Nicaragua is an up and coming country. Although the stigma of a war-torn country is still looming in the minds of western tourists, it has come a long way from those days. Nicaragua or, as some may call it “Nica”, is as safe as many U.S. cities (from my experience) and it offers accommodation, restaurants, and infrastructure like many other tourists destinations around the world. Mark my words: Nicaragua is the destination to watch!
I’ve been funding my own travels since 2008 and I’ve been to 44 countries in all. My trip to Central America was 4 months total, including 2 months exploring Nicaragua. With all my extensive traveling Nicaragua is one of my favorite countries and definitely my favorite Central American country overall. I based my decision on what it has to offer in terms of activities, accommodations, culture, food (I’m addicted to Gallo Pinto) and the friendliness and hospitality of its people.
Here’s a breakdown of what this comprehensive guide offers:
- Best time to visit
- Sample Itinerary
- Information for 9 popular cities
- Transportation information and costs
- Laguna de Apoyo
- San Juan del Sur
- Ometepe Island
- Little Corn Island
- Passport: Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your entry date into Nicaragua. Also, keep a copy of your passport with you and send a picture copy to someone you trust in the event you lose yours. Having a copy or pictures makes replacing your passport easier and quicker.
Chicken Buses: I see a lot of blogs suggesting chicken buses as a mode of transportation from one major city to the next. Unless you have very light baggage - as in a backpack - and enjoy being in cramped spaces, often standing (claustrophobes beware) then this is not a realistic option for long-term travel (ie. Leon to Granada) If you want to use buses, here’s a good site to help plan your trips: Rome to Rio
Be mindful of your transportation costs: Shuttles from one city to the next can add up very quickly, especially if you're traveling long-term. Stay conscious of this and maximize your itinerary to accommodate travel time and travel costs.
Take a lightweight rain jacket: Here's an example of a great rain jacket: click here. Although it doesn’t typically rain for long, it can rain unexpectedly. We took our rain jackets everywhere we went, even if it looked like there were no clouds in sight.
Take a backpack that doesn’t have leather straps: Due to the heat and humidity, leather straps may cause chaffing on your shoulders and chest. I used this backpack for 4 months and I highly recommend it as it’s waterproof, has cloth straps and it’s fashionable!
Map out your itinerary before you depart: On a map, things look close together and easy to get to however that’s deceiving. Many roads in Nicaragua are either dirt roads or paved with stones, making for bumpy and long rides. Have a plan and allow for extra time from one destination to the next.
Snacks are a must: Always have snacks! Sometimes rides would take longer or we would be out exploring and wouldn’t want to stop for a full meal so we often went to the market and bought snacks ahead of time. My faves were “mani de japones”; peanuts covered in a crunchy shell. You can find them at the market near the nuts.
Charging electronics: Carry a portable battery to charge your phone. Sometimes we would be out exploring all day and I would need a quick charge. This one came in handy often! click here
Accommodation options: There are accommodation options for all budgets. Most main cities like Managua, Granada and San Juan del Sur have luxury hotels to hostels and even cheaper are hospedajes (basically a local who rents out rooms in their home)
Drones: Flying drones in Nicaragua is illegal and will be confiscated at the airport. If you have a substantial amount of camera equipment ie. multiple lenses, tripod, etc. they may question you but you’re allowed to have camera gear.
Other useful sites for Nicaragua information: https://www.roadaffair.com/backpacking-nicaragua-on-a-budget/ https://sightdoing.net/nicaragua-tourism-nicaragua-travel-guide/
Here’s a list of amenities that you will be able to find in most major cities like the ones listed above. I created this list because there were little luxuries from home I missed and sometimes wonder if they're available in other countries.
Nail salons: In Granada I went to “Polish” and the owner was so nice and spoke English! There is also a nail salon in San Juan del Sur on the main street, although they don't speak much English I had no problem getting what I needed.
Hair salons: Personally, I am very picky about who I let touch my hair so I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re in desperate need of a minor haircut for girls. I got a trim in Estelí and it was about $5 USD. There are barber shops for guys and they seem to do a decent job; cuts are about $3 USD.
Feminine Products: These can be found at any of the major supermarkets and they offer similar brands and products to those found in the U.S.
Clothing/Shopping: There aren't a whole lot of options for mainstream clothing stores except in Managua. If you’re in need of something you can find cheap versions of clothes, shoes, and sandals at locally owned stores but they’re different than what you would find in a U.S. mall.
