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More On Laguna De Apoyo

By Alvaro Vergara

Laguna de Apoyo or Amictlan (as it was known to indigenous peoples) is the 23,000 year-old 48 square-kilometre (30 square miles) deep blue lake in the crater of the Apoyo volcano. Much of it is surrounded by the lush Apoyo Lagoon Reserve a protected ecosystem for tropical wildlife like toucans, monkeys and unique varieties of butterflies, and many places where not many human beings have been. You should unquestionably not leave this surrealistically gorgeous paradise out of your Nicaraguan places to go.

Nicaragua has other volcanic lagoons like Tiscapa in downtown Managua and CosigĂĽina in the north-western department of Chinandega; Apoyo is usually the best option. Located about 30 minutes from Managua 15 minutes from Granada and right next to Masaya, buses from any of these cities will drop you off at the entrance; travellers can easily take a taxi or hike for about an hour and a half, through the countryside and down the volcanic cone.

Buses from Masaya go all the way to the lagoon twice a day, at 10:30 in the morning and an afternoon bus at 3:30. From Granada you can catch one of Crater’s Edge shuttles at Hostal Oasis, at 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM for U$ 1.50; be sure to put your name on the list at the Oasis. The Monkey Hut has a transport that leaves from its sister hostal the Bearded Monkey in Granada, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and afternoons.

Taxis from Managua to Laguna de Apoyo go for U$ 30–U$ 40, from Masaya U$ 6–U$ 7 and from Granada U$ 10–U$ 12. Catching taxi from Apoyo is not impossible but not very reliable.

Once in Laguna de Apoyo, la Posada Ecológica La Abuela U$ 30–U$ 50 has comfortable and bright wooden cabins with A/C, broadcast TV, kitchenette and hot water, a restaurant with Nicaraguan and international food and an incredible view of the lagoon with three platforms ideal for diving off from different heights. Hanging out near the bar, Doña Iskra (La Abuela) oversees the hotel and restaurant’s day to day while greeting visitors and making sure you’re well taken care of.

Monkey Hut is the usual favorite for the more laidback; it has a common kitchen and several food items like canned tuna, snacks and beverages, dorms and private rooms, a spectacular view of the lagoon and a floating dock ideal for sunbathing and chilling. Both Monkey Hut and La Posada EcolĂłgica de la Abuela have kayaks, and inner tubes for floating.

22 Jan 2009

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