Laguna de Apoyo

Laguna de Apoyo, located 15-30 minutes drive from Granada, Nicaragua (depending upon where you visit the lake) is as you can see, absolutely gorgeous!  For my second and final day in Granada, I decided to visit this magical lake.   After speaking with a local tour guide, she offered to take myself and one of the other ladies in my group to a couple of spots on the lake and also to the town of Catarina, where they make pottery.  The charge was $20 per person for a 4-5 hour day trip.


After savoring the stunning beauty from the viewpoint, we made our way to the Laguna Beach Club for some relaxation and fun activities!  The entrance fee was covered by our tour guide and we were provided with a locker and key to store our things.  They have a restaurant and bar on the premises, along with swimming decks, kayaks, and lounge chairs.


It was quite windy, but Jing and I took a kayak out for a while…


In the town of Catarina, we stopped at a pottery studio and watched a man make his beautiful pieces of art.


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Walking Tour of Granada, Nicaragua – Part III

Leaving off from yesterday’s post of our 2.2 mile walking tour in Granada, we finished off with a visit to the Xalteva Park and Church.  Along the way we passed this shoe shine man and his customer deep in conversation…


This is the same shoe shine man, different customer, on the way back…


Iglesia de Xalteva was also quite lovely…


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Walking tour of Granada, Nicaragua – Part II

In yesterday’s post of our 2.2 mile walking tour of the highlights of Granada, we visited Parque Central, Cathedral de Granada, and the Guadalupe Church.  Today, we’ll visit the San Francisco Convent, the ChocoMuseo, and the Iglesia de La Merced.

The brightly painted carriages and architecture contrast against the crumbling concrete…


Our next stop was the San Francisco Convent.  The brilliant blue sky was the perfect backdrop for the creamy color of the Convent…



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Walking tour of Granada, Nicaragua

My group and I were picked up by private shuttle in San Juan del sur early on the morning of Saturday, February 27, for the 1 1/2 hour transfer to Granada.  We dropped off our luggage at the beautiful “La Gran Francia Hotel”, located right in the heart of Granada, and I led my group on a walking tour.  The first thing we saw were these colorful horse and buggies lined up around the Parque Central (Central Park).


The Parque Central is a lovely place to sit on one of the benches under a shade tree and people watch!  This statue translates to, “Mother of all, devotion and love”.


There were also outdoor dining areas…


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Hiking to the Jesus Statute in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

When you arrive in the town of San Juan del sur, Nicaragua, if you look to the right you’ll notice a large white statue of Jesus (aka Christ of the Mercy) perched high in the hills.   It’s one of the 10 largest in the world and well worth hiking to!

Here’s a view looking down at the bay from the statue…


We began our hike from the center of town, making our way down the beach side road.


Past a beautifully detailed piece of street art…


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Horseback riding Nicaraguan Style

Although I’ve had a variety of unpleasant experiences horseback riding, including: having a horse lay down with me on top of him (I had to jump off), a horse bolt unexpectedly with me hanging on for dear life, falling off of a horse in Spain when he tried to eat grass on the side of a rather large hill, have a horse try to buck me off and rub me against trees; well you get the picture–I continue to enjoy riding!  So, I planned a ride for myself and two of my tour attendees through Rancho Chilamate.  They picked us up in San Juan del Sur and drove us to their beautiful ranch about 20-30 minutes away.  They have boots and hats to make sure you look and feel like an authentic Cowgirl!


They have cute young women as their tour leaders!  Here’s Claudia from Spain leading us through the lovely countryside…

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Surfs up at Maderas Beach in Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur is famous for its surfing and I had a great time taking photographs of the surfers at Maderas Beach, a short 30 minute shuttle drive from San Juan del Sur!


After standing there for almost an hour snapping away, a surfer approached me and asked if he could have any photos of himself that I had taken.  I gave him my card and explained I would put them on Facebook and tag him, so I acquired a new Facebook friend!  My first from Israel.




Jing had brought her umbrella for sun protection and I took a quick photo…


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Fabulous Airbnb in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

I chose a gorgeous Airbnb for our three night stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.  We were picked up at 4:00am for our 1 hour transfer from Antigua, Guatemala to the airport, where we boarded our 90 minute flight to the Managua Airport in Nicaragua.  Upon arrival, we were greeted by our transport company for a 2 1/2 hour drive to San Juan del Sur.

This view was well worth the travel…


The Airbnb was one of three separate huts with a porch overlooking the bay of San Juan del sur.  It was very windy while we were visiting and they have been going through a drought, so there were very few mosquitoes, which was nice since we didn’t have air conditioning and left the door open during the night.  It was so windy on the second day that when we returned everything was covered with bits of the thatch roof.


There was a common area with the infinity pool and hammocks.  Here’s Jing, one of my tour participants relaxing…


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