We had a wonderful time in Nicaragua and I can’t wait to go back. Next time we definitely want to check out Ometempe and stay on Little Corn Island
Leon was our favorite place. We really liked the city and colonial architecture. While we liked Granada we found it to be too polished and touristy while Leon as more raw and real.
San Juan Del Sur was ok - while we had a good time there and the beaches north and south of town were stunning I doubt I'd go back
Corn Island - was pretty boring as there wasn't much going on when we were there. I never saw many other tourists the entire time we were there. Next time we'll pass Big Corn and just stay on Little Corn
One of the best parts about traveling was meeting so many wonderful people: Tom and Cat from the UK, Walter and Rock from Zoom Bar, Bill from Seattle, Alex from the Pan American in Granada, Catherine from Wisconsin, Sundrop from Brooklyn, Mark and Jim from La Perla, Jamie from Leon, and everybody else we met on our travels.
Where we stayed:
Hotel Terrasol in Granada - great place with friendly owners - definitely worth the $40/night. Only draw backs were the tiny room, no hot water, and the a/c only seemed to really work at night
Hotel Colonial in San Juan Del Sur - A decent place to stay but nothing special. We met some other people who stayed at Gran Ocenano and it sounded like a better deal.
Olazul - I thought this place was nice and a good bargain - comfortable rooms, right on the beach, and a good restaurant. I'd stay there again.
La Perla - Incredible Hotel would definitely stay there again in a heartbeat
Things I learned:
In most places a 10% tip and $15% tax is added to the bill for meals. In Leon, Las Penitas, and Corn Island we were not charged tax and the tip wasn't included. Some places would have a tip jar on the counter and at others the waitresses seemed surprised when I gave them something extra. I'm guessing tipping in some places is not the norm.
Most of the food there is EXCELLENT!
The main roads are in excellent condition. There are not a lot of signs so it's good to know where you are going. The only palces we needed a vehicle with a high clearance were the roads to the beaches north on SJDS
Everybody is very friendly and while not many spoke any english as long as you know some basic Spanish you can get by.