Suggestions for weeklong vacation with three teenagers

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Hello! I’m exploring options for me to take my three nieces/nephew on vacation for about a week. Nicaragua is at the top of my list, having previously been to Costa Rica and Guatemala. Central America is so much fun. For the teenagers it will be their first trip out of the country (outside of the midwest USA, really). I’m looking for a fun, standard itinerary that perhaps will stoke a love of travel in them. All three kids are 14/15 years old, and I’m looking to travel in the dry season – maybe as early as this April. What are your thoughts on an itinerary? Some notes:

  • No party destinations
  • I’d like for them to see and learn about cultural differences and humanitarian issues
  • We’re from a flat area, so we definitely need to hike mountains. I’d categorize the three of them as all having a “medium” fitness level. Cerro Negro, Telica? Quetzeltrekkers?
  • Can we see lava anywhere in Nicaragua?
  • Waterfalls would be great
  • We’ll need some beach time. Preferably somewhere quiet where I’d rent a house and we can explore nearby on foot.
  • We should visit one of the colonial cities. Leon or Granada?
  • Ometepe looks really cool. The volcanoes there sound too difficult to hike for their skill level.

Thanks for your help. The Thorn Tree is a great community.

 

Response from elportonverde

mike_elportonverde ONLINE 23 days ago Greetings Doug: Yes you can see hot lava in Nicaragua at the Masaya Volcano during the night tour. What I would suggest is similar to likeeveryoneelse’s recommendations. I’d suggest the loop from Managua-Leon-Esteli (Somoto Canyon)-Matagalpa-Granada as a rough itinerary. In Leon you can get your beach day in at Las Peñitas, do the volcano boarding, see the town itself (go up to the top of the cathedral for photos), then get to Esteli (there’s a nice waterfall just before you get to the town), overnight in Esteli or Somoto, then the next morning do Somoto Canyon (your teens will love it!), there are other hikes in the area too. Next day go to Matagalpa (more nice hikes, coffee country), then get back to Granada for the last couple of days. Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Suggestions for weeklong vacation with three teenagers

The Somoto Canyon in Northern Nicaragua Hobbitschuster

You might want to stay in Managua when…

You might want to stay in Managua when:

  • Your incoming flight arrives late in the day and you might be feeling a bit tired and prefer to get a bite to eat and get to somewhere nice where you can take it easy and get a good night’s sleep.
  • Your next Nicaraguan destination can wait a day, you’ve done a lot of traveling and are on VACATION so give yourself a break and start to relax already!
  • Your departing flight is leaving really early in the morning.
  • You are traveling on to the Caribbean coast and need to wait until the next days flight to Bluefields, Corn Island, Puerto Cabezas, etc.
  • Your flight came in late and you are planning on going first to somewhere kind of far away, such as Chinandega, Matagalpa, Esteli, San Juan del Sur, Rio San Juan, Ometepe Island, etc. which you cannot or should not attempt to travel to at night.
  • You have some dental work or doctor’s visits to take care of by the best doctor’s and dentists in Nicaragua. You can save a lot of money with medical tourism in Nicaragua!
  • You have some NGO-church-mission-related, or other type of work to be done in the capital.
  • You are seriously thinking of relocating and understand that it is a good idea to get to know the biggest city in the country before moving on and deciding where you want to live in Nicaragua.
  • You understand that the best way to check out the different areas, especially along the Pacific Coast is to stay in the Managua area because transport to beach areas on the coastline is simpler since there isn’t any Pacific Coast Highway of Nicaragua!

if your situation does not fall into any of the above you probably don’t need to worry too much about where to stay in Managua.  So enjoy your stay elsewhere and thanks for reading!

Managua, Nicaragua

Managua, Nicaragua

via Where should I stay on my first night in Nicaragua? | Bed and Breakfast Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua.

Houses / Homes in Estelí / Nicaragua | For Sale | 84491778 – 86166500 : 3 rooms, 116 m2, USD 41000.00

Houses / Homes in Estelí / Nicaragua | For Sale | 84491778 – 86166500 : 3 rooms, 116 m2, USD 41000.00.84491778 - 86166500

Property Information

Location: Estelí
Address of Property Barrio Oscar Gamez # 2. del panteóncito el Carmen 1 C. al Este y 10 Vrs. al Norte.
Price $41,000.00
Price/sq meter $353.44
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 1
Square Meters 116
Lot Size 10x25m2
Age of Home 2009
Stories 1
Swimming pool no
Parking 1
Type of Floor Otro
Floor Number 1
Benefits Near a School, Near Traffic, Mountain View, Roofed Parking

Description

84491778 – 86166500
Jose Ramón Zeledon
Juana Sevilla Mairena

Not a lot of information on this house located in the city of Estelí. This is an example of a more moderately priced house and the structure and neighborhood seem to reflect that fact.

