Nicaragua backpacking travel tips

Posted on Posted in America, Blog, Central America, Nicaragua

You HAVE TO visit Nicaragua

That was what everyone said on our way around Costa Rica. It is Beautiful, cheap and an experience. Now I have been there for one week and maid my way from the boarder 214 km up in the country to León and then down again. Here is what I learned and think about Nicaragua.

The route

We decided to take one week in Nicaragua to see as much as wee could. The rout ended up like this Penas blancas – Granada – Managua – Leon – Managua – Granada – Rivas – San juan del sur – San jorge – Ometepe – Penas blancas.
In that order we went. We did not stay in all the cities. We staid one night in Granada, two nights in Leon, one night i San juan del sur and two nights at Ometepe.

The rout one week in Nicaragua

Transportation around Nicaragua

Never have I in such short time range tried so many different kind of ways to transport myself.

Penas blancas to Granada; we went with taxi which cost $40 USD. He dropped us of at the center park where there is free wifi.
Granada to Managua; we took local mini busses which you will find down the road ave vera and that cost 25 cordobas ($0,90USD). It took around 1 hour and they leave when they are full. Thye collect the money while you are on the road.
Managua to Leon; we took a mini bus that cost 50 cordobas ($1,75 USD). It took around 1,5 – 2 hours and again leaves when they are full. The same the way back.

Car rental costa rica chicken bus

Granada to Rivas; we took chicken bus. It cost us 20 cordobas ($0,7USD).  It took around 2 hours. They will collect the money on the go. It was very hard to find we had a local guide helping us that we randomly met in the minibus from managua to granada but I still have no clue where it is. Chicken busses are an experiences no aircondition and it is old american school busses with all kinds of people. When we took it they tried to make us pay for our bags as well. Jacob refused and actually the locals started to back us up. Maybe because Jacob have been flirting with the old ladies I dont know. But we did not pay it.
Rivas – San Juan del sur; we also went with chicken bus it cost around 12 cordobas ($0,42 USD). Normally it should take around 1 hour. But when we took it there where an accident. Which got us in a que standing still for 1 almost 1,5 hour. No aircondition! But it drops you of in the middle of San juan del sur which is nice.
San juan del sur – San jorge; We where tiered of traveling with chicken busses so we booked a shuttle at our hotel. That cost us $10USD and took 1 hour.

Boat from san jorge to ometepe Nicaragua

San jorge – Ometepe; Here we took the ferry which cost us around 50 cordobas each ($1,75USD). It took around 1 hour.
On Ometepe; we rented a scoter to get around and it cost $6USD pr day so $18USD for us in total. Then we had to put gas on which where a bit expensive on the island is cost $28USD. Nice to know is there is only a gas station in the big city. We only had to get gas once when we where delivering it back.

Scooter rent Omtepe Nicaragua

Where to stay in Nicaragua?

Granada; We walk up Calle real Xalteva and here we found a new opened hostel. That only cost $25USD a night. But you can also go down Calle La Calzada. Here you will find a lot of hostels, hotels and restaurants.
Leon; here we booked our acomidation through airbnb and staid at Sonati hostel which had a nice little pool and tours and on top of all that you money goes to help the environment and educate children. $15USD for private room and $6USD for dorm
San juan del sur; At this point we had a really long journey and I needed some luxury so we found this lovely hotel Barrio Cafe  $65USD for a night.
Ometepe; We where now ready to save money and live in the jungle. We took of to little morgans. It has a very special atmosfear and is near the lake and people are very friendly. Double bed in a dorm $16USD a night.

Hotel Granada Nicaragua


Nicaragua cheap ore not?

Well I find it cheap in Nicaragua and much more cheap than Costa Rica. Some things can be a bit expensive though like shuttles and nice places to live. We hoped to save some money so we had more when we got back to Costa Rica. But if we have to be honest we ended up spending the same as we would if we had been in Costa Rica. When the prices are low then you just buy more beer ore more food ore other things. But it was every penny worth it.

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