Where we traveled

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First things first.  If you click on the image, it should expand and be able to zoom in and see the map better.

  • Yellow Stars are where we spent nights in Hotels/Hostels
  • Red Diamonds are places we visited but usually just to transfer busses or boats
  • Pink Hearts are places we hiked
  • From December 4th – January 2nd we rented a room in a shared apartment in Leon.  Our rent for the entire month was $130usd

All hikes with the exception of Somoto Canyon were done through the Tour Group we volunteered with, Quetzaltrekkers.  The hikes that we participated on were:

Though I express a lot of frustration in some of these blogs, I met some really great people and even came to like people that I didn’t like at first.  Quetzaltrekkers is a great business and they do great things for the community in Leon.  My biggest pet peeve is people being unorganized and QT came off behind the scenes as very unorganized at times.  Though I can say the amount of dissatisfied customers was minimal.  Once we finished with Quetzaltrekkers, we went off on our own.  Here is the list of busses, taxis and places we stayed with the prices that we paid.

I have made all of the bus prices for a single person.  Hotels are all prices for private rooms.  Taxis were usually used because the bus was inconvenient at the time. I will start with our travel costs.  

  • Taxi – Jiquilillo – Leon – $35.  We paid 250 cords ($10.4) because we shared the taxi with a family on their way there. 2.5 hours
  • Bus – Leon to Esteli – 70c ($3). 2.5 hours.
  • Bus – Esteli – Somoto – 28c ($1.25). 1.5 hours.
  • January
  • Taxi – Somoto – Somoto Canyon – 45c ($2) but most taxis will wait to fill up before taking you there.  Don’t take a taxi from the bus terminal, walk 10 minutes up the hill to a bus stop where taxis are 1/3 the price.
  • Bus – Somoto – Managua – 99c ($4.10).  3.5 hours express.  Buy a ticket for this bus in advance.
  • Bus – Managua – El Rama – 160c ($6.75). 6 hours on night bus.  Leaves around 9pm. We were told the day bus has to stop a lot more so it takes around 8 hours.
  • Panga – El Rama – Bluefields – 250c ($10.4). 2 hours express.  5 hour slow boat.
  • Panga – Bluefields – Pearl Lagoon – 165c ($6.9). 45 minutes express. 4 hour slow boat.
  • Bus – Pearl Lagoon – El Rama – 150c ($6.25).  5 hours.  Possibly the worst road in Nicaragua.
  • Bus – El Rama – Juigalpa – 80c ($3.35). 4 hours.
  • Taxi – Juigalpa – Hotel Casa Country – 24c ($1).  We walked almost half way up the road before realizing how tired we were and jumped in a taxi.  It takes 30-45 minutes to walk
  • Bus – Juigalpa – San Carlos – 110c ($4.6). 4 hours.  Don’t let anyone tell you the road is bad. It’s fine.
  • Panga – San Carlos – El Castillo – 140c ($5.85). 1.5 hours express.
  • Panga – El Castillo – San Carlos – 140c (5.85). 1.5 hours express.
  • Bus – San Carlos – Managua – 150c ($6.25). 6-7 hours.
  • Taxi – Managua Bus terminal – La UCA Bus Terminal, Managua – 180c ($7.5). 20 mins.  This was at night after we missed our bus to San Juan del Sur and decided we would go to Granada instead.  This meant we needed to be at another bus terminal.
  • Bus – Managua – Granada – 24c ($1). 1.5 hours.
  • Bus – Granada – Rivas – 40c ($1.7). 1.5 hours.
  • Taxi – Rivas – San Juan del Sur – 72c ($3). 45 minutes.  This is with a full taxi of 4 people.  They try to rip off tourists and we found out that we overpaid at $3 each.
  • Shuttle – San Juan del Sur – Playa Maderas – 120c ($5). 30 minutes. Took the shuttle from Casa Oro.
  • Taxi – San Juan del Sur – Rivas – 50c ($2.1).  45 minutes.
  • Bus – Ganada – Laguna de Apoyo entrance – 10c ($0.40). 20 minutes.  We were told we could hike it and it was easy… not so much the case.  Catch a bus or taxi all the way in if possible.
  • Taxi – Laguna de Apoyo – Masaya – 200c ($8.4). 30 minutes.  This is the total cost of the taxi. We split it with another couple.
  • Bus – Masaya – Managua – 28c ($1.25). 45 minutes.
  • Microbus – Managua – Leon – 51c ($2.15). 1.5 hours.
  • Microbus – Leon – Managua – 51c ($2.15). 1.5 hours.  The chicken bus costs the exact same but it takes twice as long.
  • Taxi – La UCA bus station – El Mozonte Hotel – 60c ($2.5). 10 minutes.
  • Shuttle – El Mozonte Hotel – Airport – $15.  30 minutes.  The website makes it sound like it’s included with the hotel cost. It isn’t.
  • Our final travel cost (combined) for the month of January was $211.75 USD. 

Now here is a list of places we stayed and how much it cost.  I thought I could just remember names of most places, I was wrong so I’m sorry for not having all the details. All Prices are the final numbers we paid for all nights combined.  You can do the math on how much it is per night. We stayed in a private room every night.

  • Granada – December 7-8 – 528c ($22) – 1 night – Oasis Hostel. No private bathroom. WiFi. Pool.
  • Jiquilillo – January 3-6 – 1325c ($56) – 3 nights – Rancho Tranquilo.  No private bathroom. No WiFi
  • Somoto – January 6-7 – 250c ($10.40) – 1 night – Random hotel on the main street south of bus terminal. Private bathroom.  No WiFi
  • Pearl Lagoon – January 8-11 – 2160c ($90) – 3 nights – Queen Lobster.  Cool bungalow on a dock on the water. Private bathroom.  No WiFi
  • Juigalpa – January 11-13 – 800c ($33.50) – 2 nights – Hotel Casa Country.  Private bathroom & air conditioning.  WiFi
  • San Carlos – January 13-14 – 250c ($10.40) – 1 night – Hotel Economical.  Private bathroom.  WiFi
  • El Castillo – January 14-16 – 960c ($40) – 2 nights – Hotel Victoria.  Private Bathroom.  Hot water! Air conditioning. No WiFi. Breakfast Included.
  • San Carlos – January 16-17 – 320c ($13.35) – 1 night – Hotel Charlotte. Private Bathroom. WiFi.
  • Granada – January 17-18 – 490c ($20.40) – 1 night – Hostel beside Oasis. No private bathrooms.  WiFi. Breakfast included.
  • San Juan del Sur – January 18-21 – 1296c ($54) – 3 nights – Casa del Mar. No private bathrooms. WiFi. Breakfast Included (well toast and coffee)
  • Laguna de Apoyo – January 21-23 – 1200c ($50) – 2 nights – Hotel Selvazul. WiFi. Private bathroom. Pool. Breakfast included. Themed rooms.
  • Masaya – January 23-25 – 400c ($16.7) – 2 nights – Hotel Central. Private bathroom. WiFi. 10:30pm curfew.
  • Leon – January 25-February 2 – 1920c ($80) – 8 nights – Siesta Perdida. Private bathroom. WiFi.  We got a deal because we knew the owner. The normal cost is $12/night.
  • Managua – Febraury 2-4 – 2400c ($100) – 2 nights – Hotel Mozonte. Private bathroom. Hot water. WiFi. Pool. Breakfast included.  ** The price is an estimate because Kristi’s mom paid for us to stay there.  I just took a price off of their website.  Be aware that they are going to add 15% tax to your room and food.  Their website is misleading about many things. If you have questions, feel free to ask me.

Our total cost for accommodation during our 2 months, including the $130 it cost us to rent in Leon was $616.50.  

That is all that I can write about for now.  This blog is long but I hope it gives some insight to travelers on the cost of getting from place to place.  Sorry I can’t provide more info about dorm rooms or other budget options.  If you have any questions, feel free to find me on twitter @thegrifter22

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