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  • Writer's pictureXPLORid

Unexpected deadline in Nicaragua

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Together with 21 fellow passengers we are in a boat on our way from El Salvador to Nicaragua. Mrs. Sunshine and Mr. Blue Sky are the first ones to dock in Potosí. Next, all of us get wet feet on the sandy beach of Nicaragua.

Only 1 month

We get our visa stamp at the immigration office. It turns out that we have to leave the country in about 1 month. Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua are connected. You can only stay in those 4 countries for a total of 90 days.

We didn't know that.

We keep our head up high and will see how to solve this. After the border control we go to the remote fishing village of Jiquilillo. Sunsets are beautiful here. We enjoyed them at Puerto Escondido in Mexico, but this is something special. The different colors are so beautiful!

We have never seen this before!

Mountain biking from León

After 3 days of rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner we are happy when we reach a big city. There are several good restaurants in León. We’ indulge in it! Especially on the day before our own little triathlon starts.

From La Paz Centro we cycle to Laguna de Asososca (El Tigre). To get to this crater lake, we hike for 30 minutes on a quite steep and dusty path. The efforts are more than worth it.

This lake is a true picture perfect.

We dive straight in and want to stay here forever.

The crater lake of Xolotlán with a beautiful view of the volcanoes Momotombo and Momotombito.

Plastic fantastic

After the same hike back and cycling for a few more kilometers, we are treated to the national dish of Nicaragua: quesillos. A tortilla with 2 slices of cheese and fried onions, topped with cream, served in a plastic bag. It’s quite okay when you are hungry, but we won’t give it another try.

There are also puddings and lemonades in these types of plastic bags. We see them a lot, especially on the bus. The plastic bags are left on the ground or thrown out of the window. We notice a street vendor pouring a bottle of coke into a plastic bag with ice in it. Can it get more absurd?

The pure white cathedral of León

We are lucky with our Airbnb in León. It is an old colonial house in the heart of the city center. On foot we visit the famous white cathedral. You can walk on the roof and admire the beautiful domes and statues. The view is also impressive. We see many volcanoes around us.

Little Corn Island

The biggest advantage of this Airbnb is the lovely family running it. We can store our bicycles and luggage here while we go on holiday to the… Caribbean!

We are on our way to the most remote island of Nicaragua by public transport. 3 buses, 1 ferry, 1 panga and 1 water taxi later, we arrive on Little Corn Island. The long journey is more than worth it. This is really remote. No cars, motorcycles, buses, trucks... no motorized traffic at all. The peace and quietness is so much joy! And in the evening it’s so dark: you can see a million stars.


Blowing Rock is Little Corn's Barrier Reef. We go snorkeling to see the coral reef, many star fish, a snale like fish, a yellow and black moon fish and many more. On a snorkeling tour we also encounter nurse sharks, a hammer head shark and a few rays.

We debated a long time on how to get back to León.

30 or 10 hours of traveling, that's the question.

We want to return in León well rested to start cycling again, so we choose for the latter. We arrived on Little Corn Island by public transport and return by airplane…


In Granada we are also staying in the middle of the city center. We check in at Hotel Con Corazón. They invest 100% of the profits in education so that children in Nicaragua can go to school. Later we will publish our blog about this aid project.

Everything we would like to see is just a few steps away. We visit a number of churches, the market and Argencove Chocolate Factory. After climbing the bell tower of Iglesia La Merced we enjoy the view of Mombacho Volcano and the cathedral.

Volcano Mombacho and Masaya

We book a tour to Mombacho volcano and Masaya. In the morning we’re on the Trigillo Trail in the nature reserve Volcano Mombacho. Hiking in this tropical rain and cloud forest is very special. We finish the day with a visit to the active Volcano Masaya. It's the first time we see magma.


View of the 365 inlets of Granada.

One last time to the beach in Nicaragua

We can also store our bicycles and luggage at Hotel Con Corazón for another trip. We go to Playa El Gigante by public transport.

Here you can watch the video of our adventure in Nicaragua.

Punta Pie del Gigante.

Tidal pools Guasacate Beach.

Pura Vida!

From Rivas in Nicaragua it’s a long day to reach Costa Rica's first real city. Fortunately, we get a hearty breakfast at our hotel. Desayuno tipico: rice with baked beans, scrambled eggs and some cheese.

The border crossing goes smoothly. We only have to go through the scanner in Nicaragua with all of our bags. The customs officer in Costa Rica only wants to inspect one of Ben's front pannier. Pura Vida!

The adventure in this new country is about to begin.


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