Nicaragua, San Juan Del Sul, Omotepe, Masaya, Tippitapa, All Around !!

Nicaragua was beautiful , I separated from my friend Curtis, and went on my own to San Juan Del Sul.  My goal was to surf in the area.  Checked in a small hotel, stayed there 3 nights till I met three crazy guys traveling together, Arnaud was from France, Axel the Photograph for München, Germany, and Simon from Dresden, Germany.  Arnaud bought a little car in Mexico and was going down to Panama, stopping everywhere on the way, Axel had by a Truck and was doing the same thing as Arnaud and Simon was traveling central America like me.

We decided to go all around Nicaragua together.  First We went to Leon, then Masaya, then we visited the capital Managua, then we went to Tipitapa ( country side ), the down to Granada and Finally to Omotepe to visit the wonderful volcanos.  The local currency is Cordebas 1 US dollars is around 24 Cordebas and A big beer cost 16-18 Cordebas so less than a dollar.  This country is very cheap to travel.  We met many girls form Nicaragua, they are very hot girls but also very friendly, many nights we went out with some of them that we met ridding in our cars.  They like partying all night long and they are very good fun.  Most of them do not speak English, so don’t forget your dictionary.

 

The best part of the trip was Omotepe, two volcanoes forming an island.  The Volcanoes are inactive, The biggest one is call “Conception” and the small one Maderas.  We climbed up Maderas in 6 hours.  Maderas is wonderful to climb, you go through different zone of nature while going up the mountain, at the beginning the vegetation is very low and towards the ascension rising to a beautiful Jungle. The best way to go on a journey is to rent a guide for the day, it’s cheaper if you go in group, so try to meet up people there and go all together.  The hotel were you stay should arrange a lunch for you.  On the Island, the have their own natural water coming from the volcano Maderas.  The nature is very present on this Island, snakes, monkeys, spiders and sharks.  Also many places you can find awesome waterfalls and you can even drink the water falling.  Our guide liked to tell us stories about people trying to climb Conception Volcano and never coming back because the have been eaten by huge snakes.  I think it could be a very good Volcano to climb, but you need to be a little bit more experience.  Maderas is hard but if you are in good shape, it is a good training for you.  After Nicaragua I decided to go to Guatemala with Simon from Germany to go and learn Spanish.  Check out the photo album from Nicaragua and the volcano, it is beautiful.

In Nicaragua they have the best Rum I never tasted, Flor De Caña.  This alcohol is so good, at the beginning I was drinking it with mixers, and at the end straight up form the bottle.  The more old you buy the more sweet it is.  7 years old is very good but 14 even better.  I love Flor De Caña so much that we decided to go directly to the factory and by a big quantity.  The factory is located in the rich volcanic fertile soil of Chichigalpa where they grow sugar cane to produce this sweet rum.  Flor De Caña is the most popular rum in Central America and won many international prices.

Diving is also amazing there, you can dive with hammerheads sharks of the islands little and bog corn.  I did not have time to go there since you need to fly from Managua to those Islands.  But i met many people that have dive there and just heard wonderful stories, I will go back for sure.  Managua is the Capital where you can find the richer side of the country, same as a big city, filled with Casinos, Offices, Prostitutes, Bars, Fast Foods etc…

Nicaragua is also a great country for investments, they sell many lands for very cheap and this will be a very famous destination in the future.  You can do everything there.  Golf Hiking, Kayaking, Partying, Surfing, Diving, Visiting and they also have amazing beaches along the Pacific Coast.

El Salvador 2008

I took my backpack and went to El Salvador with some friends.  I went from Utila, and crossed all the way to the coast to go and learn how to surf in El Tunco.  The waves were perfect for beginners but still I rented an advanced board, wich means it took me a week to be able to stand on my board.  I was pound and crushed by the waves everyday, but still always stand back up and went for more.  The locals are very good surfers and always ready to give you some tip.  Apart from Surfing there is plenty of things to do around.  The local food is call Papousa, it is a sort of Baliadas or Tacos with met and sauce.  Very basic but it fill you in for a dollar.  There currency is the American dollar.  I learned how to play guitar in the streets of El Salvador.  The capital is San Salvador where you can find plenty of shopping center with Fast Food chains all around, cinemas and many popular American shops.  The shopping center is the perfect place to meet nice girls from San Salvador.

 

I crossed the border from Honduras with El poy.  The main crossings into El Salvador are at El Poy and El Amatillo; there is a third crossing south of Marcala, but because of a longstanding border dispute, there is no Salvadoran immigration post there. There’s no one to stop you, either, but entering here is technically illegal and you can be fined if your status is discovered.

To travels around Salvador you will need to take the chicken buses.  They are old yellow school buses repainted with many colors, and all equipped with a good surround system.  Make sure you have some change when you get in, a ride can cost you as less as 5 cents for 10 Km.  Check my Gallery for more pictures on those buses.  The main places to see in Salvador are La libertad ( where there is also very good places to surf) El Tunco ( where I started surfing ) Santa Anna,San Miguel ( Volcanos ) and La Union if you planned continuing your trip to Nicaragua crossing the border there.

The language spoken is Spanish but many people speak English as well.  I miss surfing in Salvador, this was one of my first backpack trip ever, and I enjoyed it so much.