Food: As I stated before, each major city has at least one major supermarket and here you’ll definitely find staple items like oatmeal, fruits, veggies, cereal, bread, meat etc. Some markets have a lot more variety and even offer American brand items and protein powder too! I'm a picky and healthy eater and I was always able to find what I needed.
Gym: We found a gym near our apartment when we lived in Granada (Junior’s Gym) it was about $1 a day or $20 for the month. It was basically a courtyard with gym equipment around it. Equipment wasn’t brand new but it never bothered us and we could easily replicate our home workouts at this gym. Since it was so hot and most places do not offer A/C, prepare to sweat profusely! That’s ok though because sweat is just fat crying!
Alcohol: Definitely buy alcohol at the major supermarkets and not a convenience store, it’s much cheaper!
Milk: In the supermarket, you’ll find all varieties of milk; soy, almond, full fat, skim, 2%. Soy and almond milks tend to be more expensive than they are in the U.S. When out at a restaurant or coffee shop, 99% of the time they will only have regular milk “leche” or skim milk “leche descremada”.
Vegetarian: Some Nicaraguan dishes can be vegetarian for example Gallo Pinto (rice and red beans), tostones (fried plantains), platanos (fried plantains but softer and sweeter than tostones). If you’re in a major city, most likely there are many restaurants with dishes that can be modified for vegetarians. Vegans/Raw foodists might have a tougher time finding food in Nicaragua but it's not impossible! They do have lots of delicious and unique vegetables and fruits!
Toiletries: Things like deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors, shaving gel, lotion, hair masks, face moisturizer, sunscreen etc. can all be bought at the supermarket. They have name brands too!
Spanish Classes: I took Spanish classes in Granada at One on One Tutoring (http://www.spanish1on1.net) and I highly recommend them. In addition to speaking fluent Spanish, the teachers also spoke English, they provided me with worksheets to practice and explained everything very thoroughly. I learned so much in just a month!
Not once did we fell unsafe or worried about our safety the entire two months in Nicaragua. Like most people say: just use common sense and listen to your gut feeling.
We never walked around very late at night, for example past 11 p.m. We always stayed near more populated areas and when we had to walk home we went down streets that were lit up.
Like many people who choose to steal, people here are opportunists, meaning if they see an opportunity to rob or steal, they will act on it. We were told life is valued and respected here - they most likely will not harm you - but personal property is not.
Keep your belongings close to you, especially in crowded areas. We never had any issues, but this tip is pretty much universal.
Best time to visit:
Some people say the best time to visit is November through April, which is the dry season and when is the weather is consistent.
We were traveling in Nicaragua from July through August and we never found the weather unbearable or a hindrance. The days were hot and humid throughout the country, except in the north it was milder and sometimes the nights would be cool. It did rain, but the rain usually comes in the afternoon or overnight and only lasts for an hour or two at most.
It does rain more so in June, but often the rain only lasts for an hour and then it’s done. Although it can rain more in June than other months.
This site breaks down each month http://www.surfranchresorts.com/2016/05/Best-Month-To-Visit-Nicaragua.html
Entry and exit fees: There’s a $10 USD fee upon entry into Nicaragua. Make sure you have the exact amount in cash as they don’t usually have change.
Tax: At restaurants there’s an extra tax that tends to be about 15% on top of your bill.
Tipping drivers: We usually tipped drivers who were helpful and friendly, which is very common in Nicaragua. We gave them an extra $2-3 USD.
Planning your itinerary:
For each city, I noted what the ideal minimum days spent in each location are. Of course, you can do more or less depending on your time and desired activities. If you have time to do all cities, I put them in order in terms of the route that would make the most sense logistically.
Managua - Matagalpa - Esteli - Leon - Laguna de Apoyo - Granada - San Juan del Sur - Ometepe (round trip from Rivas) - Managua, fly to Corn Islands
This is the only international airport in Nicaragua, so unless you’re taking other modes of transportation your journey will start here.
- Days: 1 or 2
- Things to do: There’s not a whole lot to do here and we heard mixed opinions about safety. We felt very safe at the two places we did visit. We had dinner on the Puerto Salvador Allende and we did some shopping at Gallerias de Santo Domingo. The Gallerias is an upscale, large mall with Zara, Bershka, and H&M to name a few familiar stores. Here’s a link to another blog about things to do in Managua if you find yourself there longer than just a day or two. (https://theculturetrip.com/central-america/nicaragua/articles/the-best-things-to-see-and-do-in-managua/)
- Where to stay: We stayed at Hotel Don Carmelo (insert link). This small hotel was reasonably priced, in a good location, very clean, offered air conditioning, and a traditional Nica breakfast for a few dollars. Also, they provide free either airport pick-up or drop-off. Since Managua is so big, there’s not really one particular area that is better than the other, like in smaller cities.
