Thursday, September 15, 2011

Masaya and Granada, Nicaragua 5-9 Sept 2011

Masaya 5-7 Sept 2011

I arrived at this small town after changing 2 minivans from Leon. There was no tourist here, I had to look for Hotel Regis which is the cheapest in town. I walked for a good 20mins with my backpack in this hot weather till I reach this street with a few cheap hotels in a row. I was dripping wet. There was no other guess in the hotel.

Masaya famous for its Mercado Artesanias, selling hand woven hammocks, embroidered blouses, wood carvings, bags, etc. The market in located in a Spanish fortress built in 1900s. Other then the market there is a few old churches around. There is actually nothing much interesting here. I can’t even find a decent place to eat, had to eat in a Chinese Restaurant nearby the hotel, after travelling for 3 months and 20 days my first Chinese meal-a mix fried noodle. How does it taste? Well, I would say it is not bad at all, tasted soya source in it and there were cabbages, onions, prawn and beef :-)

From Masaya, it’s just 45 mins to Granada by chicken bus. The conductor in the bus was very friendly, he started chatting with me even tho I told him I know a little Spanish. He was trying to convinced me that Nicaragua is more beautiful then Guatemala after I said Guatemala is better. :-) So I learnt from this, next time wherever I am, I will say that country is the most beautiful.

Granada 7-9 Sept 2011

The bus station in Granada is just behind the market, I walked pass this hassle bustle market which looks very interesting. I was planning to go to Oasis Hotel but just 2 doors before it I saw a sign that said US$6 for a dorm incl breakfast. I thought that was a really good deal compare to US$9 for Oasis Hotel without breakfast. So I checked in. It is a family run house that has few rooms converted to dorm and private rooms. The girls working there are very friendly. Breakfast was typical red beans with rice, egg, toast and coffee. It was a good choice afterall and the hostel is just corner away from the local market.
In the afternoon after I checked in, I was in the living room using my computer, then I saw people running frantically outside followed with people screaming. In my mind I thought this seems familiar, like when there was a fire that broke out next to my hostel in Belize. A few second later, the receptionist told me that there is a fire opposite the hostel. What! I just thought about that scene! :-O I saw thick smoke behind the front building, the fire engine is already there. The burning is from the inside, we can’t see much from the outside. Not sure what happen but by the night we had no power till midnight. That's the problem when you don't speak the local language, you miss out a lot of interesting stories. :-(

I like the market in Granada, it is very colorful and lively, vendors sell rice, corns, tomatoes, chilies, fruits, cloths, etc. I found a store in the market that cooks great local food, for 2 days I went to the same place for lunch. J It only cost $2. Granada looks similar like Antigua in Guatemala, a colonial town with colorful buildings. There were 6 famous churches at walking distance. My favorite is Iglesia Guadalupe, built between the year 1624 and year 1626. While walking around I saw this beautiful hammock shops, it is a factory as well, inside there is a huge hammock that measured 7x1.8m, weight 27kg and can take up 17 person of total 1500kg. It cost US$475. It is HUGE!

From here I took a chicken bus to Rivas, and from Rivas I wanted to take another bus to San Jorge but the bus conductor told me there is no bus to San Jorge. The is a group of Argentinians on the same bus went for the cab but there were already 4. They paid US$1 each = C22. A swiss gal and I have to take another taxi but the driver was quoting us US$4 each. We couldn’t find anyone else to share, finally we deal with C25 each. When we reach San Jorge, guess what? We saw the bus coming, in my heart I thought “never trust one person, always ask for second or third opinion”. The bus only cost C5 each. :-(
Masaya – Hotel Regis – US$4.5 for a single room with fan and WIFI available
Granada – Hostel Amigos – US$6 for a dorm bed with breakfast, kitchen and WIFI available

Tricycle from Hostel Sonati  to Bus Terminal– C15
Minivan from Leon to Managua – C40Minivan from Managua to Masaya – C13.50 + C13.50 for my backpack as it took up a seat in the minivan
Chicken bus from Masaya to Granada – C9
Chicken bus from Granada to Rivas – C25
Granada – Access to the tower of Iglesia La Merced – C20


  1. Alice,

    Thanks for your detailed, turn by turn instruction on the public transportation/taxi and it's relevant cost. I'm in Granada at the moment but hesitating in doing a day trip from Granada because the public bus stop running after 6pm. I wanted to do the evening volcano tour, independently and found the $35 option with tour guide exceeding my daily budget.

    I plan to pack up from Granada and overnight (cheap option) for 1 night in Masaya before I head out to another town. I will use your information very well as it's so handy.


    1. Hi Aisa, I had read some of your blog, omg you are there where I was 2 years ago, so amazing! I wish you a good and safe trip and have a blast!
      If you need any info, just drop me a line. :-)


    2. Alice,

      Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm so behind in blogging and I hoped to catch up soon. I still haven't even finished my SE Asia trip from last year, or 2 years by now, lol.

      I found your description of all the hostel very accurate and helpful for me. I've stayed at Hotel Regis in Masaya for the volcano night tour. And today, I'm writing from the lounge area of Sonati in Leon, again, based on your blog/recommendation. Thanks, you made my research so much easier.