Hostal Dulce Sueño in Managua, Nicaragua

Hostal Dulce Sueño is a chill and friendly retreat in the middle of Nicaragua’s capital city, Managua. Offering comfy rooms with TVs, a colorful rooftop hangout area, and a shared kitchen, Hostal Dulce Sueño has everything you need for a comfortable stay in the city.

Hostal Dulce Sueño in Managua, Nicaragua

Managua is the transportation hub, with an international airport and flights and buses to all domestic locations. It also has it’s own attractive, historic downtown, as well as a hopping bar scene. Hostal Dulce Sueño is right next to the TicaBus station, for easy access to transportation. They can prepare breakfast if you want, arrange tours around the city, have a stash of books, TV, and relaxing hammocks.

Hostal Dulce Sueño

Unfortunately we found a couple big downsides to Hostal Dulce Sueño. The hostel has quite a problem with bugs which we hope could be controlled better. Ants, mosquitoes, flies, roaches, and lizards were all spotted in our room. Also, the staff seems to be lacking in some vital hospitality skills. When our friend needed a late-night taxi to to the airport, we asked the front desk if he would call one for us. He replied that he didn’t have any taxis phone numbers and didn’t know how to look one up. Having to hail a random cab on the street in Managua at 10pm was a totally unnecessary risk. Running a hostel and not having any taxi numbers on file is a major mess-up! Despite these issues, its convenient location right next to TicaBus does make Hostal Dulce Sueños worth considering.

Services Offered:
Shared kitchen
Book exchange
Fans in rooms
TVs in rooms
Laundry service available
Breakfast upon request

Address: 50 meters east of the Ticabus office

Phone: (505)22284125 or (505)84240272



This post was sponsored by Hostal Dulce Sueño.

Granada, Nicaragua – America’s Oldest City

Granada, Nicaragua is America’s oldest city. With rich colonial heritage, it was founded in 1524 as the first European city in the Americas.

Granada, Nicaragua - America's Oldest City


We spent a few days in Granada, wandering the streets and enjoying the the history.  At the top of the Torre de la Merced, there is a bell tower that you can climb up for $1 and take in some good views overlooking the city.

Granada, Nicaragua - America's Oldest City

Granada, Nicaragua - America's Oldest City

We had a lot of fun just hanging out in the park, watching the people and trying all the random street food.

Granada, Nicaragua - America's Oldest City

As with most places in Nicaragua, there are no street names.  Well, technically they are named and in Granada some even have signs but, when you ask directions from the locals, their answers are strange and hard to interpret.  The way people gave directions in Managua was as follows: there are several landmarks in the city and the directions start there and then they tell you how many blocks and in which direction.  North and south are norte and sur but east and west are arriba and abajo.  This has to do with the direction of the sunrise and sunset.  In Granada east is al lago, “toward the lake.”  A bit confusing if you don’t carry a compass around in your pocket!

Enjoy this post about Granada, Nicaragua – America’s Oldest City?  Check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

The Isla Ometepe – A Volcanic Paradise in Nicaragua

The Isla Ometepe is a magical place in Lago Nicaragua full of animals, beautiful flowers, friendly local people, and great hiking.

The Isla Ometepe - A Volcanic Paradise in Nicaragua

Unfortunately we were only able to spend a couple days on the twin islands, but in that time we were able to see a lot.  Both volcanoes are about the same height, about 1,600 meters and 1,400 meters, and are connected by an isthmus created by previous lava flows.

The Isla Ometepe - A Volcanic Paradise in Nicaragua

We started off by taking the boat from San Jorge for 70 Cordoba per person (23 Cordoba = $1).  This we found out later was the fancy, air-conditioned ferry and on the way back we took the 35 Cordoba cheaper ride on the smaller boat.  The boat left us off at Moyogalpa, one of the islands bigger towns on the Volcán Concepcion side.  We wanted to stay on the smaller Volcaán Maderas island so we had some time to kill as the buses are few and infrequent.  We had a nice meal at a restaurant close to the dock.

The Isla Ometepe - A Volcanic Paradise in Nicaragua

Eventually we were able to get on a bus after fighting off the taxi drivers for a few hours.  The drive was hot and sticky, but the scenery was amazing.  When we got off at our hostel in Mérida, the bus guy recommended his mothers restaurant in a small unmarked shack right on the beach.  She made the best food we have had in awhile and we ended up eating there almost every meal.  Look for the small fruit stand and ask what she is serving!

That night we swam in the lake and were treated to a fantastic sunset!

