elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 754 posts 22 reviews 2.
Feb 08, 2016, 2:13 PM
Greetings winger88: Coming in at night there would be no public bus available. If you are up for another 2 1/2 hours in a vehicle after flying all day and are okay with arriving late at night, then you can use a private shuttle service like iSKRA Travel, NicaRoads, etc.
The last scheduled (shared) shuttle is cheaper but leaves the airport at 5:30pm so you might not be able to make it. The private shutlle is $80 for one or two passengers.
Taking the bus the next morning would be a lot cheaper if that is important to you, If you go that route, I would suggest staying at a place off of Carretera a Masaya so you could catch the bus as it heads out of town. Otherwise, go to the Mercado Huembes and get the bus to SJdS or to Rivas, then switch to a bus to SJdS from there.
Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua
CHICHIGALPA, Nicaragua – A new attraction for fans of extreme tourism has been inaugurated at the foot of San Cristobal Volcano, Nicaragua’s tallest, in the northwestern region of the Central American country.
The site, with its inn, dining hall, visitors center, tourist service facility and trails for climbing the 1,745-meter (5,721-foot) high volcano, was constructed with a budget of 250,000 euros ($276,125), funded 80 percent by the European Union and 20 percent by the Chichigalpa city government.
Its construction is aimed at promoting the comprehensive development of the tourism value chain based on the Route of the Colonial Cities and the Volcanoes, the EU said.
“We used to think that all this volcano could do was erupt, but now it’s on the national route of tourist attractions,” Chichigalpa Mayor Victor Manuel Sevilla told EFE.
Nicaragua: The country travellers haven’t yet discovered
UTE JUNKER Last updated 05:00, September 29 2015 3 Roberto Zuniga
There is no sleeping in in the city of Leon. Even for those nestled, as I am, behind the sheltering walls of a converted convent – walls thicker than anything built in the intervening three centuries – 7am is wake-up time. That is when a loud siren sounds across the town, rousing any sleepyheads and reminding them that it is time to get up and go to work. A second siren sounds at midday, announcing f lunchtime. It is an odd ritual, redolent of life on a plantation. A local tells me the practice used to be common across Nicaragua. Back when workers were too poor to afford clocks or watches, it ensured everyone got to work on time. Today, the only place it is still practised is in Leon, which seems slightly odd, given that this is Nicaragua’s foremost student city. Perhaps it is the only way they can get students to show up for their morning lectures. I have never come across a city-wide wake-up call anywhere else in the world, but then, Nicaragua is different. Central America’s poorest country has a lost-in-time feeling, with a laidback pace that has disappeared from most corners of the globe. The country does not feature on many must-visit lists, but it is hoping to change that, aiming to reinvent itself as tourist destination. Given its magnificent natural attractions, from soaring volcanoes and massive lakes to dense jungles and wonderfully preserved colonial cities, it should be an easy sell.
Thanks for this story Ute Junker…I think you just barely made it here before the hordes arrive haha. Actually, if you stay away from Granada, San Juan del Sur, and parts of Ometepe Island, you will not see too many tourists. You mentioned how in your visit to Leon you just saw a few international travelers here and there. That’s why personally I enjoy Leon much more than Granada. Going to Granada you are confronted with several Irish Pubs, Tex-Mex restaurants, falafel bars, etc. that is much like home. On the Calzada (the main tourist drag in Granada) where is to my knowledge only one restaurant that actually features Nicaraguan cuisine that is not an overpriced fake experience.
Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua
Eco-Casita Truda is a place to escape civilization and feel one with nature. It is 40 minutes to an hour from Leon depending on how you travel but it feels like a world away. You constantly hear the mesmerizing sound of the surf. In the evening, you add to that, the sounds of the crickets and the spectacular view of the stars and all cares are wiped away.
This lovely large beach front property with trees that are natural to the area is in a secluded section of Salinas Grandes beach which has a handful of private residents, mostly owned by expats. Both lots on either side of the property are currently vacant which gives Eco-Casita Truda an even more secluded feel while still being close to caring neighbors. The closes neighbor is an American couple who live on the beach full time.
