A list of the campgrounds, hostels and hotels we stayed in during our time in Nicaragua in March/April and July 2014. We have also included where we refilled our propane tank.
Las Penitas, León: 3/22/14-3/27/14 – Camping in the parking lot of Playa Roca Beach Hotel – PROS: a few steps to the beach, clean bathrooms and shower, convenient walk to bars and restaurants, electric hookup, security guard, free wifi – CONS: restaurant food is expensive (try the Lazy Turtle instead), parking lot was a dustbowl when the wind picked up – 10 USD/night – GPS: 12.360295 N, 87.022811 W – NOTE: Despite the security guard, our cooler was stolen from right outside our truck. Also, in the 5 nights we stayed there we saw the manager (1) throw a table at a stray dog and (2) chase a stray dog down the street wielding a bull-whip.
We refilled our propane tank at Tropigas – 226 NIO for a 20 pound tank – GPS: 12.150450 N, 86.321361 W – Note: Men may not enter the plant unless they are wearing long pants and closed toe shoes, women can wear whatever they want. Additionally, we did not need any adaptors, the whole process was really easy. They even carried the refilled tank to the gate for Victoria!
Laguna de Apoyo: 3/28/14-3/28/14 – Private Room and Dorm at The Monkey Hut – PROS: Private room with private ensuite bathroom was beautiful, lake front location is amazing, free wifi, free use of kayaks, inner tubes & floating dock, fully equipped camp kitchen – CONS: restaurant is not owned by hotel so you must pay cash at time of order, bar closes at 8pm, no laundry service although website states they offer it – Private Room: 45 USD plus tax, Dorm: 16 USD per/person plus tax – GPS: 11.931378 N, 86.055243 W – NOTE: Camping in their parking lot costs 16 USD/person/night plus 20 USD for electric plus tax and does not include showers.
Laguna de Apoyo: 3/30/14-4/1/14, 7/18/14-7/23/14 – Private Room and Camping at Hostel Paradiso – PROS: Beautiful lake front location, multiple ‘hang out’ areas, free wifi (good enough for Skype – super rare!), electric hookup (with long extension cord), free use of kayaks inner tubes and floating dock, massages and wind-surfing available (at extra cost), food from restaurant is delicious and inexpensive, bar closes at 10pm and then it becomes an honesty bar, free delicious coffee available all day – CONS: Private rooms could use a makeover, camp kitchen leaves a lot to be desired- Private Room: 25 USD plus tax, Camping: 5 USD/person plus 5 USD for electric plus tax – GPS: 11.933931 N, 86.054578 W – NOTE: We, along with a Suisse couple, were the first rigs they allowed to camp here. Until the Suisse couple inquired about camping we were told it was not permitted. I’d try here and if they say no, continue down the road to the PEACE Project who (apparently) also allows camping. – UPDATE: When we returned in July we paid 8 USD/person/night including electric. They had made many improvements to the property, including tarp over the parking area to catch mangos, expanded rancho bar, many more beach chairs and accessories. Also much happier hosting campers now!
Granada, Granada: 4/2/14-4/4/14 – Room with private bathroom at Casa Sacuanjoche – PROS: Great location within walking distance of Parque Central, clean comfortable room, free access to laundry machines, free coffee and purified water, free fast wifi, well stocked camp kitchen – CONS: No where to really relax outside of your room, the rooms are only cleaned upon arrival (in a country where you can’t flush toilet paper, the bathrooms need to be cleaned daily) – 25 USD/night – Av. La Sirena #207 – NOTE: Parking is available for 3 USD/night around the corner and the owner will walk you there. Unfortunately, the parking cannot accommodate anything larger than your average SUV so we found secure parking at the AVIS car rental on La Libertad for 6 USD/night instead.
Playa Gigante, Rivas: 4/5/14-4/10/14 – Camped in lot next to Camino Hostel – PROS: steps away from the beach, super friendly staff, clean bathrooms and showers, free coffee, fast free wifi, electric available – CONS: menu at restaurant is very limited, a pig may walk through your campsite multiple times a day causing your dog(s) to freak out each and every time- 5 USD/person/night – GPS: 11.388208 N, 86.032196 W
Playa Maderas, Rivas: 7/9/14-7/13/14 – Camping right behind Cafe Revolucion – PROS: steps away from one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve visited, friendly owners and staff, free wifi (when it works), electric available, decent bathrooms and showers, daily shuttle service to San Juan del Sur, the brick oven pizza is delicious – CONS: Wifi went down for a couple of days and USB modem didn’t work at the beach, toilets have a tendency to get clogged – 5 USD/2 ppl./night, 5USD/night for electric – GPS: 11.292690 N, 85.907100 W
San Juan del Sur, Rivas: 7/14/14-7/17/14 – Private room with bathroom and shower in Hostal Suenos del Mar – PROS: quiet and safe part of town, night security, street parking in front of the hostel, super friendly owners, well-equipped camp kitchen, open air hangout area with hammocks, free fast wifi, free coffee, walkable to everywhere in SJDS, A/C available – CONS: free coffee is terrible, bathroom smelled intensely of urinal cakes, room was very hot (brought in our own additional fan) – 20 USD/night, A/C is 8 USD extra – GPS: 11.253460 N, 85.869570 W
Masaya National Park: 7/24/14 – Boondocking in the parking lot next to the museum – PROS: very quiet and dark at night, you can use the museum bathrooms while it is open, 4km away from the volcanic crater, definitely walkable but not easy – CONS: lots of fire ants and super buggy at night – 4 USD/person entry into park plus 4 USD/night camping – GPS: 12.003060 N, 86.148970 W
Leon, Leon: 7/25/14 – Private room with en suite bathroom at Bigfoot Hostel – PROS: comfortable room with clean bathroom, street parking and security will keep an eye on your car, delicious Mojitos at the bar, fun backpacker scene, bedroom was quiet even though the hostel was busy – CONS: parking can be very difficult if you don’t let them know in advance you are coming with a vehicle, internet was down when we were there, coffee you have to buy by the cup and it’s terrible – 26 USD/night – GPS: 12.436700 N, 86.876040 W