- Corns islands (Big Corn and Little Corn)
- San Juan del Sur
Leon is a cool colonial town with lots of beautiful churches and activities to do around the area. Volcano boarding is the most popular and unique excursion.
There a lot of different companies the will take you on the famous trip to board down the most active volcano in Nicaragua.
The volcano boarding was started by an Australian guy who also started the hostel Bigfoot. So of course you can book the trip through Bigfoot who will also time your speed as you go down. The fastest of the day wins some shots and a t-shirt. The winner of the day we went was 83km per hour. As part of the package you get a t-shirt, a beer and a cocktail at the return to the hostel.
Another option is to go through Quetzal trekkers a non-profit volunteer organization offering adventurous hikes to volcanoes in the areas around León, Nicaragua. All profits are donated to locally run projects that support at-risk children. Included in this price is also a t-shirt and lunch. They will not time your speed as too many people have been injured from the volcano boarding and timing you will encourage you to go faster and this can potentially increase the chances of getting hurt.
http://www.leon.quetzaltrekkers.org, they also provide lots other hike to do overnight treks, San Chri
They are pretty much the same price at around 30-35USD and there are a lot of other options in town too to find a company that will take you there.
A small paradise in the Caribbean! The islands are around 50 miles from the cost of Nicaragua and the spoken language here is Creole English, different from the rest of the spanish speaking country.
There are two islands, big corn and little corn. If you fly, you will arrive to big corn from where you can take a boat to little corn. The boat leaves a couple of times per day and it is based on the arrival of the plane. From the moment to arrive to Little corn on the open panga you soon realise the journey was worth it.
Little corn is indeed very small, 1.5 sq miles. You can walk from one end to the other in less than a couple of hours. This is a place to just relax, eat mango, kayak, yoga, paddle boarding, massage and potentially do a couple of dives.
Coconut bread is the thing to eat here. Made daily by lots of different places near Majagua beach. We ensured to go at the same time everyday when the bread was fresh out of the oven.
There is no electricity on little corn between 06.00 and 14.00 everyday, so generally the alarm clock is around 06.00 when the fan stop working. Some hotels have their own generator and therefore this wont be a problem if you stay in one of those places.
The famous beach on the island is called Otto beach which is around 30 min walk from town on the north side. This is worth the walk and there is also the super nice bar on the beach with a couple of swings in the bar with happy hour daily.
Recommendation for a restaurant is Rosas on the south side of the island. This place is relatively cheap and serves up delicious food everyday apart from Sunday. Along the beach by the port there a many options for restaurants and bars with delicious cocktails and good fish tacos.
Tip. Do bring all the money you need for little corn as there is no ATM. There is an ATM on big corn however always safe to bring cash. Some places on little corn do accept credit card however the fee can be as high as 10%. USD is accepted most places.
San Juan Del Sur
There are not a lot do in San Juan if you are not into surfing or Sunday Funday. It’s a place to surf, beach, drink, relax, eat tacos and generally just hang around with a lot of other backpackers. The town is very small with lots of different places eat and drink. There are a few clothes shops and a market place.
There is a fairly easy walk up to the Chris statue on the hill. At 24 metres the statues is one of the 10 largest Jesus statues in the world. The road up the is easy to follow, either use MAPS.ME for direction or ask some locals.
We of course decided to not do either, we did end up there however the road was slightly random and we did not follow the path, rather the ocean. You have to pay a small fee to enter, however this is nominal. You get views of the whole bay and San Juan Del Sur.
Hostel. We stayed at Casa de Olas. This hostel was originally supposed to be a B&B, however since there is a party hostel next door, Naked Tiger, the owners soon realised that wouldn’t work. Therefore they turned the place into a hostel. That means most of the rooms a small with a private bathroom.The hostel is up on a hill, the free shuttle will pick you up from the Taco shop in town every couple of hour days (except or Sunday due to Sunday Funday) The infinity pool as the most amazing view due to the location on top of the hill.
Things to do
If you are going to Nicaragua and havent heard about Sunday Funday yet there is something wrong. As the name suggest, it happens every sunday! It’s a big pool crawl where most of the backpackers in town the weekend will join for a big party.
Our experience is that sunday funday was great, but the few days before going into it were better. We stayed at Casa de Olas, walked over to Naked Tiger in the morning, picked up our tickets $UD30 and the “free” t-shirt. The hostel will then have a drinks special that morning from 10.00 and the shuttles will pick you up around 13.00 to go to the first pool. Here you get a welcome “drink” more a shut poured into your mouth and then you are crammed together with hundred of other travellers in a very small area.
The second stop is much better both the pool and the general area is much bigger so you don’t have to sit on top of each other.
Check out the latest on www.facebook.com/SundayFundayPoolCrawl
The main reason to go to Granada was to go to The Treehouse, which is a hostel in the middle of the jungle. The hostel is build in a treehouse 200m high, surrounded by Howler monkies. Be carefull, the monkey poo a lot, and its rather large pieces of poo coming from the trees.
Everyday the Treehouse will organise a free shuttle to and from Granada and then there is just a small 20 min walk up the trail to the Treehouse.
This hostel is very different from the rest and is one of those must-do places to go. The hostel was dorms, privates or hammocks, however not kitchen facilities but you can buy all your meals there. The good thing about staying in the dorm is that they are lower down than the main hostel, so you do not have to carry your bag even further up to the main part of the hostel.
The main reason a lot of travellers end up here is for the crazy parties they have. We ended up there on a Wednesday which is named “WeirdWednesday” as you will be given a costume a random when you turn up and is expected to keep this on the entire evening. We had a fun night there with friends we had met earlier on our travels and all around this is a fun place to hang out for a couple of days.
Check out the hostel on http://www.treehousenicaragua.com