Nicaragua Lodging Advice || How To Plan Your Stay
Nicaragua is a place both my husband/travel partner/business partner and I long hoped to go to. And planning a trip to this beautiful country was so exciting! Sometimes when planning a big trip, it’s hard to know where to start. Since we only had a limited time traveling in Nicaragua, we want to make the most of our time there. You might want to begin your research with where to lay your head at night: Lodging. I have compiled some Nicaragua lodging advice for our fellow travelers out there so you know a smart way how to plan your stay. We will be focusing on three popular travel hubs: where to stay in Granada, Ometepe and Leon, Nicaragua.
Our first step in planning is where we have been starting most of our trips lately: Instagram. A quick glance at #Nicaragua did offer several choices. We knew we wanted a colonial city feel, beautiful landscapes and adventure. We aren’t big beach people or surfers. And we are coming directly from shooting a wedding in Cancun so we already had plenty of beach and sun time. We concentrated more on other activities based on history, local flavor, volcanoes and hiking. With Instagram we found plenty of pictures and other hashtags to widen our search. We narrowed down our search to Granada, Ometepe and Leon. This met our travel requirements and also added island life, monkeys and volcano boarding (more on that later)!
We will share in depth blogs on each of these three places specifically. However, this post will focus on Nicaragua lodging tips and how to choose where to stay with consideration of what activities you want to do. In our research, we found a lot of information for cheap travel to Nicaragua such as backpacking. And we even found information for luxury travel. But we found ourselves traveling the middle. That means not staying in the cheapest place but not the most expensive either.
So how did we do our research?
To find places to stay we used a combination of Instagram, Google search and Lonely Planet. I buy a Lonely Planet book for each trip we take and carry it with us for “on the ground” references. I have found this helpful since internet access is not always reliable abroad. Because imagery is important to us as professional photographers and videographers, Instagram is a great place to start.
You can use hashtags for each location. First with #coolhotels, #besthotels #uniquehotels and the like, I came up with a list of possibilities. Then I did a Google search for each location, read reviews on Trip Advisor and found pricing information from their websites. I then looked at their proximity to town centers in Granada, Leon and for Ometep looked at places that were listed as “eco hotels”. I searched what was available in a variety of price points. Then Al and I looked at the list I had made and looked through everything together to make a final decision.
Starting in Granada
In Granada you can pay US$15-$20 a night for a room in a house or a hostel for $5-$15. This is a personal decision based on what is important to you. Things like air conditioning, private room, party atmosphere, peace and quiet or luxury. For example, you can get a nice room for US $70- $90 at Miss Margrit’s. Or go for a really cool atmosphere, great pool and a bit of luxury check out Tribal Hotel.
While both options are nice, the second one is a bit more on the expensive side at $130 -$155 a night. But that is still way less than a nice hotel in the US or a European city. So we chose the boutique option of the Tribal Hotel for this part of our trip. However, if we were going to be staying longer we may have opted for a less expensive room. But the help we got from the owner and the staff at Tribal was invaluable. They helped with so much and had so many great recommendations.
The road less traveled
For Ometepe, we wanted to stay in the quieter, smaller part of the island. But in the long run this limited us more because of our plans. We originally planned to rent motorbikes and travel around the island for a day exploring. But the road was really bad. It was mostly a dirt road with huge rocks that made it extremely bumpy. And we are not experienced riders on that kind of terrain which made it a little dangerous. So we just hung around the area of Merida where La Omaja is and walked all around.
At $60 an night we found this to be quite affordable and enjoyable. The hotel offered a very relaxing time but we do wish we had another day to take a taxi into the bigger areas of the island and explore on motorbikes. It was such a beautiful setting at La Omaja. They have an amazing infinity pool overlooking the lake and volcano which was so cool! And we met lots of amazing people there so we were just fine relaxing for our time on the island. We did go horseback riding (Al’s first time) and took a boat to Monkey Island.
Lodging in Leon
In Leon we went with a mid range place. At $70 a night we stayed at Hotel Azul. It had a nice pool, which we were too busy to enjoy. But we did love its location being two blocks from the city square. They also have a great breakfast which was included in the price. And at least we had hot water which our room at La Omaja was lacking (although other cottages had it).
That was our experience with Nicaragua lodging and hopefully it will help you plan your trip. Have you traveled to other cities in Nicaragua or found your own amazing spots to stay? Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear about it to consider for our next time traveling there! Next up on our travel blog will be some general must-know tips about traveling in Nicaragua.
Until next time, you can view the full photo gallery here: