Vacation Destinations

Vacation in Nicaragua

Posted by: Dan on Saturday, March 05, 2005 (19:48:03)   (3426 Reads)
 Article Rating: 5

Check out our photos from our trip to Nicaragua in January, 2005. What an exciting trip. Dad (Bob ), Steve and myself (Dan) embarked on a grand vacation to Nicaragua for 10 days. We reunited with family and our Colonial roots in Central America. We had a great time and would like to thank our family at home and in Nicaragua for supporting us during this trip.

Arriving in Nicaragua

Upon our arrival into Nicaragua, we were diverted away from the normal arrivals. Our dad's cousin Miguel arranged for a diplomatic arrival for us. Miguel at that moment was the Ministerio de Gobernacion. During our 10-day visit, Miguel was appointed to a Ministerio de Educacion.

After a brief meeting with Miguel and some of his family we traveled to Tia Ana Belen's home in Managua.


Coyotepe is located just outside Masaya. It is an old fort on a hilltop built by the Somoza regime to house political prisoners. During the revolution my cousin Janette and her husband Mauricio would take picnic baskets and overlook the war brewing just below in Masaya. At one point during the revolution, the Sandinistas stormed the fort and the National Guard responded by slaughtering all those inside. Now Coyotepe is historical site to benefit the Boy Scouts of Nicaragua.


Diriamba is locate near Jinotepe. Our Dad's cousin Miguel has a home in Diriamba with a Finca (Farm) in Jinotepe.


Granada, located beside Lake Nicaragua, is the oldest colonial city founded in Central America. Original colonial homes and public buildings left by the Spaniards still stand today. Now the city is ripe for tourism with a clean look and fresh new hotels. The food was great at the Hotel Alhambra. A fillet mignon was priced at about $7.00. Steve said it was as good as the $75.00 version at a casino in Lake Tahoe.


Jinotepe is the city my grandfather Carlos Mestayer was born and raised. Still standing is the church and home of my grandfather. My father's cousin Miguel took us to a home his father would take him to as a child, which was the Mestayer home and is now an Internet Cafe. If visiting Jinotepe, check out a new night club called 'Rumbass'. The owner brought the Miami night life to Jinotepe along with good food, drink and sounds. The owner is also the fiance of our prima Esparanza. Steve and I went to the club with our cousins Esparanza and Ana Marie where we met another cousin named 'Fruito' (Frank). A live band was playing El Caribe style, a Latin-reggae sound. Some how, we made it through the evening drinking an average of 2 liters of Flor de Caña, a Nicaragua made rum. I think I had more to drink in one night than I had in all of 2004.

Karaoke Managua

Managua is a city alive at night. There are many western style restaurants, nightclubs and Casino's. Our cousins, Ana Marie and Pilar, took us to a Karaoke at a casino in Managua. It's one thing to witness Japanese style Karaoke in Japanese or English, but it seemed so natural to witness it in Spanish. Our cousin Pilar proved by running red lights, there is no law after 1 A.M. in the morning. It is safer to speed past a red light than be confronted with banditos.

Las Isletas

Some 20,000 years ago 365 islands were formed near the shores of Granada on Lake Nicaragua by the volcano Mombacho. Today some of the islands are inhabited. Resorts are being built including a restaurant with boat service to shore. Several of the islands are for sale for as little as $10,000 dollars. My uncle Alberto and his family owned an island but taken by the communist regime during the 1980's. The land was awarded to squatters who took residence on the island. The current government is trying to pass legislation to allow landowners to recover their property taken by the communists. Purchasing land in Nicaragua is risky because you might be buying a property from someone who is not the proper owner.

Las Ruinas De Leon Viejo

Las Ruinas De Leon Viejo is the ruins of Spain's first settlement and the original location of the city of Leon originally founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernandes de Cordoba. It was destroyed in 1610 when the Volcano Momotombo erupted. At the top of the tour is a majestic view of Momotombo, Lake Managua and nearby Volcanos.


The city of Leon is a city worn and torn from the ages. Leon was a battleground for opposing forces during the revolution and its people are still living life more than a few steps behind the progress being made in Managua. The largest cathedral in Leon is La Catedral de Leon. Just about every two blocks was another church and town square. Most of the churches are in varying stages of decay and need a lot of work to restore their appearance.


Managua is city that has risen from its ashes several times. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, fire and war have broken this city. Managua's recent rebirth is from a democratic society and foreign investors along with aid from countries like Spain and the United States of America. As of last week, the U.S. was withholding millions of dollars in light of a possible coupe de tat against the current President by the left wing liberal and communist parties.

Parque Nacional Volcan Masaya

Volcan Masaya National Park consists of several active and dormant volcanoes. In April of 2000 the Masaya Volcano came close to an eruption but only caused minor damage. At the rim you can look down into the gases of the Volcano that shift with the wind. The park closes before dusk but Dad's cousin Miguel remembers viewing the glow after dark before the hours were changed.


Masaya is a lush market place for art and culture. We picked up hammocks that would sell for hundreds of dollars for a fraction. It helps to have a good bargainer to haggle the best price. Thank you Anna Mae!

Laguna de Apoyo

Once a volcano, Laguna de Apoyo is a rich, clean and protected water source. From above it looks pristine. At its beach front is a row of homes and restaurants. It is too bad the visitors cannot pick up their trash.

Laguna de Masaya

Laguna de Masaya in 1936 was the site for medical waste from a hospital and raw municipal sewage ever since. The locals don't seem to know this, many will come to the shores to swim and bath. Trucks pump water to deliver to shanty homes and irrigation.

New Years 2005

Dad, Steve and I celebrated the New Year at Ana Belen and Manolo's house in Managua. At midnight several bricks of firecrackers and other fireworks that would be illegal here in the United States, blazed and banged in the New Year. Ironically it sounded like a war zone, this neighborhood was riddled with tanks and fighting during the war.


Ometepe is a peaceful almost Tolkien-ish landscape set apart from the rest of Nicaragua. It is located in the south end of Lake Nicaragua. The island is really two connected by an isthmus. The people live very peacefully and escaped the war. One of the two volcanoes is still active the other contains a lagoon in its crater said to be immaculate. We rented two rooms for the night at Quinta Mina, across from a resort that had no more room. It was very clean and comfortable.

Pochomil Beach

Pochomil Beach is a very clean stretch of land at the seashore that was once one very large farm. Now it is a posh area inhabited by important political and wealthy occupants. In fact we were staying at the Presidents wife's beach house used to house diplomats during their stay in Nicaragua. The house presumably has as many as 25 bedrooms and 5 pools.

San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur is located on the Pacific shores in the South of Nicaragua just above Costa Rica. It has become a tourist stop for the large cruise lines, but little economic benefit is seen because excursion companies bus the money-toting tourists off to other destinations. Never the less, San Juan del Sur is a beautiful fun place to travel to. We stayed at a new hotel called Landmark Inn on The Playa. This hotel was recently opened by a couple who sold their Virginia crab house restaurant and bought what was a residence for $200,000.00 and converted it into a hotel on the beach.

Railroad Museum

Originally built in 1886, Nicaragua used to have a working railroad infrastructure. The rails were dismantled and sold to El Salvador to help fund the war in the 1970's and 1980's. Students from Spain began renovations to open the train station as a museum but never completed the work.

For a complete viewing of all our pictures from our trip: Click Here to visit our Photo Gallery


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