- Transportation: There's Uber or you can always catch a taxi. Some hotels have drivers that will take you places during certain hours and for reasonable prices. Here is a link for a company that offers shuttles to and from the airport in Managua. Adelante Express
“Nicaragua is renowned for its delicious coffee, and Matagalpa’s surrounding highlands are some of the best places to grow coffee in the world. If you take the chicken bus from Matagalpa towards Jinotega, you can stop at Selva Negra and take a coffee tour for $20, including coffee tasting of some of the best of Nicaragua” Source: Eternal Arrival blog
◦ We didn’t get a chance to stay here but we heard some really good things about it. Matagalpa has a rolling hills/countryside setting and is in the north of Nicaragua. Here’s a great blog that gives a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know about Matagalpa.
This is a great little city to stay in if you’re looking for a local experience. It’s also a great home base for day trips to Somoto Canyon and Miraflor Natural Reserve
Days: 3 (1 full day for Somoto and 1 full day for Miraflor ,plus 1-day recovery)
Things to do: As mentioned, Estelí is not a touristy town however if you’re doing one of the day tours mentioned above, you won’t want to do much exploring of the town as you’ll be exhausted anyway. There are numerous local restaurants, which makes Estelí a great place to experience authentic Nicaraguan food. Also, there’s a bar/club called “Hard Bar”. On the weekends they often have live music and you can get Flor de Cana bottle service and a reserved table here for about $10-$15 USD a bottle!
Where to stay: We were lucky enough to stay with my friend’s Grandma who lives here. Someone on a TripAdvisor forum recommended Hotel Los Arcos. There are definitely more hotels, booking.com is a good place to start.
Transportation : From Managua, you can get probably get shuttle service for about $15 to $20 USD per person, or you can take a chicken bus* for about $3 or $4 USD per person. Getting around Estelí is done by either walking or catching a taxi for a few dollars to your destination.
León is a great city for day trips because it is centrally located and also popular with tourists. This means there are plenty of accommodations for all budgets and there is a wide selection of companies offering day tours or transportation to surrounding sights.
Days: Exploring León - 2. If you’re doing day trips then you may want to stay longer. It really depends on which tours you want to do, typically you can do one per day.
Things to do:
Cerro Negro Volcano Boarding: This is one of the most popular activities. There are different time slots available but we were told the morning is the best because the afternoon tends to have cloud coverage and no view.
Our Lady of Grace Cathedral: it’s the largest cathedral in Central America! What makes it extra special is its unique is the roof. The entire rooftop is all white, channeling pictures seen of Santorini, Greece. It makes for beautiful pictures and just an overall pretty appearance. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go because the rooftop is only open during specific hours. Check here for updated hours (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Our-Lady-of-Grace-Cathedral-León/256542881040046) Mon - Tue:7:00 am - 6:00 pm, Wed - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sun:7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Museo de la Revolución: This is across from the Cathedral. It displays artifacts, history and pictures from the revolution and history of Nicaragua.
Flor de Caña Rum Distillery Tour: This is Nicaragua’s national rum and it has been voted one of the best in the world. Here you’ll learn how the rum is made, barreled, stored etc. You’ll have a free tasting and an option at the end to buy souvenirs or a personalized bottle of your own! Tour: $10USD Buy your tickets here https://www.tourflordecana.com/Home
These are the main attractions in León. A lot of people enjoy this city because of its closeness to good surfing and accessibility to day tours. Here’s some more information about things to do in León. Along Dusty Roads blog
- Where to stay: We came here with our Intrepid tour so I don’t remember the name of our hotel. When looking for accommodation, use “Catedral Basilica de la Asuncion” as a reference point on Google maps. Anything within walking distance is a good location as this is the main part of town.
Transportation: The good thing about Leon is there are plenty of options for booking shuttles to other cities. Some hostels will organize this for you, or you can go to a tour company to book it on your own.
Chicken buses are always an option and typically less than $5USD per person.
Typical costs by shared shuttles:
Managua to Leon: $15 USD per person
Leon to Granada: $15 USD per person
Leon to San Juan del Sur: $25 per person
All of the above can be booked here: Tierra Tour
Keep in mind there are other tour companies in town or this can be booked through your hotel or hostel, too.
