Granada and Masaya are quite touristic Nicaraguan cities. Granada well known for its colonial architecture and Masaya because of its artesian market. What I however love about all cities in Nicaragua are their local markets full of people selling tons of crap, fruits, vegetables but mainly tasty and cheap street food.
Our ride from Ometepe to Granada didn’t go according our plans. We caught the wrong bus which dropped us off on the highway couple of kilometres from the city. The bus was super expensive, mainly because of my big backpack and surfboard. Shit happens, lesson learnt. This would never happen on chicken bus.
We found very good hostel near centre and decided to taste some cheap local food. I personally didn’t like the city much. It was too touristic and I usually try to avoid places like this. I need to feel comfortable and this wasn’t the case of Granada. Maybe I still had my bad mood from San Juan del Sur. And so we decided to explore Masaya and Nindiri volcanos instead.
Just a short ride from Granada the bus will stop you right in front of the entrance to national park. You have to pay 100 NIO and start walking up. They will even provide you a nice map.
It’s around 5 km which can be quite exhausting under the strong sun. But Nicaraguan rules are clear – we managed to hitchhike local ranger who took us all the way up.
Both volcanos and very close to each other and there are totally 5 craters. Masaya is not active but Nindiri is smoking like a Christmas chimney. It was not recommended to stay there more than 5 minutes. But who cares, right? I wanted my cool pictures.
Because Nindiri can blow up anytime some places around the crater were closed. And so we had our amazing lunch with epic view and I decided to hike around the Masaya crater. It was around 40 minutes and the views were simply spectacular.
This was definitely one of the coolest experience of my whole trip around central america. And to make it even more interesting we hitchhiked another car all the way back to Masaya where we wanted to check the local market. What a nice people. One of the women was originally from Nicaragua but had taught at Bielorussian university for 7 years. World is really a small place. We laughed so much when she said “moj boze”.
I basically felt in love with Masaya. It’s much smaller than Granada and there are no tourists at all. They usually come just for couple of hours to visit the local artesian market (which is btw. really interesting and I bought my hammock over there for $11).
Besides that it was all about locals. We spent there just one afternoon but I came back 2 weeks later. There’s nothing much to do but the vibes are so good. For me it was all about chilling out on the main square, visiting local market (not artesian one) and enjoying the sunset above Laguna de Masaya.
I even experienced the craziest ride so far – on the back of the bus holding to the ladder.
As you can see, travelling doesn’t have to be just about following some paper guide books. It’s usually more rewarding to find you own way. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But that’s what travelling is all about.