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Forums » Nicaragua, Honduras & El Salvador » Worth it?


Worth it?

by /bio/harold »

I've heard mixed things about Nicaragua: that it's the "new Costa Rica" and also that its rather grungy and not that interesting. Would love to hear from people who've been whether it's worth a trip. Thanks!


RE: Worth it?

by /bio/kywood1955 »

Yes, Nicaragua is wonderful!  We've been twice; Costa Rica once.  We found Nica to be a "low-key" CR; less expensive; less touristed; and much less expensive.  We also found it to be safe, food was tasty and the people were extremely friendly and helpful.

Our first trip was Granada, Ometepe Island and Montelimar Beach.  Granada is a lovely colonial town with a lively main square.  We stayed at the Hotel Colonial, 1/2 block from the square - wonderful service and rooms.  There's a "restaurant row" street going towards Lake Nicaragua with wonderful cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc.  We hiked Mombacho Volcano and went zip-lining - both arranged through Tierra Tours -- highly recommend Tierra Tours.  We also did an overnight on Ometepe Island including a ferry ride to the island, staying at Finca del Sol and going horse riding.  At Montelimar Beach we stayed at the Barcelo ( - lovely beaches, not crowed, you can walk the beach for miles; upgrade to one of the bungalows.  Ah, wonderful trip!

The second was Leon and Las Penitas; definitely more rustic, typical Nica and fewer tourists.  Our purpose for Leon was to visit and deliver goods to an orphanage; however, we did spend Christmas Day in the main square and, surprizingly, it was lively with most restaurants and shops open.  Also, went volcano boarding with Tierra Tours outside of Leon - an absolute blast!  At Las Penitas, we stayed at Suyapa Beach Hotel - the best in town, rustic although clean.  Be aware there is little in Las Penitas - a few restaurants with bars and a couple of bare-bone shops with swimsuits and old sun lotion -- and absolutely NO ATM -- so go with cash.  However, if you want a relaxing time on the beach with miles of sand and 5 lobster tails for $10US, it's the place to be!

Both times, we used drivers and taxis (very inexpensive); we did not rent a car.  Driving is even wilder than Costa Rica.  We drank bottled water in Nica; Costa Rica we drank tap water with no problems.

We would return to Nicaragua over Costa Rica.  We found CR to be touristy and "westernized".  Yes, Nica is not as polished as CR and perhpas grungy in some places (Leon for example).  We like it better because of those reasons. 

Is it worth it?  Oh, yes!!




RE: Worth it?

by ilovespanish »

I'd have to second Kywood's response and say HECK YES! i LOVE nicaragua, would hands down recommend it to anyone over any other country in Central America (and I've been all over).


RE: Worth it?

by madroy »

Is Ometepe worth visiting with a 6 yr. old? Clearly the major hikes are not an option.  If it is worth it, where is the best place to I stay with the least amount of driving involved? Thanks for any advice you can offer!