There is still plenty more Guatemala content on the way – don’t worry – but I am changing locations shortly and it’s time to lay out the itinerary for the second half of my Central America journey: Nicaragua.
Before you start, yes, I am aware that there have been violent crackdowns of anti-government protests over the past year. No, I am not especially worried for my safety. Nobody, government or protester, wants to harm an American tourist, and the places I will be staying are – for the most part – safe. Are there concerns? Potentially, as roadblocks can be put up making it hard to travel between regions forcing plans to change. Beyond that, though, I am optimistic that any unrest won’t negatively impact me as a traveler. (Note: this is not a political comment on the validity of the protests or the governmental response. As a foreigner I don’t know enough at this juncture to accurately comment.)
So what will my Nicaragua trip look like? As with my time in Guatemala, it will be split between historic cities and nature, between learning and relaxing. It will be fairly fast-paced, though, as I will be visiting three locations spread over much of the western half of the country. This means longer and more expensive shuttles, but potentially a better feel for the geography of the nation – or an intense dislike of the quality of the roads, as the case may be.
Ok, so the itinerary.
Day 1: Arrive in Managua (via San Salvador as my direct flight from Guatemala was canceled) and transfer to Leon, in the north of the country.
Day 2-5: Leon. This is the historic colonial center of the region, and I am looking forward to exploring it. Leon is out of the way from my other destinations, but I didn’t want to miss it.
Day 6: Transit to Granada, to the southwest of Managua.
Day 7-8: Granada. Another old city, it combines the best of history with scenery, sitting on the shores of Lake Cocibolca, and less than two hours from the Masaya Volcano, one of the most active.
Day 9: Transit to San Juan del Sur, a small coastal resort on the Pacific.
Day 10-13: San Juan del Sur. I will be attempting to surf, as this is known for some of the best beginner level surfing in the world. I will likely be terrible, potentially be injured, and so the rest of my plan is to enjoy the relaxing beach scenery and ocean vibes.
Day 14: A long ride back to Managua and a night in a hotel.
Day 15: Back to LA via Houston, and the end to an awesome trip.
As always, don’t forget to follow along here and on Instagram!