The sand is volcanic so is a slightly darker color. The beach and entrance to the ocean is smooth sand. The warm waters in this area stay shallow for a good distance in the ocean and there are no known riptides. Residents swim and surf there without incident. Pelicans and other nautical birds accompany the high tide as they dive in to capture their dinner. Fishermen frequent these waters and it is possible to go out with them or purchase fish from them down the beach. The local surf camp came to visit Eco-Casita Truda and shared that this is an excellent area of the beach for surfing. The neighbors are friendly and helpful and keep an eye on the property when the tenants are not around.
Fully solar and fully screened for mosquitos
Naturally air-conditioned with open air flowing through in the upper areas of the ceiling, large windows and double doors that open to the front porch and view of the ocean
Very large living/dining/kitchen space is open air with barred windows and shades that roll down but no glass windows to separate from the outdoors, Living area has sofa that can convert into a trundle bed supplying two very comfortable twin beds. There is one more comfortable floor mattress that sleeps one.
Large light-filled bedroom with an enormous window with an amazing view of the ocean. The bedroom windows are screened and have wooden shutters. This room can be completely locked and shuttered separate from the house so that tenants can keep their valuables even more secure in this room. The room is furnished with a queen size bed, wardrobe, desk, office chair and a solar fan with radio.
Light-filled bathroom features high open air windows with bars and screens that allow for air flow and a sense of being outside. The shower is enormous. There is a utility sink for washing clothes with scrub board build into it. There is also space for storing surfboards in the bathroom. Additionally, there is an outdoor shower on the property.
A TV is available for tenants use. A signal booster is available for use so that cell phones will receive reception in the house. It also assists in strengthening the internet signal.
Internet hotspot comes with the house for which tenants may purchase time. (Instructions are given on the use of the equipment.)
Kitchen is equipped with a 24 hour solar combination fridge and freezer as well as a gas oven/stove and all needed kitchen supplies. There are no other kitchen appliances available for use that require electricity such as a microwave or blender.
Potable Water is supplied by a water tank that has to be refilled monthly. The cost is minimal and the responsibility of the tenant.
A local city bus runs from the village of Salinas Grandes 4 or 5 times a day and is about a 1.5 mile walk down the beach to catch it. The most recent tenant chose to purchase a motorcycle for his transportation purposes. About a mile from the house is a local drinking/eating spot that sells limited supplies including fresh fish, pork, ice, sodas and a few other items. For a nominal fee, they will do your grocery shopping in town on Mondays. If you choose to hire someone to wash clothes, clean, cook, clean the yards, run errands, there are local folks who charge reasonable fees that would benefit from the work and can be recommended.
Eco-Casita Truda will be available at the latest September 1st, possibly sooner. I am looking to rent it for four months, September to end of December or early or mid January but will consider a period as short as one month. For a one month rental, the cost is $700, two month rental, $675 monthly and $650 for a three month rental. The holiday month of December is priced at $750. There is a deposit of $250 that is required at the signing of the lease. The first month’s rent is due prior to receiving the keys to the property. The deposit will be returned within one month of departure minus any funds needed to cover damages incurred. details. The approximate measurements of the eco-casita are the following: Interior: 765.8 sq ft, 71.1 m2; Exterior: 855.0 sq ft, 79.4 m2; Interior Measurement Detail: Great Room: 24.0 ft x 18.5 = 444.0 sq ft; Bedroom: 16.5 ft x 11.5 = 189.8 sq ft ; Bathroom/Laundry: 16.5 ft x 8.0 = 132.0 sq ft; Total Interior: 765.8 sq ft; Patio: 24.0 x 9.5 = 228.0 sq ft; Total Interior with Patio: 993 sq ft. I am open to renting to a group of surfers and providing additional bedding and tent.
This is a really cute little beach front casita located on a good surfing beach not all that far from Leon. The current and soon-to-be former tenant, Paul, was looking for a place to live by the beach while he was staying at the Farmstay and he saw an ad on Craigslist Nicaragua for this place.
Long story short, he got a hold of the owner, whose name is Truda, and as they were discussing what was on offer over the phone, they discovered that Truda was going to be our guest in just a few days time. When she came for her stay, they met, became friends and did the deal to rent the place! So I feel like we sort of midwifed this initial deal and it certainly worked out good for both parties. Another cool Farmstay story ehh?
Well, you can be the next happy tenant! I suppose staying with us at the Farmstay is not mandatory, but it couldn’t hurt. 🙂
11. Re: Night arrival in MGA, transfer to Leon … safe???
Aug 15, 2014, 1:49 PM
This question does come up quite often; basically, “where should I stay on my first night in Nicaragua?”