The Isla Ometepe - A Volcanic Paradise in Nicaragua

On day two, after a good breakfast, we set out to climb up to the Cascada San Ramón.  Have we talked before about how hot it is in Central America?  Well, it’s hot!  We brought four liters of water for the three of us and finished it all.  About three kilometers from our hostel we came to the start of the trail where we paid the $3 each entrance fee and made our way up.

The Isla Ometepe - A Volcanic Paradise in Nicaragua
Some great views heading toward the waterfall

We saw some cool blue birds with long tails along with bunches of blue morpho butterflies.  The higher we climbed the more jungle-like the environment became.  The sign said that it was three kilometers from the start of the trail, but we thought it was more like four or five.  Just when we were running out of energy we saw the waterfall with small pool underneath. We were overjoyed.

The Isla Ometepe - A Volcanic Paradise in Nicaragua

The water was cold and SOOO refreshing.  It brought us new life for the walk down.

We had a great time chillin’ on the Isla Ometepe.  The local people were super friendly and helpful, some of the nicest we have come across.  Too bad we didn’t have more time to stay longer!

Enjoy this post about the Isla Ometepe?  Check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

Building Plastic Bottle Schools in Nicaragua

While at Hacienda Merida on the Isla de Ometepe, we ran into Alvaro Molina, the hostel’s owner.  Molina and his family have taken on many local sustainability projects to benefit the island in addition to running their hostel.  Our favorite project was in building plastic bottle schools and other structures with recycled waste.

Building Plastic Bottle Schools in Nicaragua
Used bottles full of trash

One of the most unique projects Molina has taken on is a plastic and trash recycling initiative.  He uses a few different incentives to get Mérida locals to bring in old plastic bottles stuffed with trash they’ve collected.  Hiking guides must bring in bottles for the privilege of leading Hacienda Merida’s guests.  Locals can also pay with bottles for use of the hostel’s WiFi or massages.  Additionally, Molina will pay $.22 per bottle out of the hostel’s profits to anyone who brings them in.  Large families can stuff 30-40 bottles in one weekend and earn $8.00 extra for their needs.

Building Plastic Bottle Schools in Nicaragua
Alvaro Molina accepting some trash-stuffed bottles from local kids.

What are the bottles used for?  The answer is perhaps the most innovative part of this project!  Hacienda Merida uses them as building material for construction projects!  The bottles are used as the base and concrete is shaped around them to solidify the structures.  So far a large picnic table and benches have been built, and a one-room schoolhouse to be used by local children is in progress.  Molina is also planning to pay the teacher’s salary once the schoolhouse is up and running.

Building Plastic Bottle Schools in Nicaragua
Bottles used inside the schoolhouse wall.
Building Plastic Bottle Schools in Nicaragua
Schoolhouse in progress

It was great to see this unique, environmentally sustainable project being unselfishly funded by a successful hostel.  Hacienda Merida is a prime example of what can happen when a business invests in taking care of the local community and environment!

Hacienda Merida’s website

Enjoy this post about building plastic bottle schools?  Check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

Hacienda Merida in Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Hacienda Merida is located in a tranquil, off-the-beaten-track spot on the Isla de Ometepe in the middle of Lago Nicaragua.

Hacienda Merida in Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Formed by the convergence of two nearby volcanoes, Isla de Ometepe offers endless opportunities for hiking, climbing, fishing, swimming, and taking in the beauty.

Hacienda Merida is located in a tranquil, off-the-beaten-track spot on the Isla de Ometepe in the middle of Lago Nicaragua. 

Hacienda Merida is located in Mérida, a tiny village on the south end of the island near Volcán Maderas.  Run by an experienced, friendly, bi-lingual family, the hacienda provides everything backpackers need for a pleasant stay.  The family has makes it a priority to make their hostel healthy and eco-friendly, so you can be happy giving your money to people who care.  Comfortable dormitories and private rooms are available, as is a full restaurant serving lunch, a breakfast buffet, and a dinner buffet.  Hacienda Merida also provides information on local hikes, tours, and transportation, as well as renting kayaks and mountain bikes for exploration.  The lakefront dock is a great place to swim or sit and watch the sun set.  The staff is also very plugged into the local community and can help you find a volunteer opportunity if you are so inclined.

Hacienda Merida
Hacienda Merida’s dock in Lago Nicaragua
Photo Credit: Alberto Lanuza

Hacienda Merida is a great out-of-the-way hub for backpackers, run by earth-conscious and helpful folks.  As soon as you enter your room and smell the flowers on your bed, you’ll be glad you chose this place for your stay on Isla de Ometepe!

