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Thread: Day Trips From Granada (long read but helpful)

  1. #1
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    Default Day Trips From Granada (long read but helpful)

    Posted this on ThornTree and thought it would benefit travelers here that don't use TT. Enjoy Bobby

    Quite a few of my guests here in Granada are interested in "Day Trips." Obviously if you rent a car or hire a driver for the day it will be a bit easier, but they can all be done with local buses (B) (http://www.thebusschedule.com/ni/index.php) taxi (T), hitchhiking (H) or a combination of the three in a days time if you start early. You can turn several of these trips into overnighters too.


    1. The ovbious: Laguna de Apoyo B T H Easy day trip. If you want to get away from the tourists and enjoy the laguna Nica style (inexpensive). Catch the bus to Masaya and tell the driver to let you off at the road to the Laguna. No matter your mode of transportation, when you get to the bottom of the road at the bottom of the crater take a left. Go 500 meters and there will be a road leading down to the lake. At the bottom of that road (30 meters) go to your left to the first restaurant. Cheap food, ice cold beer, some liquor (they let you bring your bottle) and they'll hang a hammock for you. Last bus out leaves at 4 pm. I've done this probably 50 times over the past 8 years. 50% of the time we get picked up hitchhiking.


    2. Catarina or Diriomo: B T Both great lookout points overlooking Laguna de Apoyo. Good places for lunch and photo ops.


    3. Masaya Market: B T Leave early. The hotter it gets the more "fragrant" the place becomes Take the bus to the end of it's route. It will leave you in the parking lot next to the market. This is the peoples market not the fancy market more in the center of town. Plenty to see and experience and souvenirs galore. You can head into the center of town if you like but there isn't much to see IMHO.


    4. Cayotepe & Tipitapa Hot Springs: B T Alot of folks don't know about these two places. Cayotepe is the original fort built to protect Masaya. Samoza later turned it into a prison and now it's empty and run by the Boy Scouts that give tours. (Bring a flashlight. It's dark inside and the times I've been the Boy Scouts needed batteries for theirs) 360* views. Great photo op. Bus to Masaya and catch a cab unless you're into hiking. If so take the bus to Managua (from Granada) and have them drop you off at the entrance road to the fort. It's a pretty good hike. When you get back down Just wait for the next bus passing to Tipitapa. They pass every half hour. Let the bus driver know where you are going and he will let you know when to get off. From your drop off point there will be loads of those three wheel cabs. After your day take the three wheelers back to the bus stop and catch the bus back to Granada.


    5. La Maquina (The Machine): B H So named because it was the first cotton plantation to have mechanized machinery. All the cotton plantations in the area are gone now. All kinds of other farming though. While waiting for the bus to return to Granada we got picked up by one of the farm owners that grew watermelon. He drove us to the front door of my house here in Granada and even gave us a watermelon! La Maquina is now a reserve. A Brazilian couple have had it for years. They have planted over 20,000 trees/plants and they are all marked with identification tags. There are still some remnants of machinery around but the best part of this place is the waterfalls. Dozens of water carved nooks and pools. You can get your own private cool water jacuzzi. Sitting under the falls is a free massage. Nice little restaurant and bar. It's closed on Mondays. Check the bus schedule to La Boquita and tell the driver to drop you off at the entrance. It's on the downhill slope to the beach. Wait at the road for the bus back to Diriamba and continue your bus trip in reverse. You have to change buses twice but it's really simple.



    6. La Boquita: B The place is sleepy but it's a great beach. It can be done in a day! There are several inexpensive hotels right on the beach and the restaurants are great. Lots of fresh seafood and again, inexpensive. In La Boquita ask for Suzie's Restaurant. He's an excellent cook. 50 yards north of the restaurant is a hotel (can't remember the name) that looks out over the ocean and the estuary created by the river that runs through La Maquina. Leave early and enjoy the day. Again do the bus schedule link. There are 2 bus changes, but it's simple and between Granada and the beach you get to see some of the beauty of the countryside.


    You can mix and match these day trips if you are pressed for time and want to "see it all." There are two loops I like. a) La Maquina and Boquita. Visit La Maquina before or after the beach. b) Masaya Market, Cayotepe (drop the Hot Springs), Catarina and Laguna de Apoyo for afternoon lunch and swimming.


    Check my profile if you want to contact me for pix! Happy Travels Bobby











    I rent rooms in my house by the day, week, month.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Day Trips From Granada (long read but helpful)

    Coyotepe is awsome. When I visited last, I could just wander up to the top and do my own thing. The view over Masaya alone is worth the climb. The bats in the deep and dark places under the fort and memorable, and the feel is unique as it has seen its fair share of death and torment. I went into one of the cells and killed the lights. It is deep cave dark--so dark you imagine colors dark, and I got the chills. I ate lunch on one of the towers and took my time. I'm not sure how it is in its current more organized guide format, but it's probably still well worth a visit.
    Soy el chele mono.

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    Junkyard Dog randude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Day Trips From Granada (long read but helpful)

    Good thread Bobby and Dr. L.
    Survivor

  4. #4

    Default Re: Day Trips From Granada (long read but helpful)

    May I also recommend Zapaterra island? Theres a company in town that does a day trip for $45/person.


    Large island with a lot of petroglyphs and has a very ¨forgotten¨feel, despite its relatively large size.