I tried to answer that on my blog, starting with whether or not you will need to stay somewhere near the airport or even if you might need to stay in Managua in general. Just know that not all of the places to stay near Managua are equal in terms of ambiance and tranquility.
I hope that helps.
Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua
One destination mentioned in this post
It is true that this topic, “where should I stay on my first night in Nicaragua” comes up quite a bit in some of these Nicaragua travel forums such as TripAdvisor. Of course, at the Farmstay we offer our famous (heheheh) “soft landing” service where the idea is to have our friends and other guests we have visiting us start to relax and feel like everything is going to be fine pretty much as soon as they get off the plane. Our philosophy since coming down here to Nicaragua is that as long as we have the idea in mind that “todo es una aventura” then we’ll be okay.
But the folks who arrive at MGA on those later flights have a bit of a dilemna. If you are arriving on one of the night flights coming in from Delta (ATL), American (MIA), and United (HOU), or even later, the Spirit Air flight from Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), you are in my opinion best served to not take that late night shuttle.
If you are just going to Granada or Laguna de Apoyo, or Mombacho Lodge, then sure, not a big deal to take the 45 minutes to get to those spots. But if you are going to further-away locations such as Leon, San Juan del Sur, Matagalpa, Jinotega, Chinandega, Isla de Ometepe, etc. then think it through a little bit before booking that late-night shuttle. Lots more details of your choices here.
Business León Nicaragua | Sale of hostel right
Date added: 07/17/2014 3:50 pm
Lot Size 0
Sale of Hostel right in Leon, Nicaragua.
Located at 3 blocks to Cathedral. Working, with all legal papers in order.
Sixth place in Trip Advisor rating for hostels in Leon. Great reviews for place in main hostel web places.
What are the Best Places to Live in Nicaragua?
There are many fine towns and a few real cities to choose from when deciding where to live in Nicaragua. Some of the factors influencing whether one town or city works best for your personal situation are:
- lifestyle preferences
- Spanish-speaking abilities
- financial situation
- personal health
- desires to live with or without other expatriates
There are many more factors in addition to those named above. We’ll tackle this topic on a broad level now and in further posts will break it down into some detail. If you have enjoyed this post, please comment below and encourage me to continue with this series!
Let’s get started with some broad strokes as to what whould be the best Nicaraguan city for you to live in.
Do you want to live in a city, town, village, or? Would you enjoy being in the center of the pueblo just a couple of streets off of the plaza? Or, do you prefer living a few minutes drive or bus away from the downtown? As with all things, there are pluses and minuses to each of these options and you need to find out for yourself what is best for you.
What about your Spanish-language skills? If you already have a fairly good handle on Spanish, then you are likely much more open to living wherever you want to in Nicaragua. Folks with limited Spanish and little-to-no ability to learn the language will probably be best suited to live in an area with a large existing expat community where you can speak English most everywhere you go.
Are finances a major consideration? If living on a fixed budget, even though your money goes much further in Nicaragua, you will still need to watch your spending habits and keep a reserve handy in case. Obviously, if you have a much more comfortable financial situation, then you can forego thinking about strategizing on money-saving schemes and live you life as you desire.
What about your health? Your age? Anything requiring regular checkups, medical specialists, tests and exams? That will affect your decisions too. Excellent health care is available in Nicaragua, but is not evenly distributed throughout the country. For the most part, Managua is where the best doctors and hospitals are located.
Do you prefer to live in a real Nicaraguan community or one with a sizeable expat population? Some people, usually those with limited Spanish skills, find themselves drawn to expat communities, of which there are not a lot to choose from in Nicaragua. Do you want to join the Kiwanas club or the American Legion? If that is the sort of social life you envision then your options are limited as regards Nicaragua. Or, do you want to live as completely as possible with Nicaraguans in a Spanish-speaking community? This question also speaks to your needs for a social life. Some folks are just fine by themselves or the occasional meetup with friends, and some are real “joiners” that want to be part of every bridge club, charity event, volunteering at the schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. Which are you?
Weather is another important consideration. Luckily, in Nicaragua one can choose what kind of weather they like. Warm and hot is the norm here, but there are mountainous areas that are great for that “perpetual spring” climate. As you get to live here awhile, a slight change in temperature can make the difference between sweating and being miserable or quite comfortable.
