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Final Week in Nicaragua

NICARAGUA | Saturday, 8 June 2013 | Views [496] | Comments [1]

We made it to the top of the hike! So worth it!

We made it to the top of the hike! So worth it!

Isla de Ometepe

The island of Ometepe is actually two volcanoes that have been connected over time by lava flow to form an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. Jackson’s first boat ride was on this little tiny ferry that allowed for one truck and three cars (our rental being one of them) between the mainland and the island. We stayed at Hotel Finca Venecia, in a little cabana right on the water – very pretty, but again, we had bug issues that took two nights to really figure out how to negotiate.  The swimming was a little precarious due to the lava rocks, but the warm ”fresh” water swim just outside our cabana was a nice change from the salty sea water. The hotel is a working farm – so nice to get some real vegetables in our meals for the first time in two weeks! They also do horseback rides, but we just didn’t have time and not sure how J would handle it, so didn’t want to push. The island is known for the amazing volcano hikes as well as their petroglyphs from the original Chorotega people.  Day one we spent driving around and doing small hikes out to the petroglyphs.  Day two was a full 4 ½ hour hike up part of Volcano Maderas to a 35 meter waterfall.  I have never seen such an incredible waterfall!  We are used to Yosemite and other western states where things are so dry that water runs off a stone cliff.  Due to the humidity (it was only 88 degrees and 80% humidity on the day of our hike), the walls are covered in greenery, making for a truly magical feel to the falls. We definitely broke in our backpack carrier for Jackson, and luckily it is convertible enough that both Chris and I can take turns carrying him – otherwise we wouldn’t have made it!  We even saw/heard a few howler monkeys that J loved on the way.  The drive out there was great four-wheel driving, in our not four-wheel drive Toyota Corolla!  So glad Chris knows how to drive so well! I think we entertained all the locals on the way who seemed to be looking at us like we were crazy. Overall, Ometepe is full of very nice people, most of whom are farmers and quite poverty-stricken.  It was pretty in places, but we likely would not return.



Granada has more Spanish culture than other places we have been in Nicaragua.  Historic churches and pretty restored buidings around the central square.  We heard Leon is the nicest in terms of Colonial architecture, but we didn’t make it up that far.  Stayed in a guest house a few blocks out of the busy center, where the owners were a very nice lady and her 6 year old son. Jackson was quite excited to play with another boy, and even more so to play with his toys and pet bunny. (This made three days in a row with rabbits – he chased a pair around our cabana in Ometepe as well). We had a very difficult night when we went for dinner – walked too far trying to find a Lonely Planet recommended restaurant that had closed down, only to walk all the way back to the touristy part to eat over-priced and bland food – carrying Jackson the whole way.  He wouldn’t walk and wouldn’t let me carry him.  Both Jackson and Chris were hot, hungry and frustrated.  Not one of our best evenings so far.  But we recovered the next day for one of our best.  We opted for something everyone enjoyed – the cheesy horse-drawn carriage tour of the town.  Actually got some nice pictures, learned a little, stayed cool and entertained Jackson all in one shot.  He really liked the horses, so hopefully we can get him on one directly at some point in the trip.

Originally, we planned to stay three nights in Granada, with day-trips out to surrounding areas. However, saw all there really was to see in 24 hours and decided to go out to Laguna de Apoyo for our remaining two nights in Nicaragua.

Laguna de Apoyo is a huge crater lake from a previously active volcano and is billed as one of the cleanest bodies of water in all of Central America. It is absolutely beautiful!  Stayed at the Monkey Hut in their only double room right on the water. Great hostel setting where we met a few nice travelers from Hawaii and Montreal. Kayaked one day (J liked being in Daddy’s boat and crashing into Mommy’s), and played in an innertube and on the dock the next.  Seems like it was the first place we didn’t have any agenda and just enjoyed the days.  However, for some reason, J was not on the same page on day two – all day tantrums about everything, to the point of hysterics on more than one occasion.  Despite having no need to push him or skip naps, etc, he is having a really hard time. We are developing a theory that it may be getting overheated that is causing his sour moods – maybe he is “spoiling” in the sun. (As I write this, we are actually already out of Nicaragua and in Guatemala where it is much cooler and he has had a fantastic day – despite getting up very early, negotiating the airport, flying and arriving in a new setting/country.  He is super happy boy today – oh thank GOD!)

Generally, we very much enjoyed Nicaragua.  We would return to San Juan del Sur, Granada and Laguna de Apoyo.  But for now, we are onward to Guatemala…







you guys are the raddest parents ever. Glad you're having such a good time. Stoked!

  jesse Jun 8, 2013 9:11 AM

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