We left Snowaway at Marina Puesta del Sol while we did a five day land trip. Last time we were in Nicaragua we only toured around the marina so we wanted to see what the country has to offer. We hired Nicaragua Adventures and we developed a personalized tour with Pierre that included a car and driver and an English speaking tour guide. We were impressed with the service they provided and our guide Eduardo was amazing.
On our first day they picked us up at the marina at 9 am and we headed toward Granada. We stopped at Masaya Volcano National Park to see the still active volcano. The Spaniards baptized the volcano “La Boca del Infierno” or “The Mouth of Hell”. We had a walk around the crater to see the views and watch the volcano vent gases.
We went to Catarina Lookout overlooking the Apoyo lagoon, about 520 m above sea level. We walked through the streets of Catarina and bought some fruit at a street vendor and watched the local tuctuc taxis pass by. And we visited a ceramic manufacturer in the village of San Juan de Oriente.
We spent three nights in Granada a lovely city founded in 1524 on the shores of Lake Nicaragua.
On our second day we visited the Mombacho Natural Reserve and its tropical cloud forest. We walked the trail around one of the craters to see the diversity of fauna. Unfortunately even though we went up in the morning we did not have the incredible views of Granada and Lake Nicaragua that can sometime be seen because of the clouds; I guess that is why this area is called a cloud forest! More than 800 species of plant life can be found here, including bromeliads and orchids. We were thrilled with the beauty of the many orchids we saw.
In the afternoon we took a boat ride on Lake Nicaragua exploring some of the 365 small isletas (islands) that had been created by an eruption of the Mombacho volcano thousand of years ago. We saw lots of birds, some new to us, including the purple gallinude and the tricloured heron.