Hello and let’s go to Nicaragua.
New week, new post about my travels in Central America. This week I went to Nicaragua and am sharing my new adventures with you.
Let’s get right to it.
On 5th of April we took the bus to San Jose from Puerto Viejo. As I’ve already mentioned, I was traveling with an Englishman and an on their German by that time. We left the Englishman on the Caribbean coast though. He really liked it there.
So, me and the other German caught the bus and made our way back to San José. By now the bus rides aren’t very exiting anymore, especially not if you’re traveling with somebody else. Although it got adventurous as soon as we got out of the bus in San José.
Of cause the second I went out the door there were twenty taxi drivers, offering their services. I just politely ignored them.
After we got our luggage there was this very persistent taxi driver who won’t stop offering, he even called hotels for us, to ask if their available.
We were quite overwhelmed. Then there was this guy from the Netherlands too, who was about to go to Nicaragua as well. We talked to him and figured it’d be the best to take a cab to the bus terminal, our bus will depart from.
On that terminal we asked, with help from this very persistent but also nice and helpful taxi driver, when the next bus to San Juan del Sur departs and what it costs.
After a few debates weather it is a good idea to take a overnight bus or not, we booked our tickets for the bus at 2AM this night.
Although we had to stay up very late and somehow entertain ourselves during the next seven hours, we would save money for a hostel.
We walked through town, which was something, we all agreed we wouldn’t have done by ourselves. And we all were happy to have each other, it’s good to have some company and people you can talk about the pros and cons of decisions you have to make. Also, it is so much more fun.
We went for dinner and wandered around and had to fill out the departure and arrival forms of Costa Rica and Nicaragua so it won’t take us too long at the border.
The bus ride was quite funny, out of about 50 people in this bus, there were just three tourists.
Also we just understood 10 percent of what the people told us but somehow, we managed to do everything right. Just do what everyone does.
On the border we had to get off the bus for a passport check, get some stamps and get our language checked too. Or maybe not, it seems they just want to check the local luggage. That’s a nice change for once.
After another 15 minutes in this rather uncomfortable bus with a very noisy toilet door, which kept us from sleeping, the bus dropped us out on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere.
For the first couple minutes we just stood there, in a different country after a night without sleep, barely able to speak Spanish, no idea what we should do.
After a while though, we asked some people where we could catch a bus to San Juan del Sur, the town we’re headed to.
On the bus we figured, we had no money to pay with, we just had Colons (which is the Costa Rican currency). Although the bus driver wasn’t happy he took our money.
Seems like everything is working out well again. Lucky us, I’d say!
Although I was very tired, I was already impressed by this country. The landscape looks a lot like Costa Rica but the people are so much friendlier and not that persistent. Also, it is way calmer and not so busy everywhere. It is still local and you can really experience the culture and life there. And those busses are so cool. They look like American school busses. So funny!
In San Juan, we checked in a hostel and wandered around. It is a lovely little town, reminds me a lot on Puerto Viejo. It is also very colourful and chill. A lot of restaurants, hostels and bars. Also, some local shops, a market and a lot of street food places with typical Nicaraguan food. And it is very cheap compared to Costa Rica, which makes it even better!
The beach is nice too, although you can’t surf there because it has no waves, but there are some not far away. The town itself is very packed, a lot of young backpackers, mostly from Europe, come here to party all night, or day if it is Sunday Fun day. We were too tired though and we’re not the party people anyway so we just chilled and enjoyed the vibe and the free breakfast.
We spent two nights there. On our second day, we went to Maduras, a beach close and jumped in the water to get our first surf since Santa Teresa.
Jesus Christ! That is freaking cold!
The water is so cold we could stay in there longer than 30 minutes. We might need a wetsuit. We started freezing the second we got in, what is kind of annoying considering the very nice conditions of off sore the whole day.
The waves were great, not to big, about one meter, very shallow and almost every second wave was barrelling. I didn’t really manage to surf anything proper but I had some nice drops and did some pretty steep take offs, which is a thing I definitely want to improve. Also, we really enjoyed the never ending off shore. It is a dream!
On Tuesday, we caught the bus to Rivas and then a taxi to Playa Gigante.
I felt in love with that place from the first second. Here is nothing, literally nothing. Just some restaurants, but only local once, no fancy food. Some hostels and the beach. No ATM, not much cars, tourists, not even a single shop.
We found this very lovely hostel on top of a hill, right in front of the beach. We immediately checked in. Who would say now to a ocean view from bed?!
We for sure not!
Even though, the hostel wasn’t finished at all, we had no lights in the room, no proper roof and no drinking water out of the tap. Also, the tap in the kitchen wasn’t working proper and everywhere was wood and painting stuff and you never knew when the you’d have water or electricity. It basically went off and on how it felt like. I could go on with that for hours but we didn’t care.
All that matters is, we are at the beach, we can see the beach from our bed and we’d be at the beach in no time. And there are amazing people who make the time here even better!
Staying here means, chilling and surfing the whole day! Could we be any luckier?
Well maybe with the waves but there is a swell supposed to come so we’ll see.
For now we enjoy the vibes. The peace of this little town and the nice view and great people around us.
Also come back next week for new adventures and treats or visit the other posts about Central America.
Related: Travel Diary Costa Rica – Part 1
See you soon!
What do you enjoy more, chilling on a beach or city sightseeing?