Laguna de Apoyo
This lagoon is a crater lake created from a volcano. It sits between Granada and Masaya and is something that can be seen on a day trip. If you want more than just a few hours of chilling out, there a some accommodations around the lagoon as well. This is also a great place for families, as kids can play in the lagoon, while the adults relax.
Days: 1 - 3
Things to do:
Hike around the lake and nature reserve
Dive to volcanic caves in the lake
Water sports such as paddle boarding and kayaking. There are no boats or jet skis allowed.
Swim in the lake
Where to stay: Here’s a link to all the accommodations: Laguna de Appoyo hotels
Transportation : This blog describes four possible ways to get to the lake: Along Dusty Roads blog
You can also book a shuttle through your hotel or hostel a day or two before departure.
We spent the most time here - about 2 months - so we were able to do things that a typical tourist may not know about. Granada is Nicaragua’s prettiest city because of its colonial architecture, colorful buildings, and cultural ambiance.
Days: 3-4: This allows enough time to do the main attractions and explore the city or 4-7 depending on the day trips you want to do.
Things to do:
The Isletas: This is a must do in Granada! A volcanic eruption created the lake where this islands formed. There’s a variety of wildlife and some people have a home on an island. You’ll take about an hour boat tour with a guide and if you’re lucky you’ll get to feed some monkeys from the boat on monkey island. I recommend going on the morning tour especially during rainy season as it tends to rain in the afternoons. You can book a tour at any of the tour companies on Calle de Calzada. Approx. $27 USD per person
Laguna de Appoyo day trip: Many companies offer this as a stop on the Isletas tour mentioned above.
Masaya Volcano and Market: A tour to the Masaya Volcano visits the Masaya market first, where you can buy artisanal souvenirs like bags, shoes, keychains, pottery etc. Then, your guide will take you to the active volcanic craters where you’ll see real lava! I recommend doing the night tour as the lava is more visible. Approx. $35 per person
Coffee Tour: The coffee tour we did was through Cafe Las Flores, which is a coffee shop located in Parque Central and is popular throughout Nicaragua. Since it was off-season in August there wasn’t any coffee growing. We did get to see the farm in which it is grown and see where and how it is processed. I would recommend this if you’re into coffee or want to impress your friends with coffee knowledge.
Miravalle Canopy Tour: This is zip-lining through a forest with 17 platforms across 1.3 miles. We didn’t do this because we did it in Costa Rica but a lot of people recommended it. Approx. $28 USD per person
Calle la Calzada: This is the main street through Granada with several restaurants, bars, shops and at the end of it is the lake. The main and most lively part starts near Parque Central. This is more of a touristy place and it’s bustling on Fridays and Saturdays. I'll list our favorite places to eat below.
Salsa Dancing: At the restaurant Wok & Roll on Calle la Calzada, they have salsa classes every Friday at 7 p.m. with a drink included for $5 USD! We loved this so much and the instructor was amazing! There were also other foreigners, making it a great place to make friends.
Bike rental: We saw that you could rent bikes for the day at places on Calle la Calzada. This would be a great way to explore the city and apparently, you can rent a bike for about $5 USD a day (after negotiations)
My favorite restaurants/coffee shops in Granada:
• Cafe de los Suenos
• Cafe de las Sonrisas
• Garden Cafe
• Wok and Roll (Calle la Calzada)
• Nectar (Calle la Calzada)
• Bristol Cafe for coffee
• Breakfast at Dario Hotel (Calle la Calzada)
• Cold Brew at Pan de vida (Calle la Calzada)
• Pita Pita
Where to stay:
Airbnb: We stayed three nights in this studio and loved it! It was right next to Garden Cafe and that is also where you get your complimentary breakfast. It was the perfect location, had all the amenities and the hosts were excellent. Click here to check it out!
Hotel Dario: We didn’t stay here but we did have breakfast one morning and found it to be very impressive. It is a beautiful, grand, colonial style hotel and located in the middle of Granada on Calle la Calzada. Click here to check it out!
Full Moon: We stayed here for about a month and it was perfect for what we needed long-term to cook our own meals; a fridge, stove top, kitchen sink, plates and utensils. We had a one-bedroom apartment style, they also have two-bedroom and studio style accommodations. They have a great pool and bar area too. I recommend this to anyone that wants more of an apartment style accommodation. Click here to check it out!
Hotel con Corazon: We shot a video for this hotel/social enterprise and we got to see the rooms and taste the breakfast first-hand. I highly recommend this hotel for its location, amenities, meals and overall ambiance; plus they hire locals and give back to the local community! Click here to check it out!
