(YouTube, Pitahaya Property Group)
I am back from my two day whirlwind in Nicaragua. I chose to stay lakeside at Laguna de Apoyo. This property group’s video gives you a nice bird’s eye view of the beautiful natural surroundings. Note that it also shows Lake Nicaragua (the shots with the city), which is a half hour away.
Speaking of bird’s eye views, there were a lot of birds – every morning before dawn it was as if you were in the middle of a huge brass band playing extra loudly. Add in monkey howls, and you don’t need an alarm clock. But, thankfully, the cacophony allowed me to get up before sunrise and watch a breathtaking show as the sun slowly rose over the water.
The lake does not allow any motors, so it is clean and perfect for swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Rentals are available, with life jackets for $10 (USD) for an hour. I just swam, and the water is 82 degrees. The water is clear – you can see the rocky bottom as you wade out. It gets very deep very quickly. There have been recent drownings, so wear your life jacket if you go far out. There are waves. The lake was a volcanic crater.
There are numerous restaurants and hotels lakeside, but no massive developments that disturb the views and nature. The cheapest hostels are about $15 USD a night and the most expensive resort is about $80 a night. The cheapest restaurants are about $5 for dinner, and the most expensive (if you ordered a fish dinner) would be about $20. Here is my typical dinner: bean soup, plaintains, passion fruit juice for about $7, tip included.
Yes, Nicaragua is super affordable!
Laguna de Apoyo is one hour from the capital Managua and its airport. The easiest way to arrive is by taxi, which costs about $15-$25 depending on the time of day and your bargaining skills. Laguna de Apoyo is located 25 minutes from the Masaya volcano and 25 minutes from Granada. There are bus services, but they are a good walk from the lake and run at very specific times so you can’t be as flexible in your schedule. But, buses are very cheap. They are colorfully painted school buses.
If you like nightlife, there is none except for listening to chirping. It gets very dark, as there is little development on the lake, and all restaurants close and have lights out by 10pm. The stars are lovely, however. I went to bed by 10pm as I got up at 5:15am to monkey watch. It was a perfect place for me to stay, but if you like lots of activity, do the Laguna as a daytrip.
Photos: my iPod photos