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

Time of year to travel | Lonely Planet

What is the best time of year to travel to Nicaragua?

The one where a family wants to travel to Nicaragua and wants to know what is the best time of year to travel to Nicragua. Hint: The rainy season isn’t bad! From the Lonely Planet Nicaragua travel forum.

Hi folks,

We are a family with two kids, 7 and 2, that are very much wanting to travel independently in Nicaragua. We are seasoned travelers, that isn’t an issue, but as it is our first time to Central America we are mainly wondering about weather at the time of year available. We are most likely looking at either a few weeks in the end of May to mid June, or the month of July. I have read that this is the rainy season? We were thinking of a few locations only, probably basing in Granada, but also are interested in Otega and Little Corn, maybe also a few days at least in some off-the-beaten-track little town in a local hotel where there is nothing in particular to do. lol. But is this literally the worst time to go? We don’t want to do the beach every day or anything, but a month of crappy raining weather would suck, especially with the kids. Advice? Thanks

Greetings DBN9663: You have an excellent response already, that the rainy season isn’t like an all-day deluge, but more typically either afternoon thundershowers or better yet, raining at night time. So you can plan your outings in the morning and be almost guaranteed to have good weather. On Corn Island the rain comes more frequently and there’s not such a distinct wet/dry season as there is on the Pacific coast, but it’s usually a short rain that clears up after a bit.
To add to that a little, the “normal” rainy season begins in mid-May but the weather has been anything but normal for a few years now. In fact, the first part of the rainy season has been extremely dry on the Pacific side in recent years. So, that said, it might be better to come in July if that’s an option as it might be that most of May would still be the end of the hot/dry season, which typically is April to the beginning of the rainy season.
By July the rainy season should hopefully be in full swing, fingers crossed! What with the El Niño year, its not clear how that might affect our rainy season in Nicaragua. The forecast maps say it will be dry further north and wet further south but who knows, right?
It’s just weather anyway, so go ahead an plan a great trip for your family!

Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Time of year to travel

Best time to travel to Nicaragua

It’s typically rainer on the Caribbean coast.

Arriving in Managua ~8pm-Feasibility of making a minibus from UCA at 9, or shuttle from airport to Granada available?

From http://dontstopliving.net/backpacking-in-nicaragua-how-to-get-from-leon-to-granada-for-2-80/p1010339/

From http://dontstopliving.net/backpacking-in-nicaragua-how-to-get-from-leon-to-granada-for-2-80/p1010339/

emgtravel
Hello,
I am arriving in Managua around 8pm and was wondering if I have time to get to UCA for a 9 pm shuttle to Masaya, and also if shuttle buses from the airport to Granada run that late. Any suggestions on the best way to get to UCA at that time? Would it be more advisable to stay in Managua and travel the next day?
Thank you!

Greetings emgtravel:

I’d say no chance to get to La UCA at that time and that there would be no bus leaving that late. Like others have written, it is basically either do the shuttle or private sedan, so max $40 but you can split that up to three ways with 3 pax. The other option would be to look for a nice place to stay that will come pick you up and be located near the route from UCA to Granada and then the next morning you would only pay about a buck to go to Granada instead of up to $40.

Cheers, Mike_elportonverde

via https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/permalink/post/21292255

Arriving in Managua at Night?

This question comes up fairly frequently in the travel forums about Nicaragua, as a lot if not a majority of flights come in at night, when arriving in Managua how would one get to Granada or is it better to wait until the next day?

I’ve answered this before in an original blog post: Head-to-Head Comparison: After Arriving at the Managua Airport, Going Directly to Granada vs. Staying near Carretera a Masaya

Bottom line is that, after arriving in Managua, you should be able to decide if it’s okay with you to get to Granada the next morning instead of at a late hour at night.

If you decide to go with the El Portón Verde solution, you can:

Now I’ve had expats of Granada give me a really hard time about this modest proposal I make, as if enough tourists don’t go directly to Granada as soon as they land! I don’t argue that what is right for an individual traveler is always the best thing for everybody, but I do contend that for someone who wants a softer landing to Nicaragua, have a chance to see a friendly face, be greeted by someone who speaks your language meets you at the Managua airport, gives you a nice comfortable ride and room at a farm where in the morning you’ll have an incredible view, eat a great filling breakfast, have a chance to do a quick farm tour or a dip in our swimming pool, then we get you on the bus for a short trip to Granada that only costs $1 USD, well, that is a good proposition for some people, am I right?

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