Naked Tiger Hostel in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

naked tiger hostel san juan del sur

The Naked Tiger Hostel is located a couple of kilometers outside of San Juan del Sur proper and is up on a hill for some crazy good views. If you’re looking for a smallish hostel with a party vibe, TNTH is the place for you!

From the moment the free shuttle picks you up from Barrio Cafe, The Naked Tiger makes it easy for you to have a good time. You get a welcome beer upon arrival and there are various happy hours to help you keep it going (sunset happy hour, power hour from 8-9a, bloody Mary morning happy hours, etc). The music is pumping and there’s always a sense of conviviality in the air. Every room has an ocean-view and there are awesome murals and backpacker provided art all over the place.

If you like your hostel to be a bit more chill, Naked Tiger Hostel has you covered there, too. During the day, the scene around the pool is pretty relaxed so grab a beer, order some food from the kitchen, and hang out long enough to watch the sunset.

Services Offered:

Free wifi and computers

Free coffee from 8a-12p

Free shuttle service to and from town

Laundry service

Book exchange

TV lounge with games and movies

Pool with a view

Daily excursions and surf reports

Address: Located just before entering San Juan del Sur at KM marker 138

Phone: (505) 8621 4738 or (505) 8490 5648

Email: info@nakedtigerhostel.com

Website: www.nakedtigerhostel.com

Prices: $10 for a dorm room; $5 for a hammock or couch. Prices may vary during holidays and high season.

This post was sponsored by The Naked Tiger Hostel.

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WHOA!!! Fritz The Cat sank!!!

Please read the comments on this one, there is a lot of controversy.  Fritz gets involved in multiple ways…

Breaking news, hold the presses!  Fritz The Cat, the infamous vessel which ferried us and hordes of other backpackers from Colombia to Panama SANK!  That’s right, the catamaran is at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea.  Colombian news website El Tiempo has a video in which you can hear the captain, Fritz, yelling in Spanish for rescuers not to take his picture as you see The Cat half-submerged in the blue water.  Everyone came out alive, but how rough it must be for those 14 backpackers who lost everything.  Here is a link to the video and news article:

http://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/cartagena/ARTICULO-WEB-NEW_NOTA_INTERIOR-11995415.html

Our boat trip seemed pretty crazy, but it’s hard to imagine going through that whole ordeal.  Needless to say that it would have ruined our trip.  I can’t wait to hear more details about the wreck.  I feel like their will be a mention of captain’s error somewhere along the line.  They probably hit an iceberg.

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The Final Superlatives

We’re still working on a big, cleverly and intelligently written sum-up of the whole darn adventure.  It’s hard though!  It is coming soon, but for now enjoy the final edition of our La Aventura Project superlatives!

Days in South and Central America: 217

Dollars Spent: $10,586.14

Average Dollars per day: $70.45

Countries Visited: 10

Books Read: 22 (Carrie), lost track (Zach)

Doctor visits: 1 (Zach), 0 (Carrie)

Things We Lost: More random stuff than we remember

Favorite Food: ceviche (Zach), pupusas (Carrie)

Favorite Beverage: Colombian coffee, Campos de Solana vino tinto from Tarija, Bolivia, and Flor de Caña rum from Nicaragua

Best Wildlife Sighting: dolphins on the cruise from Panamá to Colombia

Nicest People: Colombians and Salvadorans

Most Touristy Countries: Perú and Guatemala

Most American Retirees: Panamá

Scariest/Coolest Experience: the eruption of Tungurahua Volcano

Most Liver Damage: Loki Hostel

Biggest Personal Changes: dreadlocks and eating meat (Carrie), actually speaking a second language (Zach)

Longest Bus Marathon: 3 days almost-straight, Trinidad, Bolivia to Arequipa, Perú

Best Hostel: Hostal Las Olas in Copacabana, Bolivia

Best Place to Open Our Bar Someday: Canoa, Ecuador

Most Sobering Site: civil war museum in Perquín, El Salvador

Most Life-Changing Moment: getting engaged

Sweatiest We’ve Ever Been in Our Lives: Nicaragua

Most Expensive Country/Most Fast Food Places: Costa Rica

Most Breeds of Potatoes: Perú

Best Shopping: Panajachel, Nicaragua

Creepiest Hotel: the Auto Hotel in Sonsonate, El Salvador

Favorite Country in Central America: El Salvador

Favorite Country Overall: Ecuador!!!!!!!!!!!!

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El Salvador Financial Summary

Total money spent: $354.31

Total days: 17

So, we spent $20.84 per day, or $10.42 per person per day.  Basically, we were WAY under our $15 per person per day goal!  Woot!  El Salvador was our cheapest country yet!

The fact that food was half our budget proves how cheap everything else is, because food is still really cheap!  Especially if you eat pupusas.

Buses are also amazingly cheap, although dumpy chicken buses, in El Salvador.

We only paid for one night of lodging the whole time!

El Salvador would also be a great, easy place to travel if you had a car or a motorcycle.  Flights through Spirit Airlines are also really cheap, so you should go!

