Stef

fer de lance

Stef


I'm mainly a nature's lover with a net preference for snakes, lizards, crocodiles and frogs. But i try to always incorporate landscapes, architecture, people and other stuff related to the country where i go, so that it could please to a larger audience!




This was my last stop in Nicaragua, before heading back to Managua. Because of COVID-19 pandemic, I cut 3 days from the vacation. ..... Leon is a colonial city and ancient rival to Granada. The city is far less touristy than Granada, but still have many accommodations and things to do around. Old downtown center is compact and easy to navigate. We stayed in hotel Flor de Sarta, about 4 blocks North of central park. This si close enough to get to center in 10 minutes, but quiet enough to sleep well. The staff is super friendly ans breakfast is very good and varied. A small pool and patio allows to relax in the afternoon. ... In Leon, the highlight is of course the big white cathedral, which is white in and out. The building is ... read more
cathedral
 hotel flor de sarta
hotel flor de sarta


There is actually a road nicknamed "avenue of the volcanoes" in Ecuador. There, for about 200 miles, you can see many high volcanoes like Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, (if you're not in rainy season, otherwise it's full of clouds.....I know I was there..:-) ) In Nicaragua, what I call the "road of the volcanoes", is a stretch of road , East of Leon, in which for about 45-50 kilometers, you can see seven volcanoes from the main road, (there actually more than that to see if you take some secondary roads). Many of these, you can book a tour to explore more in details. What I did was a more of a quick panoramic road trip. I especially wanted to look for the highest volcano of the country. In order, coming from the South, here's the active ... read more
smoking momotombo
santa clara volcano
telica volcano


It's time to go to the sea!! We left early from Ometepe and with reservation we took the ferry in no time with our car. We headed North on the inter Americana. During the dry season, the landscape is more open with many beige colors grasses in contrast with a few evergreen trees. The terrain is in general flat but things change after Diriamba. We climbed in altitude for many kilometers, changing the landscape completely. It's now more green, and from above, we can see the ocean in the far distance. We left highway at El Crucero, and descend steadily for a few kilometers. The views are splendid here! It seems that this resort is in the middle of nowhere, because we took a shortcut, but that's part of the adventure!! A couple of dirts roads, ... read more
sea birds
Views from main road
Cattle on the road


I need to specify that this was part of the trip about 2-3 weeks ago, before the big spread of COVID-19 in the Aemricas. :-) I did drive all around the island in 2 shots: first time to south part, (around Maderas), and other to do North(,Concepcion). Like mentioned in previous blog, around Maderas, it gets bumpy, very narrow and rocky for 1-2 kilometers, at South-East part of the road.I was driving a small car, and only had to take it easy to go by.But during rainy season. I would ask locals to make sure it's safe. The road around Concepcion is really much better, especially on the South side. So even if your gps tells you to go by North part of the road to Moyagalpa because it's shorter, it's definitively a better road on ... read more
ojo de agua plan
maderas volcano
Conception volcano


Ometepe island was one of my top 2 places to visit in Nicaragua, and I wasn't deceived!! First thing is to get there. Although there are a few flights a week to get there from Managua, it's more fun and exotic to take the boat to reach it. :-) One important thing about the ferry. If you don't have a car or other transportation, you can take the ferry or smaller boat at any time without any preparation. But if you have a car or a truck, it would be very wise to reserve in advance!!! Reason is that not only tourists go to the island, but also many delivery trucks, and ferries are not that big. To give you an idea, on one ferry you can put: one long 53 feet truck, another truck less ... read more
Volcano at suset
Cobbled road
On the highway south to Rivas


Granada historic center is a manicured, very colored and pleasant place. The highlight is of course the very bright painted Cathedral which sits in font of central park. Right at central park, you can rent 30 or 60 minutes for a horse carriage's ride. These tours add to the historic aspect of the visit. You have opportunity to drop at every major landmark, no problem. Between the cathedral and the lake, there's the calle la Calzada, with lots of shops, restaurants, and some spectacles on evenings. I stayed at Hotel Jardin, about 3-4 blocks North West of central park. This hotel is a 3 star, but frankly, I would give one more, at every thing there is clean, well decorated, offer good views, is quiet, has very helpful owners and was overall much better than my ... read more
street with a view
horse carriage in central's park
view from hotel


If you are on the road to Granada, you need to stop at the mirador de Catarina. When you enter the city, there are many flower shops and that part of town is really beautiful. You can park for a few Cordobas neat the viewpoint. The view is splendid: Deep blue lake, in a crater and you are on top of it. You can see the whole lake from it. This is a very touristy place, with lots vendors and musicians, but it is pleasant anyway. Horse rides are available there to go down the lake if you wish, (you could walk down too). A couple of small hotels surround the lake with forest. We ate in a restaurant overlooking the lake. Real good view, but it's windy too! Next stop, Granada.... read more
laguna de apoyo
Horse rides available
laguna de apoyo


My first stop in this trip was Masaya volcano. My hotel was a a cabin in Nindiri with a spectacular view of Masaya lake. Very quiet and beautiful place all to ourselves. Definitively a place I recommend. Check this video taken there: It's not my first volcano. But it's the first with an actual lava lake!! for this, I needed to go in the evening. To make sure of the location, I went by day at Masaya volcano park entrance. But then, what a deception!! An american acrobat did walk above the crater on a metal wire last evening, and the volcano was closed for 3 days to leave time to disassemble and clean it all..... I planned to go back there at end of vacations, but sadly, corona virus alerts made me cut short my ... read more
bleu gray tanager
Our cabin
lava flow


"Land of lakes and volcanoes", is actually true if you consider the western part of the country only. I went to neighbor Costa Rica many times in the past, and apart from arenal lake, there aren't many lakes there. Also, they are relatively big in Nicaragua. With all the size (and wind), lake Nicaragua really look like a sea. Number of volcanoes is also very high, especially in Leon's region. I drove during my trip, and driving was relatively easy: people generally follow road rules, use flashers and are not aggressive, (if i compare to colombia last year, where it was a total disaster!!). Saw many beautiful landscapes that are worth to stop and take pictures. Tourism is not that developed overall and is concentrated in some pockets, (Granada, Ometepe, Leon), which is a good or ... read more
Pacific's sunset
Still many carts on the road
Roofs

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Coba January 2nd 2020

I have been to many archaeological sites in all of the Americas. Can I consider Coba to be one that you should visit if you're in the area? Totally! Site is not far from Tulum, (45 minutes to 1 hour). Contrarily to other Maya sites, you can still climb the biggest pyramid! This is a big plus as you can really sense how these buildings were a major achievement when they were built, if you're on the top of it! Site's is in the forest so it' s never too hot and there's plenty of shade. For those who can't walk too much, you can hire a tricycle taxi, (man powered), for a few pesos). One part of the site is more quiet so you can go there to look for birds, especially early in the ... read more
trogon bird
from the top of the pyramid




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