La Siesta: This is a basic bed and breakfast/hostel - they offer private and dorm rooms as well. The rooms don’t have A/C so it can make it very uncomfortable during the hotter months but it’s perfect for those on a budget. The owners Boris and Marcela are friendly and very accommodating. Click here to check it out!
Miss Margarit’s: This is a hidden gem! It’s basically a mansion turned bed and breakfast. Although it’s a bit outside of the main area - about a 7 minute walk to Calle la Calzada - it’s a beautiful property. You can see the pictures and video we took here (insert link). The rooms are clean, bright and cozy. The property itself is very private and it’s great for all travelers. P.S. the pictures online don’t do it justice. Click here to check it out!
Tribal Hotel: This is more of a trendy, boutique hotel and ideal for those that are willing to pay westernized prices for a more westernized ambiance. They only have five rooms, so this is a very private feel, ideal for people who want to explore Granada a bit but also spend time relaxing by the pool with hand-crafted cocktails and food. Click here to check it out!
Transportation: As always chicken bus is an option. But if that’s not your style a shuttle is an option too. Most hotels and hostels can book a shared or private shuttle for you. If not, walk along Calle de Calzada and you’ll see numerous tour companies, they can all book shuttles for you too. (Don’t be afraid to negotiate price especially if you have more than 1 person or have booked a tour with them)
Granada to San Juan del Sur: $15 USD per person
Granada to Leon: $15 USD per person
Granada to Managua: $15 USD per person
Again, these can either be pre-booked or through your accommodation a day or two prior. Prices may vary.
San Juan del Sur
SJDS is a charming little beach town known for surfing, partying and Sunday Funday*. There is a large percentage of Canadian and American tourists or expats and the choice of restaurants, accommodations and activities reflect that.
*For those who don’t know what Sunday Funday is, it’s an all-day/night party on Sundays where hundreds of tourists descend on the town and are shuttled from one hostel party to another and the booze is flowing! This is like a house party on another level. We did it, we enjoyed it and we survived. Phew! It’s a must-do in my opinion, even if you don’t drink you can watch people lose their minds and fall into pools.
Days: 3 - 5
Things to do:
Yoga at Zen https://www.zenyoganicaragua.com
Catamaran Cruise: We were staying at Maderas Village and booked through them with Salt Nica (http://www.saltnica.com). We really enjoyed our time and would highly recommend doing this, as long as you get have motion sickness. We sailed for about 1.5 hours to a private beach, hung out a bit and then sailed back and watched the sunset on the boat. The booze was good, the food was delicious and plentiful. (Did someone say fresh ceviche?!) Nica sail and surf also offers the same excursion (http://www.nicasailandsurf.com)
Sunday Funday: Here's the official Facebook for the event Double-check but I believe tickets go on sale at 10am the Saturday before. We bought them at Pacha Mama hostel in town for $30USD (includes a tank top) and if you’re staying at the hostel tickets are $15USD. Take cash! We didn’t get there right at 10, but there was already a line. We waited about 30 minutes. Our experience wasn’t as “wild and crazy” as it’s been described. Yes, there were people drunk out of their minds and climbing things and probably on drugs too. That’s not my style and we still had an absolute blast!
Surf: There are a lot of hostels that are centered around surfers, these will be easy to find while searching on hostelbookers or hostelworld. Even if you’re not staying there, you can still book lessons or surf excursions with them.
Cristo hike/drive: You can either walk up the car road to get there or hire a taxi driver to take you there, wait while you take photos and etc. and bring you back. There’s a $2USD entry fee.
Loose Moose bar crawl: This is a bar in town and you can purchase tickets at the bar.
Chill at the beach: This is always an option when all else fails!
Where to stay: In the main part of town:
HC Blau Mar: We stayed here our second time in SJDS, it was a perfect location, within walking distance to all restaurants and bars, had A/C and was very clean! Click here to check it out!
Barrio Cafe & Hotel: We ate here often and the hotel looks very cute and clean. It’s also centrally located. The food is delicious too! Click here to check it out!
There’s also several hostels to stay at in town, although some are more tailored to those who want to party, so check the reviews first.
Outside of town:
Hulakai: If you’re looking for accomodation outside of town (about a 25 minute bus ride) and don’t really want the party scene, Hulakai is the place. It has a hostel vibe, with a hotel standard. They have communal dinners, a full bar, and most of the guests that choose to stay here are looking to be social and make new friends. You can view out videos here and view the hotel website here.
