The tiny town of PotosĂ, located between the Golfo de Fonseca and VolcĂˇn CosigĂĽina, has remained a largely undeveloped endpoint on Chinandegaâ€™s northern bus route, despite a number of natural attractions.
PotosĂ marks the start of the Sendero El Jovo trail, an easy (but scorching) five-hour climb to the volcanoâ€™s rim and back. Ask in town about local guides and horseback riding trips.
PotosĂ features a long stretch of black-sand beach, marked at one end by the old ferry docks, and hills that bubble with hot springs. The local favorite feeds into an outdoor swimming pool on the edge of town. Although the springs flow from the nearby volcano, their waters are actually fairly cool, making the shaded pool the perfect end to a long CosigĂĽina hike.
Buses from PotosĂ run south to Chinandega eight times a day, starting at 3 a.m. and petering out in the afternoon. The last bus departs at 3 p.m.; if you miss it, there are several local places where you can stay.
Hotel Bar y Comedor Brisas del Golfo has single rooms for C$150, double rooms with private bathrooms for C$300 and also rents hammocks or camping space for C$50. The restaurant portion has daily specials of comida corriente for between C$60 and C$140. Owner Rosalpina Cruz can also arrange for sightseeing boat tours of the rocky islands in the gulf for between $80 and $100.
DoĂ±a Rosa Digna Rivas has seven rooms available in her breezy home, located near the sendero trailhead. The rooms cost C$150 (or C$200 if you want the room with four beds) and have shared bathrooms.
Although still a work in progress in May, Amanecer Fonseca was set to become the newest PotosĂ hotel by the end of 2009. The beach-front location was expected to feature a pool, cable TV, air conditioning and, when a PotosĂ communications tower is completed, internet.