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Category: Nicaragua

Travelling solo? 5 things to do before you leave | Fabulous travel guide

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[ 0 ] August 4, 2011

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Where to stay in Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Where to stay in Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

[ 2 ] March 20, 2011

Planning a trip to Isla de Ometepe? Wherever you stay expect a bumpy ride. Hostels are few and far between and the roads are in a bad way. Read on to see which are the best areas and how much to pay in a taxi…

Beaches underwater at Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Santa Domingo, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua - Fabulous Travel Guide

Santa Domingo (pictured) is about 40 minutes from Moyogalpa in a taxi. Either get a local bus (which takes around 3 hours) or take a taxi (1 hour). Don’t pay any more than $15.

Here you’ll find several hostels, a couple of restaurants and one internet café. There’s also somewhere to hire motorbikes and mopeds. TOP TIP Don’t give them your passport – pay a deposit instead. We handed our passports over and when we came back a few hours later they said they’d lost it…

Santa Cruz is a little further away, and it’s here that the roads get particularly bad. It should take around one hour in a cab ($20). There’s not much to do here but it’s a good base if you want to climb Volcan Maderas and San Ramon waterfall.

Volcan Concepcion, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua - Where to stay - Fabulous Travel Guide

Hostels

If you’re looking for a sociable vibe and lots of fun, head to Little John’s ($7) in Santa Cruz. The bar here gets lively at night and there’s plenty of hammocks to chill out in when you’re not exploring the island. Be warned, it’s a fair distance to Santa Domingo on foot so you’re best bet is to hire a motorbike to see the island.

If you’re staying in Santa Domingo then Hostel Buena Vista ($7) is your cheapest option. Dorms are a little old fashioned with worn out sheets and only a curtain separating the toilet from the bedrooms, but it’s cheap and cheerful. There are hammocks out front, a bar and good views of the lake.

Staying in Granada or San Juan del Sur? Find out how to get to Ometepe and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for more travel updates,

The Split, Caye Caulker, Belize - Fabulous Travel Guide

Best beaches in Central America

[ 5 ] March 17, 2011

Planning a trip to Central America? With so many beaches to visit, both on the Pacific and the Caribbean, you’ll be hard pushed to see them all. So we’ve come up with a list of must-see places:

1) Caye Caulker, Belize

Head to The Split in Caye Caulker and enjoy a cold beer on a picnic bench in the sea. Don’t miss the snorkelling trips from Raggamuffin Tours – they’re the best on the island!

The Split, Caye Caulker, Belize - Fabulous Travel Guide

The Split, Caye Caulker, Belize - Fabulous Travel Guide

2) Playa El Tunco, El Salvador

The black sand beaches on the coast of El Salvador are a welcome change from the rest of Central America. Make sure you hire a surf board and hit those waves – they attract surfers from all over the world.

Playa El Tunco, El Salvador - Picture of the Week - Fabulous Travel Guide

Playa El Tunco, El Salvador - Picture of the Week - Fabulous Travel Guide

3) Tulum, Mexico

The Mayan ruins in Tulum are perched 39ft above sea level on a cliff overlooking the sea. Get there early to catch the sunrise and avoid the tourists.

Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico

Best beaches - Tulum, Mexico - Fabulous Travel Guide

4)  San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

There are several beaches in San Juan del Sur – all great for keen surfers. We love the local beach for its spectacular sunsets and chilled out vibe.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur - Best beaches in Central America - Fabulous Travel Guide

5) Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Playa Tamarindo stretches as far as the eye can see – making it great for those who like their own space. It’s also a great place to party and meet fellow travellers.

Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica - Best beaches in Central America - Fabulous Travel Guide

See more pictures of Central America and book those flights now! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for more travel updates.

How to get to Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

How to get to Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

[ 1 ] March 16, 2011

Isla de Ometepe in Nicaragua is formed out of two volcanoes: Volcan Concepcion and Volcan Maderas. It is the largest island located on a fresh water lake in the world – and it’s well worth a visit.

Staying in San Juan del Sur or Granada? Your hostel should have plenty of info on bus times and prices. Check out the map below to start planning your route.

Catch a boat to Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Catch a boat to Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

From Granada: Get a direct boat (Monday and Thursday) or get the local bus to Rivas (takes 1 hour), a taxi to the port (10 minutes) and a boat from there (1 hour) to Moyogalpa.

From San Juan Del Sur : Get a bus to Rivas (40 minutes) and a boat from there (1 hour) to Moyogalpa.

See more pictures of Ometepe and  check out the freshwater springs. Need more advice on travelling through Nicaragua? Follow our top tips on staying safe in Central America.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Volcan Concepción

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Volcan Concepción

[ 1 ] March 13, 2011

Planning a trip to Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua? Get ready for magnificant views of Volcan Concepción and Volcan Maderas as you speed around the island by moped.

Volcan Concepción, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Volcan Concepción on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua - Fabulous Travel Guide

See what else there is to do in Nicaragua and see more pictures of Isla de Ometepe here. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, too!

Travelling solo? 5 things to do before you leave | Fabulous travel guide

Staying safe in Central America

[ 2 ] March 12, 2011

Central America is fantastic place to travel round but some areas, such as Panama City and Managua in Nicaragua, can be really dangerous.

So if you’re travelling alone, or arriving in big cities at night, you’ll need to have your wits about you. Follow these top tips for staying safe in Central America:

* Never travel at night

It’s always best to travel during the day – especially when crossing borders or arriving in busy bus terminals. This gives you time to find a hostel and get your bearings.