Transportation is important too. It is not too difficult to live without a car in Nicaragua and in some places it offers a distinct advantage to not drive! Buses and taxis are usually very available and mostly inexpensive. Driving here has its challenges, but of course offers freedom of movement that relying on public transportation just does not offer.
Finally, what amenities are important to you? For example, are you a shopaholic? There aren’t too many shopping malls in Nicaragua and most of them are in Managua. Are first-run movies in brand-new theaters your thing? Again, the capital has those but are not very well distributed outside of Managua. What about nightlife? Culture? Art? Poetry? Live music? A variety of different types of restaurants? I always recommend you be clear with yourself that if you feel you need these amenities, don’t go moving out to the coast where it takes an hour or two to find some of these things. Be real with yourself and admit you like eating sushi and seeing a musical play live once in a while!
Okay, that is the end of this edition. I plan on writing more of these and going into further detail on each and every consideration to help make your move to Nicaragua a good one! Please share, Like, or comment!
Top Four”Off the beaten path” Nicaraguan Surfing & Fishing Villages
I had someone contact me via TripAdvisor in a personal message asking about where one might look for a nice surfing family beach vacation for a group of five that might not be located in San Juan del Sur, as they were perhaps aware that SJdS can be a bit of a Nicaraguan version of Key West. The family is looking for something different. Here are my suggestions.
- Zone 1: Tola, Rivas area.
- Zone 2: Carazo
- Zone 3: Leon
- Zone 4: Chinandega
Some places to look at for an off-the-beaten path surfing vacation with a cultural element of a small fishing village in Nicaragua would be Playa Gigante and Las Salinas/Popoyo in the Tola, Rivas area. Each of these beaches has a local evening scene.
Gigante has a few beach bars with live music and DJ/techno playing on weekends. Gigante also has a good learner’s surfing break, and is a short panga boat ride to the top Tola area surfing breaks. There are a few nice looking homes for rent in this area:
Las Salinas/Popoyo/Guasacate has three names because they often get confused and are all right next or if you look on Google maps, on top of one another. I believe it is correct to say what is usually called Popoyo is really Playa Guasacate, while the area slightly south and inland of the beachfront is called Las Salinas. Anyway… Popoyo the surf break is across the estuary mouth to the south of the tip of the end of a sort of peninsula running towards San Martin at the north end of Playa Guasacate.
Huehuete and La Boquita are nice beaches, with some neat rock formations that create some interesting little pools and act as breakwalls against the surging Pacific surf. But there are some beachbreaks, and you can also rent panga boats to take you to some nearby surf spots that are not very frequented and you might have the spot to yourself and your buddies. La Boquita is a more organized tourist spot, with beachfront restaurants and small simple hotels.
El Transito, Playa Hermosa, Miramar and Salinas Grandes are all surf and fishing villages. Not too much to be said for their nightlife (little to none) but the surfing is good and they are not that well traveled by most surfers. There’s a great little off-the-grid beach house I know of for rent in Salinas Grandes that is perfect for a romantic couple’s getaway or a few guys and gals on a surf trip.
Los Asseradores, Aposentillo, and Jiquilillo is a stretch of very nice coast up in the furthest northwest of Nicaragua. The Asseradores/Aposentillo area has a few up and coming restaurants like Al Cielo aka “The French Guys” which is an outstanding restaurant considering its remote location. Jiquilillo is Baja-Nicaragua, a real end of the road feel, with a simple fishing village atmosphere and sometimes excellent surf. Again, not much nightlife, but there are a few hostel bars that can be fun, and a couple of local dives that may be interesting if nothing else.
I hope you enjoyed this overview of some of the overlooked, lesser-known, off-the-beaten path areas of Nicaragua for the surfing enthusiast who would like a bit of local exposure, not just be in a tourist trap.
Surf zones of Nicaragua
Just to open up this thread, here’s an overview of the different areas for surfing in Nicaragua. Only a few beaches can be reached by road, most of the beaches are better accessed via panga boat.
Any questions or comments, feel free to ask!
San Juan del Sur: SJdS is the main attraction for surfers visiting Nicaragua. The town is located on a bay that is mostly protected from the swells, so surfing there in town is usually not a good call. However, just outside of town there are several surfing beaches.
