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.
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?
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.
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.
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).
Laguna 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.