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The Last Stop – San Salvador

San Salvador was just…meh.  Supposedly it has the best nightlife in Central America but we didn’t really have time or energy to explore that.  The city is sprawling, noisy, crowded, polluted, and dirty.  We wanted to see more historical sights but everything is so spread out and we were just kind of tired and focused on making it to our flight in one piece.  So we wandered around the centro for a few hours and didn’t do much else.

san salvador
The cathedral
san salvador
Iglesia El Rosario

san salvador

I know we missed a lot in San Salvador, but it wasn’t one of our favorite cities, and honestly, we were pretty burned out.  Luckily we made it to the airport and we’re now at home sleeping for about a week to recover from all our 8 months of adventures!  Thanks for following along everyone!

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The Creeptastic Auto Hotel

auto hotel

Note: This is NOT a hostel review, it’s merely a story about an auto hotel that some of you will probably find hilarious and some of you will probably find disgusting (those of you who need to relax). 

So it’s 6:45pm and we’ve just pulled into the bus terminal in Sonsonate (nicknamed “Cincinnati”).  It’s been a long, hard day of tons of different buses from Panajachel, Guatemala and the border crossing.  Finally, we’re only an hour away from our destination San Salvador, and the free hotel that awaits us there.  We can make it!

Except…no.  Very unexpectedly, we are told that the last bus to San Salvador left 15 minutes ago.  What?  Usually buses run frequently until at least 10pm, especially for such a short trip.  But everyone confirms that there are no more buses ’til morning.  After checking the price for a taxi all the way to the capital, we give up and decide to just stay in Sonsonate for the night.  We ask the taxi driver if he knows of a “hostal muy economico” and he says yes, he can take us to one that only costs $10 per night.

Off we go, strangely, away from town.  Soon we pull up to the Auto Hotel Canada, a large complex that looks like a casino from the outside.  Once inside the front gate though, the taxi driver pulls right into one of many adjacent open garages.  “What is this?  Where is reception?” I was thinking, my sketch radar on high alert and my eyes checking to make sure the garage door was not going down.  Sensing that we were confused, the taxi driver told us to open the door inside the garage and pay through some “Spanish Spanish” that I didn’t get.  “Oh, AUTO HOTEL,” I thought, “It must mean you pay through an automatic machine or something!”  Not quite, it turned out, but we figured out what was going on eventually.

auto hotel
Nasty garage
auto hotel
See the brown box on the left wall?

You open up the box and it connects to a staff member across the wall.  You communicate and pass things between each other without ever seeing each other!  We put our $10 in the box, someone took it, and then gave us towels, change, and two free orange juices in return.  Finally we grasped what was going on…this is totally just a sex hotel!!!!!!!!!  Complete anonymity: you pull into a garage, put the door down, enter your room, pay and conduct all your business withoutever being seen.  What a genius yet quite terrifying concept…perfect place to have an affair, meet a hooker, or kill someone, you know?  Realizing where we were, we were definitely super creeped out at first.  We’d seen “Auto Hotels” everywhere, but never stayed in one or realized what they were.  But there was nothing we could do about the situation, and it was cheap and seemed clean enough, so we just had to laugh about the hilariousness of this place.

Other features of the “Auto Hotel”:

The price was $10 but for only 12 hours exactly.  We got there at 7pm and were told (through the box) that we had until 7am.  Okay, I guess we’ll get up early!  Guess they gotta wash the sheets and get ready for the day shift!

Huge mirror on the wall

TV with only one “special interest” channel

Lock on the toilet paper

auto hotel

auto hotel
The bottom sign says: “Esteemed Guest: Pick up the phone to ask for your frequent client card.” Ha!!!!!

Apparently auto hotels are an institution around Central America, and we can see why.  The culture is very socially conservative, very Catholic, and most young people live at home until they marry.  Also, prostitution is legal.  Places like this are the only place to go for some people seeking to engage in certain activities.  I’m not passing judgement one way or the other; I just thought staying in an auto hotel was a very interesting (and funny) cultural experience.

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Lago de Atitlan – Shopping in Panajachel, Guatemala

The second half of our too-brief stint in Guatemala took place in Panajachel, the biggest town on the shores of the Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala’s largest crater lake.  The enormous blue expanse, ringed by cloud-topped volcanoes on every side, was impressive.

Lago de Atitlan
View from our hostel

There’s no end to boat trips, hikes, kayaking trips, and bike rides you can take from Panajachel (locals call it “Pana”) around the Lago de Atitlan.  There is also an endless street of craft stalls with (allegedly) the cheapest prices in Guatemala.  We took advantage and shopped a lot!

Lago de Atitlan shopping panajachel
Love all that color!

We definitely didn’t have enough time at Lago de Atitlan!  Next time we’ll have to explore the smaller villages surrounding the lake.  It was a great short visit though!

 

Lago de Atitlan

If you liked this article about the Lago de Atitlan then check out our archives for other stories and adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and our subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

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