Houses / Homes in Estelí / Nicaragua | For Sale | Country House and luxury appearance : 4 rooms, 54 m2, USD 160000.00

Houses / Homes in Estelí / Nicaragua | For Sale | Country House and luxury appearance : 4 rooms, 54 m2, USD 160000.00.Country House and luxury appearance

Property Information

Location: Estelí
Address of Property Barrio alfredo Lazo,frente al centra de salud nuevo
Price $160,000.00
Price/sq meter $2,962.96
Bedrooms 4
Bathrooms 2
Square Meters 54
Age of Home 2007
Stories 2
Balcony/Terrance balcón
Parking 2
Type of Floor Cerámica
Floor Number 2
Benefits Near a School, Near Traffic, Mountain View, Roofed Parking, Guest Parking, Maids Quarters, 24 hour Security, Garden or Park, Breakfast Area, Patio, Roofed Garage, Living room & Dinning room, Social Area, BBQ Area, Elegant Lobby
Appliances Instant Hot Water Dispenser

Description

House approved country look with four quarts of two floors, with office study, a luxury kitchen, double garage with desyunador safe and designed by American architect, with ceramics and good view near the health center, school, access to both the Pan-American highway and the center, restaurant and luxury in a safe area

Do you like the idea of living in a cooler area of Nicaragua like Estelí but aren’t so sure about living the farm life? Here’s an example of a good sized home in the city of Estelí with easy access to all that the city life offers.

Farms Estelí | venta | Beautiful Mountain Property minutes from Esteli : USD 125000.00

Farms Estelí | venta | Beautiful Mountain Property minutes from Esteli : USD 125000.00.Beautiful Mountain Property minutes from Esteli

Property Information

Location: Estelí
Price $125,000.00
Lot Size 5 Mz
Rooms 5
Bathrooms 2
Benefits Near School, Near Transit, Mountain View, Water system, Electrïcity, Easy Acces

Description

Vendo finca con casa de 5 cuartos y 2 baños. Tiene todos los servicios incluyendo t.v. satelite. Pozo artesiano con bomba de profundidad para poder regar todo el año. A solo minutos de Esteli y 250 varas de Carretra Panamericana es ideal para eco-turismo o para jubilarse en un sitio fresco y comodo. Con muchos arboles frutales y mirador con bellas vistas panoramicas de las montañas de Esteli. Ambiente de microclima fresco todo el año. Tiene que ver la propiedad para verdaderamente ver la joya que es.

This is an example of a smaller farm property located near the city of Estelí. It has an artesian well with a pump that you can use to irrigate your crops year-round. It is only 250 meters from the Pan American highway. Looks like a lovely property. Could this be what you are looking for?

Farms Estelí | venta | Farm in Miraflor, Esteli : USD 200000.00

Farms Estelí | venta | Farm in Miraflor, Esteli : USD 200000.00.Farm in Miraflor, Esteli

Property Information

Location: Estelí
Price $200,000.00
Size 19.2HA
Lot Size 19.2HA
Benefits Mountain View, Plane, Water system, Easy Acces

Description

This beautiful farm is located in Miraflor Estelí, In a community called “La Fortuna”, 28 kilometers from Estelí, This farm has a total extension of 27 ½ Manzanas or 19.2Hectares all fenced and with its own private access, it has a water spring with a large artificial lake, it has its own water motor with tubes buried to irrigate 5 MZ or 3.50 HA of orchards, it has 25 manzanas or 17.47 HA of land suitable for crop or livestock, it has its own barnyard with its gallery for livestock with concrete flooring and a feeder designed for cattle, it has a house with its own cellar room, Road to this farm is penetrable year around.

This is another lovely farm property located up in Miraflor, Estelí. Nice elevation here. Could this be your dream farm?

Farms Estelí | venta | Buy 4 hectares along the River La Sirena in Esteli : USD 30000.00

Farms Estelí | venta | Buy 4 hectares along the River La Sirena in Esteli : USD 30000.00.Buy 4 hectares along the River La Sirena in Esteli

Property Information

Location: Estelí
Price $30,000.00
Size 4 Hectareas
Lot Size 4 Hectareas
Benefits Mountain View, River Waterfront, Easy Acces

Description

Flat land with three different levels, especially to build cabins for tourist project to 3.5 km of the Pan American highway and 8 kilometers from Esteli, all-weather track for light vehicles, especially for planting fruit trees, fountain, over 300 yards of river safe area and quiet.

This looks to be a lovely property of almost 10 acres in size that is located not too far off of the Pan American highway near Estelí. If you are looking for an accessible property with a bit of acreage that is located right on a river, this might be appropriate for you. Good options here for developing your eco-tourism project.

Managua to Estelí, Nicaragua – Google Maps

I just noticed this feature in Google Maps that now in Nicaragua they have actual driving directions and there is even a 3-D option that flies you through the landscape so you see how hilly and/or curvy the roads are.  In this example you go from Managua to Esteli.

To me this is a great assist for travelers looking to better plan their trips, especially if driving oneself.

Just a word of caution, I would add approximately an hour to any destination that Google’s driving time estimate is more than an hour.  So if it says one hour plan on two, if two hours better make that three, etc.

Try the 3-D feature, I think you will enjoy it!

Hotel Contempo to Estelí, Nicaragua – Google Maps.

Almost there, according to Google Maps 🙂