of families vacationing in Nicaragua.

The AlaskaKings family had an awesome Nicaraguan vacation back in 2013.

The AlaskaKings family had an awesome Nicaraguan vacation back in 2014.

From that limited sample, I can say that they seem to have a great time. I want to explore in this post some of the reasons why I think Nicaragua is a great choice for your next family vacation.

1. Location

Nicaragua is located directly south of the Florida panhandle area (1264 miles from Pensacola), so it is not too far away from North America, and the time zone is the same as Midwestern time (or Mountain time when daily savings is off) so you aren’t facing a big time change issue which makes the transition and adjustment to Nicaragua fairly easy. From the USA, flight times are reasonable, a bit over two and a half hours from Miami, three and a half from Atlanta and Houston.

Nine nonstops at present, more to be online soon.

Nine nonstops at present, more to be online soon.

2. Cost

Nicaragua is a low-cost vacation destination. Much cheaper than its neighboring countries, you will spend less on average here than you would in other locations. This is for everything, your lodging, transportation, food, drinks and entertainment. Also, a recent increase in number of daily flights into Managua’s MGA airport has kept airfares quite reasonable. For example, there are deals for US $368 round-trip from Los Angeles (LAX) to Managua (MGA).

This snack is called vigoron and it is delicious!

This inexpensive snack is called vigoron and it is delicious!

Where else can you feed your family of four an excellent local lunch for less than $9? Well, for example at the comedor down the street from the Farmstay, you can!

3. Unique Family Destinations

There are some great places to go and visit as a family here in Nicaragua. Here are some examples:
Seeing up-close a smoking volcano? You can do that here.telicavolcano
Boarding down a volcano? As far as I know, its only done in Nicaragua. Okay, I just checked (thank the Internet…) and I’m wrong…you can do it in Java, Indonesia and Vanuatu, South Pacific too.
Going to truly unique places that only exist in Nicaragua? Yep, how about Ometepe Island for example, an island in the middle of a huge lake with two volcanoes on it. There is only one of these in the world!OmetepeVolcanoes

4. Safety
Nicaragua has a different approach to the sort of organized, drug-related crime that happens in neighboring countries which is designed to minimize violence.
This successful approach has made Nicaragua much safer than many other places, and allows your family to get out and about to really get to know a place in relative safety whereas in other locations that might be a bit too risky for a family so you end up needing to stay in an all-inclusive resort and never leaving the property for the week.

Like anywhere else, one should be careful going on a bus, but they are fairly safe, at least the intra-city buses are...

Like anywhere else, one should be careful going on a bus, but they are fairly safe, at least the intra-city buses are…

While statistics do not tell the whole story, violent crime is comparitively low in Nicaragua and the general feeling here is of a relaxed place where the people live in peace. Nicaraguans are genuinely nice and friendly people who welcome tourists.

5. A Very “Real” Vacation

Getting off of the “all-inclusive” vacation program (which barely exists in Nicaragua) gets you and your family out and about, interacting with locals instead of staying behind fences safely ensconced in your wristband-required luxury ghetto. While there is always some risk inherent in travel, especially if you go by local transportation, the benefits are tremendous.
Your children will be able to not only see how other kids their age live, but will be able to play and interact with them quite easily. Playing-soccer-with-Nicaraguan-childrenSeeing children have a great time playing a simple game of hopscotch or marbles is a great reminder that not everyone has Xbox and Nintendo games and that they aren’t necessary to have a fun time.

Okay, those are my top five reasons why we at the Farmstay think that Nicaragua is a great destination for your next family vacation. Please comment and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

Let’s face it, adventure travel, eco-tourism, security, and ease of transportation make up a big part of what families look for as a destination in addition to purely cost. The whole package you get in a Nicaragua is a great deal all-around!

Nicaragua’s Renewable Energy Revolution Picks Up Steam : Parallels : NPR

Nicaragua’s Renewable Energy Revolution Picks Up Steam

Renewable energy sources — such as the Eolo wind park about 75 miles south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua — generate about half of the country's electricity. Officials predict that figure could rise to 80 percent within years. Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images

Renewable energy sources — such as the Eolo wind park about 75 miles south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua — generate about half of the country’s electricity. Officials predict that figure could rise to 80 percent within years.
Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images

Nicaragua produces no oil, but is a land of fierce winds, tropical sun and rumbling volcanoes. In other words, it’s a renewable energy paradise — and today the Central American nation is moving quickly to become a green energy powerhouse. Within a few years the vast majority of Nicaragua’s electricity will come from hydroelectric dams, geothermal plants and wind farms.

Nicaragua’s largest wind farm lies on the shores of giant Lake Nicaragua, which stretches halfway across the country.

via Nicaragua’s Renewable Energy Revolution Picks Up Steam : Parallels : NPR

NPR has been doing what I think is a bang-up job on their Nicaragua reporting. We have reposted and commented on several of their stories here, here, and here if you would like to see them. They also did a feature on Medical Tourism that had a bit about Mike at the Farmstay!

Anyway, here is another good news story about how Nicaragua is developing its natural resources in the areas of wind, solar and geothermal with the goal to be a net energy exporter to other Central American countries in a few years!

Most everyone who has been visiting or living here in Nicaragua is familiar with the wind farms along the lakeshore of Lake Nicaragua south of Rivas, but you might not know about the solar and geothermal. When you think of it, really geothermal is the way to go as that is a never-ending supply of energy since we have so much volcanic activity in this country.