If You Read One Article About Visiting Laguna de Apoyo, Read this One

From from Above Laguna de Apoyo
One mile out of Granada on horse-back to the top view of Laguna de Apoyo

Laguna de Apoyo is a crater lake located between the cities of Masaya and Granada in Nicaragua. The laguna is approximately 6.6 kilometers round and 200 meters deep. The crater was formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago.  Rain and subterranean water filled the crater over the years, creating a warm mineral water that makes swimming feel amazing.

Laguna de Apoyo, nicaragua,
Buenos Dias Laguna

As you can see in the photo lush slopes surround the laguna making it a nature lover’s paradise. You can hike or ride horse through the slopes and can expect to see different species of birds (locals tell me over 200), howler and white-faced monkeys in the trees, iguanas, opossums, squirrels and around 220 species of butterflies.  Yeah, why aren’t you here yet?

Paradiso Hostal on Laguna de Apoyo
Paradiso Hostal on Laguna de Apoyo

 

Nicaragua is well-known for it’s spectacular volcanic lagoons, but I consider Laguna de Apoyo special because of the lush nature, warm mineral water and tranquil setting. Getting to the Laguna from Granada is about a 20 minute ride.  There are many places you can visit to gain access to the Laguna but my favorite place is Hostal Paradiso.

Paradiso, Laguna de Apoyo
Paradiso, Laguna de Apoyo

There are shuttle buses from Buena Tours directly to Paradiso daily, making life so easy. Paradiso implies exactly what you would expect – Paradise.  You can spend the day or spend as much time as you would like here ($10-$25/night).  At Paradiso you can swim, paddle board, snorkel, kayak or just read on a beach chair while sipping a pina colada or watermelon smoothie all the while listening to the beautiful songs of the many birds surrounding this beautiful place. You can also enjoy different local tours, zip lining, and massages upon request.

Calle Calzada, Granada, Laguna de Apoyo, Buena Tours, Nicaragua
Calle Calzada, Granada, Laguna de Apoyo, Buena Tours, Nicaragua

Buena Tours is located on the Calle Calzada directly across the street from the cathedral also provides daily shuttles and entrance to Paradiso Hostal $12, leaves 10am and return 4pm to Granada. Or share a taxi for about $15-20.

If you feel adventurous, public bus is another option and cheaper, from Granada the bus stop is a block south (toward Mombacho) from Parke Central. You can catch buses that depart from here daily and often, the destination is Managua and you tell the man who collects fares that you are going to Laguna de Apoyo and cost just under $1. Once you arrive to the Laguna, carefully cross the carretera (highway) and you can find stray taxis awaiting to transport to the Laguna for about 150 cordobas ($5.35).

Sunset View of LagunaLaguna de Apoyo is one of my top 10 places to visit in Nicaragua.  I am an active person and enjoy swimming, kayaking, and hiking but I also need down time and at the Laguna I can relax, stare at the beautiful scenery, listen to the sounds or just read.  If you are seeking tranquility, this is the place for you.  The adventures continue…stay tuned for the next article as we take a visual ride through the archipelago of the Isletas on Lake Nicaragua.

 

Advertisements

Top 4 Reasons Why You Must Get to Nicaragua Now

Playa Gigante Tola, Nicaragua

I have visited Nicaragua for the past three years now and am beginning to see a huge influx of tourism that this beautiful country rightfully deserves. This gem is north of Costa Rica and south of Guatemala. The particular situation of Nicaragua provides this country with some unique characteristics.  I have to admit that I am a little biased as this is my family’s native country but find that this country is unique and rich with culture. I will be blogging highlights of many cities throughout my six-week stay here so be sure to sign up for my daily alerts!

Here are some reasons why you should get to this country:

1. Just as beautiful as Costa Rica with less tourist traps.

A room with a view! Isletas, Granada Nicaragua

Costa Rica used to be the “Go to” location for yoga and surfing, but now there are Starbucks everywhere (not a bad thing but has a state-side feel to it and the point of leaving the states is well, leave the states!)  If you want to discover a new and raw culture than Nicaragua is definitely for you.  Nicaragua is the land of lakes and volcanoes.  The coasts of Nicaragua are just as gorgeous as Costa Rica and absolute killer waves for surfing. The colonial city of Granada is my favorite, it is about 45 minutes from the capital of Managua and what makes Granada so special is that the houses and buildings are colorful, the people smile and the weather is always perfect. The city is central to many attractions like the Isletas on Lake Managua, Vulcan Mombacho, nearby Laguna de Apoyo and about 2 hours from the Pacific Coast.

2. It is so affordable!

Staying in Granada or the Pacific Coast – Accommodations vary but if you’re on a budget, you stay at a comfortable and clean hostel for about $15 USD/night.  If you’re looking for a mid-range accommodations, you can find hotels ranging from $55-$99 USD/night. Do not be fooled, there are many luxury hotels all over the country if you are seeking to splurge on all-inclusive accommodations.  Food + lodging is about half the price in Costa Rica or Panama.  Airfare ranges but you can find roundtrip fares starting at $420 USD.

3. Wildlife & Biodiversity.

El Mirador Catarina, Laguna de Apoyo

There is really so much to see and do.  If you have penchant for adventure or just easy relaxing, you can achieve that here.  You can travel down the Rio san Juan, or visit the island of Ometepe, where there are two islands on a lake, which makes this unique. The Caribbean Coast, and the Pacific Coasts. Through out the country you will find plenty of horse back riding, paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, surfing, hiking, dancing, dolphin and whale watching and so much more.  Best bird watching in the world!  There are 704 species of birds in Nicaragua.  Exactly, WOW! In the rainforest areas, there are 5 species of cats, including jaguar and cougar; 3 species of primates, spider monkey, howler monkey and capuchin monkey; 1 species of tapir, called Danto for the Nicaraguans; 3 species of anteaters and many more.

4. Surfing!  

Playa Maderas, San Juan del Sur

The beautiful coasts of Nicaragua are becoming popular for surfing. You’ll find some of the best quality waves along the Pacific and no crowds!  Nobody likes surfing in a big crowd and the crowds in Nicaragua are pretty light.  A few beaches that are on the Pacific Coast worth mentioning are:  Playa Colorado, Playa Hermosa in Tola, which are bit more secluded but some of the most pristine beaches and Playa Maderas off of San Juan de Sur.  

Amongst the million reasons why you should visit, I gave you the top 4 and I would definitely recommend this country to explore. Best time to visit – Anytime!  If you’re from the East Coast, I recommend skipping harsh winters in Nica 🙂