North of town, the main surf break is Maderas, a fairly open beach break with some rock reef structures to watch out for, but nothing major. You will see a thriving local surf culture, a few basic hospedajes and beachfront restaurants. A definite must-see for the visiting surfer.
South of town, there are a few more options, none of which are as well known or visited as Maderas to the north. From north to south, you have Remanso, Tamarindo, Hermosa, Coco, and a few others to be discovered! Remanso is great for beginning surfers as it is in a cove, so the rip currents are minimal and the vibe is more the older crowd mixed in with beginners. Hermosa is a wide-open beach break with some very good peaks to be found on a good day. This is a more advanced break with a more critical wave form that can be good for getting tubed on the right day!
Tola: Tola is a town to the west of Rivas, north of SJdS. This is the heart of the surf of Nicaragua. Best breaks are Popoyo, Santana, Rosada, Astillero, Manzanillo, and Iguana. Popoyo is a reef break with both a right and a left, a real standout break. The other main surf beach is Iguana, which is a barreling beach break located in a private community, although getting access is not that difficult. There are quite a few lodging options in this area, with Playa Gigante and Las Salinas/Popoyo being the main options.
Carazo: Carazo is the next departamento (like a county) to the north of Rivas. While it doesn’t have the most outstanding waves in the country, there are some breaks there that are both fun and challenging. The main surf break is La Boquita. Others to be discovered as part of your surf adventure!
Managua: Pochomil is the nearest beach to the capital city, and is a pretty fair beach break wave that is surprisingly uncrowded most of the time. Other breaks are located in the private community of Gran Pacifica, and there is a beach break that can be fun and definitely uncrowded called Playa Quizala.
Leon: Leon has lots of surf options, most of which I’ll leave to the reader to go and discover for yourself! The main surf nearest to town is Las Peñitas, a fair-to-middling beach break around a rivermouth that can be good on certain days. Always something to surf there though! The other main surf area is near the town of Puerto Sandino. Freight Trains, Pipes, and Punta Miramar are the three known breaks. Also worth mentioning is the area around El Transito and Playa Hermosa. These are relatively unknown to the surf hordes and offer some variety in terms of reefs, beach breaks, and even some secret spots if you are willing to put in the time and effort!
Chinandega: This is the northernmost area of Nicaragua’s Pacific coast and is every bit as beautiful as the beaches in the SJdS and Tola areas. Some of the highlight waves are Booms, Bahia Nahualapa, and a few others you will have to discover yourself.
I hope that helps with a quick overview of the surf potential of Nicaragua and helps you decide where to focus your search for dakine waves on these beautiful coastlines.
Mike @ Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua
Next tour: January 20 – 25, 2013
The highlights of Nicaragua tour is a great way to get to know the major cities and coast of Nicaragua. This six day tour will immediately follow the Central American Advantage Investment Symposium in Managua which runs from January 15th to 17th.
This tour begins in Managua and goes to León, Montecristo Beach, Granada and San Juan del Sur.
It’s the ideal tour for entrepreneurs, investors, retirees and others who want a brief overview of the highlights of Nicaragua in a short period of time at a reasonable price. Fully escorted tour in air conditioned transportation.
Price: $875 based on double occupancy. Single supplement: $125
Included: Breakfasts, Dinners, some Entertainment, all tours
Transportation in a private, air conditioned bus
Nicaraguan tourist card
Tickets to the Central American Advantage Syposium
Airfare (we can make your flight arrangements if required)
For those seeking to relocate and/or retire to Nicaragua, the question always comes up, “how do I get to know where I want to live and invest?”
Sometimes traveling by yourself is not making the best use of your precious time and you might not be able to make the contacts with the experts and get to know your options the way you would in an organized group tour.
Tanya from Nica Tour Group is now offering a shorter, more tightly focused six-day tour which hits the major hotspots. Best yet, the Central American Advantage Investment Symposium in Managua runs just before this tour, so you can get all the expert information at the symposium and then get your feet on the ground and your eyes on the prize by enjoying Tanya’s tour.
Excellent! Nice selection of places to be visited and all offered at a very nice price point. Congratulations Tanya! I do notice that there are a few days in-between the events. That would be a good time to come and stay with us at Farmstay El Portón Verde!