* Make sure your taxi is authorised

Look for the driver’s I.D and agree a price before you get in.  Lock the doors once you’re inside – it’s not unheard of for muggers to jump in next to you at traffic lights.

* Don’t carry an expensive handbag

Be wary about getting money out in public places and use an inexpensive bag that you can wear across the body so it’s not as easy to snatch. Take enough money for the day and leave your passport and wallet in the hostel.

* Be careful where you withdraw money

Where possible, withdraw cash from inside a bank. Cloning cards is a common occurance in some places so avoid using cashpoints in dodgy areas and don´t go near them at night.

*Don´t fight back

If you´re unlucky enough to be targeted by thieves, stay calm and cooperate. Never resist or fight back and give them everything they ask for. Don´t be clever by giving them the wrong pin number – it’s simply not worth it.

* Cover up

It’s fine to wear tiny shorts to the beach – but make sure you dress respectably in large towns and cities. Otherwise you’ll attract unwanted attention – not something to be doing when you’re travelling alone.

* Don’t leave valuables in your backpack

You’re usually asked to leave your backpack under the bus on long journeys so carry anything of value  (such as passport, wallet, credit card etc) with you. Don´t put your bag under the seat as it can be taken (or cut open) when you’re sleeping. The best thing to do is put your passport and cash in a money belt under your clothes.

*Trust your instincts

Look around you – if shops are boarded up and there’s not much street lighting, leave immediately. Even in broad daylight you are an easy target. Don’t wander into quiet areas on your own and if you ever feel vulnerable get straight in a taxi.

TOP TIP Some girls carry pepper spray with them for protection. It may seem a little extreme but if you’re getting hassled by anyone it will give you time to make a swift exit.

Planning a trip to Central America? Get tips on crossing borders safely and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

Swim in the freshwater springs of La Presa Ojo de Agua

Swim in the freshwater springs of La Presa Ojo de Agua

[ 1 ] March 8, 2011

Planning a trip to Isla de Ometepe in Nicaragua? La Presa Ojo de Agua is beautiful little swimming hole near Santa Domingo. It’s made up of several underground springs that glisten and bubble in the sun.

La Presa Ojo de Agua, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

La Presa Ojo de Agua, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Entrance costs $2 and you can stay as long as you like. Chill out on the sun-loungers around the pool or hike through the tropical forest. There’s even a restaurant nearby serving tacos and cold drinks.

La Presa Ojo de Agua, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

La Presa Ojo de Agua, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

How to get there

La Presa Ojo de Agua is located on the narrow stretch of land connecting the two volcanoes (see map below). If you plan on hiring a quad or motorbike, it takes just 10 minutes from Santa Domingo and makes a nice stopping off point on your way to other sites.

Looking for somewhere to stay? Check out nearby hostels and see more pictures of Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for more travelling updates!

Party hard in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Party hard in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

[ 2 ] March 7, 2011

Looking for big waves and an even bigger party scene? San Juan Del Sur on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua is a dream come true for surfers.

Both Playa Maderas and Playa Hermosas (where season 22 of US TV show Surviver was filmed) are great for surfing, while the local beach (pictured below) is perfect for sunbathing and enjoying a few beers.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua - Beaches in San Juan Del Sur - Nicaragua

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua - Beaches in San Juan Del Sur - Fabulous Travel Guide

Where to party

If you’re a girl head to Iguana to drink free from 8-10 every night Sun-Thurs. If you’re a guy? Head down there anyway as it’s packed to the rafters with fun-loving ladies.

The Black Whale is another cool bar with several pool tables, hammocks and live music. Be sure to try the biggest burgers in town (120 cordobas) – they are literally bigger than your head…

Where to eat

For breakfast try El Gato Negro. It has a great, chilled out vibe and you can browse the book store while you’re waiting for food. Make sure you try one of the infamous smoothies – they’ll leave you feeling like a new person!

Big Wave Dave’s is another cool hangout that serves up great North American food, such as nachos and fajitas. It also shows all the major sporting events.

Looking for somewhere to stay? Check out our pick of the best hostels and find out more fun things to do in Central America.

Best hostels in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Best hostels in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

[ 2 ] March 6, 2011

There are loads of great hostels in San Juan Del Sur, but our favourite has to be PachaMama ($8 per night). There are hammocks and rocking chairs on the porch, a communal kitchen and great banter between staff and guests.

Pacha Mama hostel, San Juan Del Sur

Top Pick: Pacha Mamas hostel in San Juan Del Sur - Nicaragua - Fabulous Travel Guide

When you’re not playing table-tennis, you can chill out with a movie or hang out in the back yard. Best of all? It’s just around the corner from the local beach and there are daily shuttles to Playa Hermosa ($10) and Playa Maderas ($5).

Pacha Mamas hostel - staff and guests
Staff and guests at Pacha Mama’s have fun at the beach

Casa Oro ($8.5 per night) is another favourite with backpackers.There’s a TV area in reception showing short videos of surfers, regular barbecues, daily shuttles to the beach and cheap surf lessons.

Hostel Esperanza, just round the corner from PachaMama, is the chepaest option at $7. The dorms are spacious (although very bright in the morning!) and the backyard has a tropical feel, with hammocks, benches and colourful plants.

Looking for the best places to party? San Juan Del Sur is great for surfing and ladies drink free nearly every night of the week… Follow me on Twitter for more updates.

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