Services Offered:


Tour information


Mountain bikes


Sailing adventures

Horseback riding

Volunteer opportunities

Address: In Mérida, Maderas Volcano, Ometepe Island, Rivas, Nicaragua



Phone:  Telefonos Movistar (505) 8868 8973 / 8894 2551

 Telefonos Movistar (505) 2560 0496 / 2560 0493

This post was sponsored by Hacienda Mérida.

The hostel also has create a very cool project using trash to build structures and schools out of plastic bottles.  Click here to read more!

Everybody’s Gone Surfing/A New Obsession

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, is a the most happening beach town in the country thanks to it’s awesome surf breaks.  We stopped there for two nights.  With Steve, who had never surfed, in tow, we couldn’t resist the temptation to rent a board for the day and and try it out.

Since Zach and I took our first surf lesson in Máncora, Perú, we decided renting one board for all of us to share and taking a taxi to the nearest beach would be all we needed to do.  From San Juan del Sur, it was $10 and 20 minutes to Playa Remanso, a great spot for both beginners and experienced surfers.  Considering how physically taxing surfing is, sharing one board and taking turns for about five hours was perfect!

Zach trying to surf.

Guess what?  Surfing is HARD!!!  It was especially hard at this beach because the waves were breaking very close to shore.  It was difficult fighting the waves to get out there, trying to keep hold of the board and not getting knocked back too far!  Then because the waves broke so close, you had no time to get yourself standing before your ride was over!  It was a challenge.  Although Zach and I both stood up and rode a wave last time we surfed, neither of us had as much success this time.  Near my last run, I finally stood up, got stable, and then my wave died a second later!  Bummer!  However, Steve managed to do better than both of us, standing up and riding a couple times!

Everybody trying to catch some waves.

There were some great surfers out there, impressing us with their moves.  Although I struggled a lot and have the bruises to prove it, I think that I am even more hooked on surfing than I was after my first try!  It’s just so challenging yet tantalizing trying to catch that awesome ride!  Even though I didn’t really stand up, I had some great rides on my stomach and knees, still really fun!  Plus, surfing is an AMAZING workout.  Even now, two days later, the three of us are still sore in the shoulders arms, abs, and legs!  It works ALL your muscles!  Honestly, I really, really want to move to a beach where I can learn how to surf decently.  It would be so much fun, and I would be so buff!!  What a great sport!

After a fun, tiring day of surfing, we were rewarded with one of San Juan del Sur’s famous sunsets.  It was amazing watching colors paint the clouds as the sun sank below the Pacific horizon.  We just had to sigh, “¡Ahhh, que perfecto!”

Bahia del Sol Villas and Condominiums in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Bahia del Sol Villas and Condominiums, overlooking the waters of the Pacific, is a truly luxurious retreat in the resort and surfing town of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.  Each of the nine villas features three bedrooms, several bathrooms, a full kitchen and a porch with an ocean view.  Every unit has its own local style with beautiful Nicaraguan paintings and fine furniture.

The villas are separated into two floors with the first floor containing the large living area with couches and television along with the dining area and spacious fully functioning kitchen.  The kitchen is amazing with refrigerator, stove, utensils, pots and pans, blender, coffee maker, and much more.  On the second floor there are three bedrooms, the master with a king size bed and it’s own private bathroom.  Throughout the facility there is WiFi and cable TV.   The central air-conditioning keeps the houses crisp and cool and there is a fantastic swimming pool with a swim-up bar for guest use.

The friendly people in reception can help you with everything from local tours to car trips around the country.  If you are thinking about deluxe accommodations in San Juan del Sur, Bahia del Sol has all the frills to become the Nicaraguan adventure of your dreams.



Swimming pool



Multiple bathrooms

Tour agency

Free drinking water

Cable TV

Restaurant serving breakfast

Address:  There are no official addresses here.  Take a taxi from San Juan del Sur or Rivas and tell the driver this: “Detrás del Barrio La Talanguera de las Oficinas De La Alcaldía o Centro Cívico 2.5 kms al norte a mano derecha sobre la calle que va hacia la Chocolata.”

Phone:  +(505) 2568-2828 / (505) 8909-9300




Villa (up to six people): $200-$450 per night depending on the season

Extra person: $25 per night

Extra bed: $5-$10 per night depending on the season

Seasonal calendar

This post was sponsored by Bahia del Sol.