Our Epic Adventures In Nicaragua – A Travel Video

Our Epic Adventures In Nicaragua – A Travel Video

Nicaragua is relatively less traveled compared to its southern cousin we now call home, but in no way does that mean there is any lack of incredible things to see and do. We spent two weeks exploring the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes” and were amazed by what Nicaragua and its people have to offer. We usually stick to photographs, but this trip we knew there were going to be so many fun adventures that it would be nearly impossible to capture it solely through pictures. Our trip started off in the colonial town of Granada with its massive cathedrals, a cruise through the tiny islands of the Isletas on Lake Nicaragua, exploring the fuming Masaya Volcano and zip-lining through the Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve. Our next stop took us to Isla de Ometepe, an island made of up two volcanoes sitting smack dab in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. This time our adventures included the natural freshwater springs at the Ojo de Agua (eye of water), a 7-hour hike and stunning view from the Maderas Volcano, and kayaking on Lake Nicaragua. Finally, we concluded our trip with a sunset sailboat cruise in San Juan del Sur and surfing at Playa Maderas. When we said there is no lack of adventure activities in Nicaragua, we weren’t kidding! Check out our video of our epic adventures in Nicaragua. Epic Adventures In Nicaragua from Daniel Moore on Vimeo. Have you been to Nicaragua? Which adventures would you do? A huge thank you to Nature Air for flying us to Nicaragua and making our adventures possible! Read More About Nicaragua: A Visual...
Five Reasons To Visit Playa Maderas, Nicaragua

Five Reasons To Visit Playa Maderas, Nicaragua

We didn’t think Nicaragua could get any better after Isla de Omtepe, but we were pleasantly surprised by our time in San Juan del Sur. In fact, some of the highlights of our entire trip were made here on the coast. But it wasn’t necessarily the town of San Juan del Sur that proved so fascinating (though we had a great time here, too!) It was the nearby beach town of Playa Maderas, and our adventures both on and around the water.       San Juan del Sur is located on the southwest coast of Nicaragua. Once a sleepy fishing village, the town is now one of Nicaragua’s most popular tourist destinations—especially for those seeking surfing, yoga and partying. But because of its rising popularity with expats and backpackers, it can be a bit chaotic in the city center itself. Located along a bumpy dirt road just twenty minutes north of San Juan del Sur, Playa Maderas makes a fantastic alternative. There’s a daily shuttle that runs between the two locations that makes it easy enough to hop into town to take advantage of the best restaurants, bars and activities. Yet Playa Maderas is also far enough removed to be a peaceful and tranquil retreat, even if it’s not necessarily off-the-beaten path.       Ready to learn more? Here are five of the things we loved the most about our stay in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua:   1. Surfing Perhaps the single most popular reason to stay at or near Playa Maderas is for the beach’s legendary surfing. The surfing here is in many ways what put Playa...
Why The Crumbling, Cecadent Leon Is The Most Fascinating City In Nicaragua

Why The Crumbling, Cecadent Leon Is The Most Fascinating City In Nicaragua

This post is a guest post from Claudia Tavani of My Adventures Across The World. After spending a few days in Nicaragua, even tourists get caught in the local debate and are asked to take sides over which is the most beautiful city in the country: Leon or Granada. I have no doubts. I like Granada, I think it is a really pretty city, but my heart beats for Leon. When I arrived there I thought I would spend 3 or 4 days at most, but I eventually stayed for 3 weeks. It was my first stop in Nicaragua, it is where I feel most at home in the country and where I always hope to return to.     So, why is Leon so special? Nicaragua’s second largest city is located at about one hour by bus from Managua. It is the most lively city in the country. It is here that the political movements are most active, partially because it is also home to the first university that was founded in Nicaragua. Leon is packed with young people, there are many interesting museums and street art. But the simple truth is that, with all its decadence, it manages to be simply gorgeous.     Whenever I am in Leon, I like spending my time wandering its streets, almost without any particular place in mind. I generally end up in the Parque Central, where the cathedral is located. This very large church is Central America’s largest cathedral, and according to history the church was actually meant to be built in Lima, but as the plans got mixed up when...
Discovering the Incredible Isla de Ometepe—An Island Like No Other