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    Default Re: Day Trips From Granada (long read but helpful)

    Quote Originally Posted by methionine View Post
    May I also recommend Zapaterra island? Theres a company in town that does a day trip for $45/person.
    Would love to. Do they take credit cards? Would you happen to know if anyone runs tours out of Nandaime? From the map it looks like one could practically drive onto the island.

    Quote Originally Posted by methionine View Post
    Large island with a lot of petroglyphs and has a very ¨forgotten¨feel, despite its relatively large size.
    I read a while back that those ancient rock drawings are getting erased by too many tourists walking on 'em. Are they protected now?
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Day Trips From Granada (long read but helpful)

    Why only go left once you get to the bottom of the crater? i generally go right where its more chill and i dont have to deal with anyone. a nice little restaurant at the end of the road to the right too.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Day Trips From Granada (long read but helpful)

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    Would love to. Do they take credit cards? Would you happen to know if anyone runs tours out of Nandaime? From the map it looks like one could practically drive onto the island.



    I read a while back that those ancient rock drawings are getting erased by too many tourists walking on 'em. Are they protected now?

    I believe that there is actually a little ferry. I just mentioned from Granada as per the topic.


    As far as the protection, I'm not overly sure. I was under the impression that some of the smaller islands that the tourists usually go to did have this problem but don't really hear alot about Zapaterra as a tourism destination.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Day Trips From Granada (long read but helpful)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby View Post
    Posted this on ThornTree and thought it would benefit travelers here that don't use TT. Enjoy Bobby

    Quite a few of my guests here in Granada are interested in "Day Trips." Obviously if you rent a car or hire a driver for the day it will be a bit easier, but they can all be done with local buses (B) (http://www.thebusschedule.com/ni/index.php) taxi (T), hitchhiking (H) or a combination of the three in a days time if you start early. You can turn several of these trips into overnighters too.


    1. The ovbious: Laguna de Apoyo B T H Easy day trip. If you want to get away from the tourists and enjoy the laguna Nica style (inexpensive). Catch the bus to Masaya and tell the driver to let you off at the road to the Laguna. No matter your mode of transportation, when you get to the bottom of the road at the bottom of the crater take a left. Go 500 meters and there will be a road leading down to the lake. At the bottom of that road (30 meters) go to your left to the first restaurant. Cheap food, ice cold beer, some liquor (they let you bring your bottle) and they'll hang a hammock for you. Last bus out leaves at 4 pm. I've done this probably 50 times over the past 8 years. 50% of the time we get picked up hitchhiking.


    2. Catarina or Diriomo: B T Both great lookout points overlooking Laguna de Apoyo. Good places for lunch and photo ops.


    3. Masaya Market: B T Leave early. The hotter it gets the more "fragrant" the place becomes Take the bus to the end of it's route. It will leave you in the parking lot next to the market. This is the peoples market not the fancy market more in the center of town. Plenty to see and experience and souvenirs galore. You can head into the center of town if you like but there isn't much to see IMHO.


    4. Cayotepe & Tipitapa Hot Springs: B T Alot of folks don't know about these two places. Cayotepe is the original fort built to protect Masaya. Samoza later turned it into a prison and now it's empty and run by the Boy Scouts that give tours. (Bring a flashlight. It's dark inside and the times I've been the Boy Scouts needed batteries for theirs) 360* views. Great photo op. Bus to Masaya and catch a cab unless you're into hiking. If so take the bus to Managua (from Granada) and have them drop you off at the entrance road to the fort. It's a pretty good hike. When you get back down Just wait for the next bus passing to Tipitapa. They pass every half hour. Let the bus driver know where you are going and he will let you know when to get off. From your drop off point there will be loads of those three wheel cabs. After your day take the three wheelers back to the bus stop and catch the bus back to Granada.


    5. La Maquina (The Machine): B H So named because it was the first cotton plantation to have mechanized machinery. All the cotton plantations in the area are gone now. All kinds of other farming though. While waiting for the bus to return to Granada we got picked up by one of the farm owners that grew watermelon. He drove us to the front door of my house here in Granada and even gave us a watermelon! La Maquina is now a reserve. A Brazilian couple have had it for years. They have planted over 20,000 trees/plants and they are all marked with identification tags. There are still some remnants of machinery around but the best part of this place is the waterfalls. Dozens of water carved nooks and pools. You can get your own private cool water jacuzzi. Sitting under the falls is a free massage. Nice little restaurant and bar. It's closed on Mondays. Check the bus schedule to La Boquita and tell the driver to drop you off at the entrance. It's on the downhill slope to the beach. Wait at the road for the bus back to Diriamba and continue your bus trip in reverse. You have to change buses twice but it's really simple.



    6. La Boquita: B The place is sleepy but it's a great beach. It can be done in a day! There are several inexpensive hotels right on the beach and the restaurants are great. Lots of fresh seafood and again, inexpensive. In La Boquita ask for Suzie's Restaurant. He's an excellent cook. 50 yards north of the restaurant is a hotel (can't remember the name) that looks out over the ocean and the estuary created by the river that runs through La Maquina. Leave early and enjoy the day. Again do the bus schedule link. There are 2 bus changes, but it's simple and between Granada and the beach you get to see some of the beauty of the countryside.


    You can mix and match these day trips if you are pressed for time and want to "see it all." There are two loops I like. a) La Maquina and Boquita. Visit La Maquina before or after the beach. b) Masaya Market, Cayotepe (drop the Hot Springs), Catarina and Laguna de Apoyo for afternoon lunch and swimming.


    Check my profile if you want to contact me for pix! Happy Travels Bobby










    This is great. Thank you for sharing the info!

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