My CA trip summary

An overview of my route from Wellington to El Salvador, through Nicaragua, Caribbean Coast in Costa Rica and back home to Wellington New Zealand. December 2014 and January 2015.

Wellington via Sydney to Dallas where I stayed overnight before my flight to San Salvador.

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El Salvador
I’d prearranged Edwin of EC Tours to take me from airport to San Salvador bus station where I caught the local bus to Suchitoto.

In Suchitoto I spent five nights at Hostal y Restaurante Villa Balanza – gorgeous views over the lake – learnt some Spanish at Pajaro Flor Spanish School and spent time at Centro Arte para la Paz cafe.

Bussed back to San Salvador for a night at Edwin’s family home, with Edwin’s tour of San Salvador and surrounds, getting dropped off in Juayua spending a couple of nights at the arty Hostel Anahuac.

From here I took local buses up the Ruta de Flores, exploring Ataco, a El Carmen Coffee Finca tour, El Jardin de Celeste, markets, local life, Los Chorros falls.

From Sonsonati a very long bus ride to El Tunco overnight for early morning pick up for the Nicaragua journey. Long drive to La Union, then by boat to Nicaragua.


Stayed in Leon for a few nights at the friendly Hostal Mariposa. Explored Leon’s Revolutionary Museum and the city.

A few nights in Las Penitas enjoying sunset horseriding, swimming, seafood meals, great company, a mangrove tour.

A short micro-bus trip to Laguna Apoyo staying at the Peace Project for a few nights.

In Masaya stayed at Hotel Monimbo, money problems, volcano tour, El Coyotope Fortress, one night at Hotel Masaya, food poisoning, back to Hotel Monimbo.

Chicken bus to Granada and a night in a backpackers place past the market (not recommended) moved to Hotel Patio del Malinche. Isletas tour, massage, cafes with lovely courtyards.

Cab to Managua, plane to Bluefields, panga to Pearl Laguna where I stayed one night at View Hotel and two at Queen Lobster. Panga to an island, enjoyed walking around the village and chatting with locals and volunteers, hike to other village.

To Bluefields one night at Hotel Jackani before flying back to Managua. Me and a fellow traveller checked out Managua sights.

Stayed at Hotel Mayacura before catching the plane to the other end of Lake Nicaragua to San Carlos. Then a panga to El Castillo staying at Victoria Hotel for a few nights. Jungle tour, cayman tour, great food, butterfly farm, fortress. One of my favourite palces.

Panga back to San Carlos then a plane to Ometepe and made my way to Finca El Chipote with its stunning views across the lake and great food. Altagracia, Ojo Agua.

Local bus to Hacienda Merida for a couple of nights. Horseride to San Ramon waterfall on Maderas volcano, sunsets.

Late afternoon ferry to Rivas and night at Hotel Dalinky. Scored the last seat on bus to San Jose  – a very long drive – staying at Hostel Bekuo overnight.

Costa Rica

Bus to Cahuita stayed at Cabinas Caribe Luna overnight.

Bus to Puerto Viejo change to Manzanillo. Several nights at Cabinas Sumaqtikaq, fantastic jungle walk with Tino, swimming, Maxis Bar, much socialising and dancing.

Long bus trip back to San Jose and my last night at Adventure Inn before flying home via Dallas again, Sydney and HOME!

My accommodation reviews are on Trip Advisor.