Tree Casa: This resort is a little further outside of town but it great for families or couples wanting to relax and yet still get a cultural experience. The accommodations are nesteld throughout the jungle and gives an authentic treehouse experience with a little more luxury. They have more artisanal food on their hotel restaurant menu and often offer farm-to-table from their on-site garden. Did I mention the water slide? Naturally, that was my favorite part! You can view our videos here and view the hotel website here.
San Juan del Sur to San Jorge (port for ferry to Ometepe): $15 USD per person
San Juan del Sur to Granada: $15 USD per person
San Juan del Sur to León: $25 per person
San Juan del Sur to Managua: $40 per person (you might be able to book cheaper through your hotel/hostel)
This is a great place for ecotourism as there are endless amounts of activities to do outdoors and in the midst of nature. Activities range from an easy walk through a nature reserve with butterflies and native plants, to a 10 hour hike to the top of a volcano.
Days: 3 - 4
Things to do:
Volcano Hikes: There are two volcanoes that have guided tour hikes, Concepcion and Maderas. Make sure you have good hiking shoes if you decide to do one of these. You can read more about this here.
Ojo de Agua: This is a natural watering hole from the volcanic water. It’s surrounded by lush trees and if you’re lucky you’ll see some monkeys too. We did a nature tour and this was one of the stops; an hour or two is plenty of time to enjoy and relax.
Biking: Since the island is quite large, this is a great way to explore on your own and outside of the area your accommodation is located. You can either rent bicycles, scooter or motorbike in Moyogalpa.
Nature Walk Tour: There’s a variety of tours with multiple stops. You can look here to see the options here.
- Where to stay: Since the island is quite large, there area in which you stay really depends on what activities you want to do and how much time you have. Check what activities you want to do first and then see where they are located on Google maps.
Transportation: The best way to get is to take a ferry from the San Jorge port in Rivas. I would recommend buying your ferry ticket in advance if you can, either online or from your hotel/hostel.
If Little Corn Island is your next destination after Ometepe, I would recommend staying a night in Managua and then flying out to Corn Island the next morning. Big Corn Island is quite basic, and there’s really nothing to do there unless you enjoy diving. Little Corn Island is where all the fun and beauty is. The following recommendations are for Little Corn Island (LCI)
**Important: Use the ATM on Big Corn Island before heading over to Little Corn Island; there are no ATMS and no way to get cash!
- Days: 4 - 5 (because it’s kind of a mission to get there, but so worth it!)
- Things to do:
You MUST have breakfast on a Saturday at Turned Turtle. They have the most delicious breakfast I’ve ever had in my life; lobster omelet with Gallo Pinto and coconut bread (which is an LCI specialty).
Diving: There are a few dive companies here and the people we met did a few dives and loved it! One of the popular companies is Dolphin Dive and its located on the main walkway (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there)
Snorkeling: We went day and night snorkeling. The night wasn’t so fun because I was afraid of the big dark ocean and we only had a small flashlight. There are some people who would love this, and I do recommend it if you’re not a scaredy cat like me. Again, there are several companies and people standing on the main walkway where you can book a snorkel trip.
Explore the island: LCI is very small and there aren’t any cars which means it can be explored very easily by foot. We walked around the whole island in about 5 or 6 hours (including stops to eat and take photos and videos). The beaches on the east side of the island are the best! The west side is still nice but it’s where the main part of the town is with a few restaurants and small hotels and hostels and the dock.
The Lighthouse: this is a restaurant and hostel. I don’t think you would want to stay here because it’s about a 10 minute walk from the dock and then several stairs up. But it’s a great place to watch the sunset with other tourists and have a drink or to enjoy an early breakfast.
Hang out at Tranquilo: Since we went during the low season this was the only foreign-owned restaurant open and it was our favorite spot. From delicious cold brew to hearty dinners and delicious cocktails during happy hour, we spent a lot of time here. One night a week they also have local dance night, where locals come to show their cultural dances.
Absolutely nothing!: The best part of LCI is that you can either do a whole lot or do nothing like laying on the soft white sand and working on your tan.
- Transportation: We did a round-trip flight from Managua to Big Corn Island and then a 20-minute ferry to Little Corn Island. This is the easiest, cheapest and fastest.
Thank you SO much for reading my guide! I tried to give as much helpful information as I could and I hope that it has either educated you on the country and/or helped you plan you trip! If you have more questions, I'm always happy to personally communicate just email me at FreeMyWild@gmail.com. Thank you!