Discovering the Incredible Isla de Ometepe—An Island Like No Other

Isla de Ometepe is truly a place like no other.   Formed by twin volcanoes dramatically rising up out of Lake Nicaragua, each new twist and turn along the 19 km-long stretch of island offers up spectacular views of the rugged landscape. Add deserted beaches, unpaved roads, friendly locals and world-class hiking, and it’s no wonder why a visit to Isla de Ometepe is the highlight of Nicaragua for many (ourselves included!) Just an hour ferry ride from the port town of Rivas, most travelers arrive to Isla de Ometepe at Moyogalpa. It’s here in the teeny-tiny town that you’ll find a sprinkling of guesthouses and restaurants, but the real magic occurs outside of Moyogalpa and in the natural beauty of the island. We opted to stay at the Xalli Ometepe Beach Hotel, one of the best guesthouses on the island that is located directly on a sandy strip of beach in Santo Domingo—and smack-dab in the center of all Isla de Ometepe has to offer.     The best way to get to know the island is via your own two wheels, either those of a bike or a scooter. We took an entire day to circumnavigate the island, and would recommend it to everyone who visits. The journey took us past small villages, wild pigs, and muddy, pot-holed roads. It also allowed us glimpses of quiet stretches of shoreline, traditional island life and smiling Nicaraguans. Of course, a breathtaking view of one of the towering volcanoes was never far behind. Though the setting was quiet different, the experience greatly reminded us of cycling Vietnam.     Part of...
Where To Stay In Granada, Nicaragua: The Colonial Boutique Hotel Xalteva

Where To Stay In Granada, Nicaragua: The Colonial Boutique Hotel Xalteva

Granada, Nicaragua is such a charming colonial city that it only makes sense to stay in an equally quaint and romantic hotel. We ultimately chose the boutique colonial Hotel Xalteva, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the experience.     If you’re looking for comfort, convenience, great service, and a boutique colonial hotel that cares about the local community, then you can’t go wrong with Hotel Xalteva. Read on for our full property review:   The Property   One of the highlights of any visit to Granada is the gorgeous Spanish colonial architecture that dots the city. Of course, what better way to enjoy the classic adobe buildings than by sleeping in one yourself! Hotel Xalteva is a boutique colonial style hotel featuring modern, fully-equipped condo-style units—a combination that is not easy to come by!     The gorgeous one and two-bedroom suites come complete with a comfortable sitting area, a well-equipped kitchen and spacious bedroom(s). The exquisite furniture and decor is all handmade from local artists. Our kitchen had every appliance and gadget we could have desired, though with all the fabulous restaurants in Granada, we found we didn’t take full advantage of it. There’s also all the extras like hot water, air conditioning and super fast wi-fi—three things you don’t always find in Central America.     The rooms on the second floor come complete with a private balcony looking out to the pool, while the rooms on the first floor have a private fountain and seated area in the back. Easily the first thing you’ll notice when entering Hotel Xalteva is the lovely pool...
Hiking Maderas Volcano on Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua: A Challenging But Rewarding Experience

Hiking Maderas Volcano on Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua: A Challenging But Rewarding Experience

How hard could it possibly be? Hiking Maderas Volcano on the Island of Ometepe, Nicaragua, is one of the country’s most talked about activities.     I had heard from numerous other travelers that the hike was intense but totally worth it. If they could do it, then I figured I could too. After all, I did run a marathon three years ago and haven’t really exercised much since, so tackling this volcano should be a piece of cake. This is what I thought to myself the day before I was set to hike up the 1,394-meter high Maderas Volcano. It was a thought I would later laugh about when I could barely walk because my thighs were so sore. Maderas Volcano is the smaller of the two volcanoes that make up Isla Ometepe. Ometepe is gorgeous in that it sits peacefully in Lake Nicaragua, and at least one of the two volcanoes always seems to be within view no matter where you are on the island. We knew we wanted to hike one of the volcanoes during our few days on the island. Unfortunately, a 24-hour stomach bug prevented Casey from scaling with me, leaving me to tackle the giant on my lonesome. Getting A Guide To Hike Maderas Volcano: To hike the volcano, it is mandatory to have a local guide. While it may seem hard to get lost on a volcano in the middle of a lake, there are many side trails and unmarked intersections that can lead unguided hikers astray. The trail, especially at the top, is very, very muddy and slippery. It would be a...