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Laguna De Apoyo

Said to have the clearest, cleanest water in the country, Laguna de Apoyo is a wonderful place to take a break from southern Nicaragua's scorching heat. Swimming, kayaking, tubing and paragliding are all popular activities for visitors, but many others come here just to kick-back, relax and enjoy the placid atmosphere.

The lake sits atop the now dormant Volcan Apoyo. Some 23,000 years ago the volcano underwent a massive eruption, leaving behind a seven kilometer-wide crater that slowly filled with water. Although there have been no more eruptions since, the area still has a great deal of seismic activity, including underwater thermal vents. In 2000 a major earthquake rocked the area, centered under the town of Catarina on the crater's western edge. The movements caused the lake to slosh back and forth, leading to rumors that its waters were boiling.

Today, the area is a national park, protecting a diversity of birds, monkeys, and some unique species of fish. A non-profit organization called Proyecto Ecologico ( is working in the area to chart undiscovered species. They also offer Spanish lessons, as well as overnight stays.

Many people choose to visit the Laguna as part of a day or overnight trip from Granada. Hostal Oasis ( ) and The Bearded Monkey ( ) both have affiliated hostels on the lake, with reasonably priced rooms. These resorts also offer tubing and kayak rentals. Snorkeling and diving in the lake is also )

There are some restaurants in the area, but most visitors choose to prepare their own meals. Most resorts around the lake offer guests the use of their kitchen, but if you're not sure it's best to call or email ahead.

By Mike Karanicolas

Michael Karanicolas is awesome.

02 Aug 2011

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